Please bookmark Marissa's Miracle and come back often. This site is in memory of Marissa's life and the precious gift of love she gave to all who knew her and the gift of life she gave to those who didn't.
Marissa was full of the spirit. I say this not because she is MY child, but because she simply radiated. Marissa was/is my Miracle child. (Not that any child is not a miracle, but Marissa was somehow very special.) When I would be out, shopping or what have you, people always wanted to touch her. I was always so intimidated by this. Her hair was such a beautiful color blonde and oh, so curly. Complete strangers would feel compelled to touch her hair. I constantly felt queasy about this. But Marissa never acted like she minded one bit.
Marissa OFTEN spoke of the "kids" who she could hear and see. On occasion, she would refer to the "ghosts" that she would see. One instance that will stay with me all the days that I live, was a night at home, just before she went to live with the Angels. I was sitting in the living room watching television. Marissa came runnig up the hallway, "Mommy, come see the ghosts in my woom (room)." She was sooooo excited. I can still see the excited look in her eyes! (I, again, was taken aback by this...a little frightened.) I walked behind her, as she ran into her dark room. When I reached the hallway, I flipped on the hallway light, and in her room, I hurriedly switched her light on as well. There was my 3 year old, dancing around making circles, laughing. "Can you see them, Mommy, they dancing!!!" I was now SCARED. I told her, "Come on baby, come back and watch t.v. with mommy." I must say, I SENSED something...a presence. It was not evil, I do not know why I was so terribly fearful. I was intimidated.
Marissa's room was full of angel decorations. When she would become frightened at night, I would lie in her bed with her and tell her, "You don't have to be afraid, see all the angels are watching over you."
I have a son, Matthew, who was not quite 10 months old when his Sissy went to heaven. I used to sit in the recliner, Matthew curled up in one arm and Marissa would sit on the arm of the chair. On several occasions, I would "feel" a presence around us. I had this strong sense that someone was "with" us, as if standing over my shoulder. In more than one instance, this feeling was so overwhelming, I would actually turn to look behind me. (The recliner is in a corner, up against a wall. No ONE could possibly be there!) I cannot explain this feeling, but it was real. Now, having had these experiences is almost comforting.
Another experience occurred on our vacation. We went to Dollywood (amusement park) and it was there, that I had my first "visit" from Melissa.
Melissa is my best friend. She passed away, at the age of 24, in February 1992, a victim of colon cancer. Melissa and I were as close as any two people could be. We were "connected". She could literally read me and I her. We shared a rare friendship, seldom found. We were "soul mates".
While in Dollywood, my husband, Frank, took Marissa on the amusement rides. The first one that they decided to ride was a water roller coaster. I did NOT want Marissa on this ride. Marissa was so excited, she simply LOVED "wolla coasters" and so, off they went. This ride had a huge ramp that you must weave to get to the start of the coaster. I stood down at the bottom, watching them as they crept to the front of the line. Suddenly, I saw her, this woman, probably 30 yards from me at the top of the ramp. At the instance that she caught my eye, we made eye contact. I thought it was Melissa!!! She smiled at me...from all that way, and my knees got weak! I became chilled and hurriedly moved on into one of the exhibits just ahead. At first, I was a little frightened by this simple experience. But, understand, it was "real", for lack of a better description.
Then, two days later, we visited Santaland, in Cherokee, North Carolina. (Another amusement park, one that centers around small children that I had precious memories of from my own childhood.) In Santaland, there is a "wolla coaster", the Rudiocoaster. Marissa was thrilled! Frank and she rode this coaster several times. On this one occasion, Matthew and I had gone to sit on a little bench at the foot of the ride, while we waited for them. This woman sat right next to me, on this small bench. I immediately noticed the back of her head, as she was facing away from me. I thought, "Gee, she has hair just like Melissa. Long, brown, and stringy." Melissa hated her hair, (of course, I loved it, it was part of her beauty to me.) Just at that instant, the woman turned and smiled at me. The blood drained out of my body and into my toes! I became flushed. She looked like Melissa and again, I thought I was seeing my best friend!!! This time it was even more profound. I started to shake. I filled with tears, got up and ran away. Just as I did this, Marissa and Frank were exiting the ride. When Frank saw me, he asked what could be wrong. I told him, through tears, of this experience and of the one two days earlier at Dollywood. "Don't be scared," he said. "She just wants you to know that she is near. Don't worry about it." I was shaken the rest of that afternoon.
It would be two days later, that I would know WHY she showed herself to me!!!
On Thursday morning, August 6, 1998, the day we were heading home after a simply magical family vacation to Tennessee, everything was wonderful. We awoke early and began the duties of packing for our 12 hour trip home. As I dressed Marissa in her little blue flowered dress, I had a little "experience". I put the dress over her head, and as I pulled it down her body, I felt compelled to push in her little "outie" belly button. As I did, I DISTINCTLY thought to myself, "I will NEVER forget your belly button." Why this thought occurred to me, I am still dumbfounded. We packed the car and checked out of the hotel.
When we pulled out of the hotel parking area, Marissa asked, as she had every morning of this vacation, "Mommy, where we going today?" I turned to look at her, in the back seat, (in her child seat!), and said, "Baby, we are going home today. Are you ready to go home?" (thinking that for certain I would hear some rebuttle) She answered, "Yeah, I ready go home." Frank and I were both shocked. I began telling her how exciting it would be to tell all her friends and teachers at school about our "bacation" (as she called it). Little did I know then that my precious Angel was going HOME, without ME!!!!!!!
In less than 30 minutes, our lives would be shattered!!! As we rode, I read Marissa a story of the "Little Mermaid" that we had picked up at a gift shop. She loved when I would use my voice to imitate the different characters. When I finished reading it, she asked to read the book to her "baby Matt". This is what she was doing when the Angels came...reading her new book to her baby brother.
We were struck from behind. When I was able to get out of the car to run around to her side of the car, I began to wail!!!! I knew. I knew that all of these pieces had come together. I screamed at Melissa, "Don't you take my baby girl...don't you dare take my baby!!!!!" I begged the Virgin Mary for her intercession! This was not to be.
Matthew and I were left at the scene. The ambulance took my Marissa and Frank, leaving us standing on the shoulder of this roadway. I begged with everyone there, "Please, I have to get to the hospital. My child is dying!!!" The officer dutifully continued his reports, oblivious to what I was going through. He told me to, "Calm down lady. You are upsetting your kid. Go sit over there. I am going to get you a ride." Matthew in my arms, I ran up and down that roadway, pleading for someone, anyone, to bring me to my child!
Finally, two men approached me. They were supervisors with the EMT's and they could transport me if we could get a child seat. I asked them to retrieve Matthew's seat, which they did.
As we drove some 40 miles to the hospital, I prayed aloud, "Jesus, please, Dear Jesus, save my baby girl. God, you cannot take my testimony. I have testified to your Greatness of my child's life. Please, Dear Jesus!!!" Then I began bargaining. "Please Dear God, give me a sign. I will know it. I will recognize it. Please give me a sign!" Just as these words left my lips, a dove, (if not a dove, an all white bird) came straight at the windshield. Both of the men in the front of this truck gasped. The dove came right at the windshield and veered straight away and skyward just before it hit! Both men turned to look at me...they had heard my pleas with God and I think they too, recognized this "sign". I again began to wail uncontrollably! "NO GOD, this in NOT my sign!!!! I don't want THAT sign!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
My whole family, my parents, two brothers, and two sisters, flew to Tennessee to be with us. We held vigil and prayed for Mercy. The following afternoon, my precious baby girl was "declared" brain dead.
The hospital staff brought us into this tiny room to tell us that our battle had been lost. Everyone began wailing. I fell to the floor. I beat on the walls. I screamed!! My mother broke apart her rosary and sobbed!!! This couldn't be happening...not after all that we had been through with her miraculous birth! Not Marissa, NOT OUR MARISSA!!!!!!!
Suddenly, I was taken over. I know that it was the Holy Spirit. I stood up, and pulled out a chair from the table before me. I sat down and beat on the table. I called on my family to be quiet. In fact, I yelled, "Listen...Shut Up!!! And the words came from the Spirit. "If this is real, if this is true, we must save others." Those were my exact words. There was no effort to speak these words. There had been no discussion about the possibility of donating my precious child's organs to save others. It was definitely the Holy Spirit that interceded. I looked across the room in search of my husband's eyes. He just looked at me, through the unbelievable pain and anguish, and he nodded.
Marissa was able to save four lives. Two four year old boys, a five year old boy, and a twenty-one year old woman.
WE LOVE YOU
AND MISS YOU SOOO VERY MUCH