I remember that cold, January evening when the star was born. Two minutes later, another star was born. And from that moment on my life was catapulted into the hectic days and nights and months and years of raising twins.

And the first-born twin was Aleta. She was beautiful, with eyes that sparkled and twinkled, a laugh that tinkled, and a heart that went out to anyone in need...her family, eventually her children, her patients. She became a nurse and she was much loved. I remember once, in college, she went to where there were homeless people and talked with them, just trying to understand why their life seemed so hopeless. She loved fiercely.
Excerpt from a teen letter to mom while she visited out of town: "Dear Mom, Hello! I love you alot and boy do I miss you. I just thought I'd write to let you know how much I love you and that I'll never stop thinking about you. You're the best mom anyone could ever have!............... " Several years ago she became a single parent. She worried about her children all the time. Having grown up in a single parent home, she had emotional needs I never knew about until she was grown and told me. My heart loved her even harder then.
A pre-teen little league cheerleader

Once a hopeful bride.

A beautiful young lady.
One of her children is Lindy, and Lindy has Down Syndrome. She called Lindy her little shadow and chuckled when she said it. She took Lindy everywhere: shopping, swimming, camping, working with her one-on-one, teaching her to sign, teaching her about life. A wonderful mother.

If you walk through a park and see a lady sitting on a bench with her hands over her face, shoulders shaking, that's me....grieving. I lost her on Sunday, May 4 in a freak ATV accident in the mountains in the Tahoe area. I never liked it there, even when she first took me there years ago. She loved it. She thought those God-forsaken, ugly, Nevada/California mountains were so beautiful. Not me. She never had a chance as an adult to see the wonders of the Blue Ridge mountains, the Shenandoahs, the Poconos. So she settled for the shale-covered, barren, whatever mountain range that is. Those mountains took her from me, and I hate them. But it's where she wanted to be.

It's where she is now, by choice.

If you hear a loud, haunting wailing in the darkness of the night, that's me, calling for my child to be returned to me. Or perhaps it's her twin, searching for the spirit of her other half.

Excerpt from an email I received on Mother's Day, 2006: "Happy Mother's Day Momma! I want to take this minute to explain that it is because of you that my life is so great. I have taken all your words of wisdom and am practicing them now. It's working just fine. Thank you so much for guiding my life the way you do. I miss you so much. Check your mailbox this week to grab your surprise. It may be late but at least I'm consistent, never without you in my mind as the best momma for me!!! I love you..........God Bless you......Rainbow." That was her nickname. Rainbow. And she was. The thoughtful one.

Note written on a birthday card she sent me in 1996 .....   "I love you every single second of my life! And if you're ever gone, your love will still always be in my heart, my soul, my tissues, my organs, blood and especially my eyes! xox

"Now you're the one that is gone Aleta, and I love you as you loved me.  My heart, my soul, my tissues, my organs, blood, and if I close my eyes I see you standing in the room and I can hear your voice.  Always a talker.

Aleta, a hero. She saved her daughter's life before she lost her own. When she was on that icy forest road, she put the child off and told her to wait while she got across the ice patch and back to a safe place. That's what the "authorities" pieced together.  That's where Aleta's fiance found Lindy - standing by the road waiting for her mommy to come back up that incline she slid over, that heavy machine on top of her.

Things she loved:

- Those mountains
- Guinea pigs and bunnies
- Her dog 
- Family
- Especially her twin
- Camping and Quadding
- Her precious children
- Her work as an R.N.
-Her fiance
- Life
- Smiling - especially smiling

Excerpt from a note she left me after a visit in July 2001: " I love you so much....I'll take care of you forever whenever you need me......(heart, heart, xoxo) Dr. Black, BSN, RN"........We always called her Dr. Black!

Her fiance told me she woke up that morning in the campsite and said" Isn't it wonderful to wake up next to someone you love?"

The week before the tragedy she went to see her twin, and when she got home she sent her beloved twin a bible and a picture of Jesus, with Matthew 5:3-12 marked. She wanted her sister to apply those lessons to her own life.

 There is a heaviness inside me that won't go away. Part of my heart is broken off, and though it will eventually heal over, it will never be repaired or replaced. And how can a twin left behind ever heal?

 There is no creativity left in me. All my paints are now put away. I am colorless.


Just like a beautiful flower. She grew, she blossomed, then she was cut from the stem of life and perished. I am grateful only that she found her spiritual self before she left. I love you my child.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.


May 2008


I was full of memories today and visited my own old blog. Even after 9 years, the memories still bring tears and my heart is still cracked. It has healed over but the crack is still felt. My child is in the mountains where she requested to be, given back to nature now.
Aleta's fiance, even after these long years, still goes to her scatter site and clears the foliage around her cross. Thank you Richard. Aleta told me once you were soulmates. It must be so.