…Until We Meet Again

To Chris Dec 20 1968 – April 12th 2001

16 years since you left… way too soon…

I don’t think I ever thanked you properly for believing in me… for not listening when I didn’t go outside with you… You always wanted to go somewhere… wanted to study in the sun… go to a party… or meet people at a coffee house… When I wanted to lock myself in my room you persuaded me to come out from there… you saved me from myself so many time by telling me to come and talk…

We talked about anything and everything… I wanted to tell you things but it was almost like you knew already… I know you knew what I did when I was alone…. that I didn’t have to tell you unless I wanted to… and all that you asked as for me to be safe…. I wanted to and you helped me stay safe… Thank you for that…

You taught me so many things… and many of the things you taught me neither of us knew at the time… Even long after you left… I’m still learning from you… or rather… it’s more like I am just now taking in what you said… what we talked about both in our “serious” talks and while laughing together … and from the letters you left me… I realize now that I am a better person than I would have been if I hadn’t met you… because you taught me to love other people… you taught me to care about other people… you told me to laugh… and allow myself to believe that I deserved to be loved and cared about when I believed I shouldn’t be….

I want to tell you how much I wish you’d be here…. and how much …I want to hear your jokes that always made us go rolling on the floor laughing no matter how silly they were… You would have had a ball of fun with the poop jokes… and stoma farts and tummy sounds would probably have caused me a competition of some sort… I wish I could feel your hugs and have back the moments of the “serious talks” we used to have …I wish I could tell you over and over how I feel about you as my friend… my buddy …I wish I could have told you more often about how much I love you…. and how much I appreciate you coming into my life years ago and helping me to gain at least… some sense of my life… and inviting your sister to the November concert… Thank you for that…

I have so many thoughts running around in my head right now… some that make my heart filled with love …some make me want to cry my eyes out… and everything in between… I am scared for the future… but I know I can talk to you and get my strength from your words… from the memories… You are my friend… my best friend… Thank you for everything….

Love you always and forever…

Moments of Being

The Night Before Our Last Goodbye…

I spent most of the night with her… It wasn’t bad… She was calm… unusually calm… She told me I was “doing good”…  but yet she warned me as usual, to “be careful” …  Of course I knew what she meant by that… and I told her, like I always did… not to worry…. I would…

Time passes in a blur… spent consciously in a faraway place deep inside…

It’s 5:30 in the morning… She tells me to go… I give her a goodnight kiss and head home to my wife with a black spot on my heart… It’s just a few minutes walk… 15 minutes tops…

It’s a little dark… and cloudy…  no moon  or stars in sight…  and it’s a bit chilly… but no wind

I decide to quietly look at the kids… to see if they are alright… In the girl’s room I almost fall flat on my face in the dark while trying to climb over a pile of cloths lying on the floor…

I smile… as I remember them playing dress up a few days before and Meg putting on too many layers of cloths with her sister’s assistance… then unable to get herself out of the mess since her sister refuses to help her out….

I manage to keep my balance and I stand there quietly… just long enough to hear them breathing peacefully in tune with each other….

I climb back over the mountain of clothes and into the boy’s room….

Mr. Teddy Bear and David have kicked the covers down to the floor so I pick it up and tug both of them in… But as I leave the room his arm and his leg reach out from under it…

It’s already getting close to the time when Johnny usually wakes up and I’ll just take a peek at him… just enough to convince myself that he’s OK…

From the master bedroom I can hear Amber is starting to wake up…

Within a few minutes the house is awake… and no time for me to sleep as Sunna and I had to leave early…

The Last Goodbye

We were invited to a birthday party in the city… Honestly I wasn’t that keen on going at all but I was willing to do it for my wife… and she was really looking forward to it.

A few days before… my mother had said she would be more than happy to babysit the kids but Sunna suggested we would just take the kids with us since her sister had already offered to baby-sit for us while we were at the party…

Taking five children on a long drive wasn’t exactly my idea of “a brake” or fun at the time so I told Sunna that it would be better for them to just stay at home… Somehow I got her to agree with me to leave the twins and the boys at home… We would only take Amber with us but she was only a few months old and still breast feeding…

We said our goodbyes in the morning and took off. I remember telling Sunna not to worry because we would be back the next day.

When we arrived to the city we took the baby to my sister in law and spent a few hours there… then in the evening we went off to the party. I don’t really remember much from the party but we didn’t stay there very long… At least the party was still ongoing when we left… but instead of going back to Sunna’s sister place we drove around the city for a while…

It must have been almost 3 o’clock when we decided to go to Aurora’s house and go to sleep. When we got there we could hear Amber crying and I thought that something must be wrong with her. I remember thinking something like “Maybe she was sick”…

When we got inside… Aurora was on the phone and we could see that she had been crying. When she saw us she put the phone down and walked towards us with tears flowing down her cheeks. She told us to sit down and hold each other. We had no idea what she was getting at but did what she’d told us.

I didn’t want to believe what she said….

There had been a fire at our house and our children and my mother had died. Everything was destroyed!

Chaotic Evil

I got on the phone and called my father. I realized this wasn’t some kind of a sick joke as I was hoping.  I can’t remember what we said… what words were used… but there was agitation… anger at my end of the line….

My only thought was that this was my fault.  I hadn’t done what I was supposed to do since we left the house….  and now…. it was too late…

I remember debating in my head… – what to do –

The news of the children dying was horrible but…. The mother didn’t exist anymore…

The same words kept playing inside my head… over and over again… This is all your fault diabolico….  I felt I had to do something about it…  but it had to wait…. I had to be alone for that…

Everything went crazy that night. Sunna wanted to go back home but I couldn’t find any reason to go and Aurora was also telling Sunna not to go.  She was right as this wasn’t a good time for her to be driving anyway.

Soon Aurora’s house was full of Sunna’s family.   I couldn’t stay any longer…  I took off without saying goodbye to anyone….   ended up in the nearest bar….   Had a few  drinks… and there was that voice again…

–   “This is all your fault, DIABOLICO” !

Another voice, much weaker….

–   “You’re free! –  She’s not here to control you anymore…”

I felt I could never go back there… To me it seemed that there was nothing there to go back to…

That though was even more scarier than the rest…  She wasn’t there anymore!  I was alone!  I could never say anything about it…  no one would ever know…  I was free to do what I wanted but afraid…. Afraid and relieved at the same time…

I felt guilty…. it was all my fault… I knew I had been slacking off… being careless… I was EVIL… just like she said…

–   “Put on earth to destroy people’s lives… in disguise off an angel… “

My mother wanted to take care of the children and I had convinced Sunna to leave them at home… She wanted them to come with us….   I should have listened to the signs… the dream…. nightmare a week before…

I shouldn’t have slacked of…  I needed to feel what it was like…. to burn… to feel it burning….  It had to wait until the morning….  until the pharmacy was open…

Bits and pieces…

twins

The small treasures… the memories…

Memories that give you goosebumps …make you smile…

Memories of laughter… a child voice… children playing while you work…

You remember the words they used… and you smile…

You remember Kim’s interest in learning how to play the piano… you remember her sitting on your lap at the piano asking you to play something… of her saying…

“I want to know what it feels like”

…and you remember Meg dancing around in her tutu… pretending to be a ballerina…

You close your eyes… as you play… and you can hear them… hear their little voices… hear their laughter … or their bickering over a barbie doll and what dress she should wear… You hear them solve the argument as one of them suggests the blue fairy princess dress…

“Play the tummy tickle song daddy!” one of them says…
…and they laugh… and they dance… and they laugh…

“Play something beautiful!”

…and they dance… and they smile… and they dance… like two little butterflies…

You smile… They are yours forever… and you feel you are the luckiest dad in the world…

Forever 5 years old…
Happy 29th Birthday Kim and Meg.
I love you always <3

Twenty three years…

The night before our last goodbye…

I spent most of the night with her… It wasn’t bad… She was calm… unusually calm… She told me I was good… It’s 5:30 in the morning… She tells me to go… I give her a good night kiss and head home to my wife with a black spot on my heart…

I decide to quietly look at the kids… to see if they are alright… In the girl’s room I almost fall flat on my face in the dark while trying to climb over a pile of cloths lying on the floor… I manage to keep my balance and I stand there quietly… just long enough to hear them breathing peacefully in tune with each other….

Mr. Teddy Bear and David have kicked the covers down to the floor so I pick it up and tug both of them in… But as I leave the room his arm and his leg reach out from under it…

It’s already getting close to the time when Johnny usually wakes up and I’ll just take a peek at him… just enough to convince myself that he’s ok…

From the master bedroom I can hear Amber is starting to wake up…

Within a few minutes the house is awake… and no time for me to sleep as Sunna and I had to leave early…

We were invited to a birthday party in the city about 5-6 hours away by car… I wasn’t that keen on going at all but I was willing to do it for my wife… and she was really looking forward to it…

A few days before… my mother had said she would be more than happy to babysit the kids but Sunna suggested we would just take the kids with us since her sister had already offered to baby-sit for us while we were at the party…

Taking five children on a long drive wasn’t exactly my idea of “a brake” or fun at the time so I told Sunna that it would be better for them to just stay at home… Somehow I got her to agree with me to leave the twins and the boys at home… We would only take Amber with us but she was only a few months old and still breast feeding…

We said our goodbyes in the morning and took off. I remember telling Sunna not to worry because we would be back the next day.

When we arrived to the city we took the baby to my sister in law and spent a few hours there… then in the evening we went off to the party. I don’t really remember much from the party but we didn’t stay there very long… At least the party was still ongoing when we left… but instead of going back to Sunna’s sister place we drove around the city for a while…

It must have been almost 3 o’clock when we decided to go to Aurora’s house and go to sleep. When we got there we could hear Amber crying and I thought that something must be wrong with her. I remember thinking something like “Maybe she was sick”…

When we got inside… Aurora was on the phone and we could see that she had been crying. When she saw us she put the phone down and walked towards us with tears flowing down her cheeks. She told us to sit down and hold each other. We had no idea what she was getting at but did what she’d told us.

I didn’t want to believe what she said….

There had been a fire at our house and our children and my mother had died. Everything was destroyed!

Happy Birthday Mother

Dear Mother

Hey it’s me… your son… the one you were supposed to protect from harm and give love to… remember me? I remember you…

I remember when you tied me up and showed food down my throat… sometimes it wasn’t even supposed to be eaten… or something so hot that my mouth and my throat would hurt for days… Sometimes my tummy would hurt so much I almost couldn’t move…

I remember when you woke me up in the middle of the night…. screaming at me… telling me I was lazy for sleeping… and you would push me down the stairs… I still have occasional pain in my right foot… and when I do I’m reminded of you… but I’ve learned to leave out the delusions you planted in my head… your delusions… They are not mine anymore… maybe they never really were… but instead just something that your special ability to convince people you were always right that made me believe you for so long… I just didn’t know any better…

Yes, I remember your words and for a long time… for way too long …when I left home for the first time I did what you told me to do… and for a long time after that…. I listened to you for way too long… and I didn’t go away even if I could… I came back… I believed you for way too long… or maybe I was just too afraid to find out if you were right or wrong…

I remember being angry at you for leaving me… you made me believe I had to take care of the “it”… When Karen left… you made sure I remembered it was my fault… and then…the way you left… it made me even more convinced…

Now… almost 23 years later… I know you weren’t well… you weren’t yourself… I also know I wasn’t really well either… I know all of “it” was your illness… blinding you… preventing you from being a mom…

I remember times where you and I had together… times where you didn’t feel a need to hurt me in anyway… I remember being able to sit on your lap or beside you and you would put your arms around me and tell me you cared about me… that you loved me… and even though some of those occasions there were people around… I know you meant it…

On your good days you did show me love… You told me you cared… I remember you telling me you didn’t want me to be taken away from you… that you never wanted me to leave because if I did you would die… and you cried and you told me you loved me… I believe… or at least I want to believe you had some kind of conscience… some kind of awareness of what you were doing… but fear kept you from doing anything about it… Maybe your own childhood just made you too ashamed of admitting your illness…

I remember you telling me at 17… When I left for school to don’t let anyone know about what’s going on inside my brain…. “They will lock you up” …you said… and you told me they would fill me up with medicine that would make me drool all over myself and make me feel like a zombie…

Well yes… I’ve been “locked up”… and a few times actually…. but they’ve let me out again…. every single time… and honestly… it isn’t as bad as you made it out to be… I don’t know if you ever had this experience or not… I don’t know if you were ever in a mental hospital… and maybe… this was probably the reality once…

But let me tell you something… you and I may have the same illness… not all the same symptoms or delusions though… but I would rather die than make my children go through what you put me through…

You told me once I wasn’t allowed to take my own life as it would only make ‘it’ more powerful… and within someone else who wasn’t as ‘lucky’ as I was… well I didn’t care about that when I upgraded your methods… silence and burn… in an attempt to stop my pain….

I’m not angry at you though… not really… not anymore… well… sometimes maybe… but when I am… it only makes my thoughts go places I don’t want to go… so I try not to…

I may not be the most perfect father in the world and maybe… and for a while didn’t realize I had this illness… but I did have someone in my life that helped me realize I needed help… someone who loved me with all my flaws and cared enough to do everything in her power to get help for me… To fight my brain in order to get my heart back…

I am sorry you didn’t have that….

I know my fight isn’t over… I know there will be more battles… but I can’t afford to let you hold me back anymore…

your son

PS. Happy birthday mother… and rest in peace…

C.G.Arsante (06.25.1940 – 08.16.1992)

Happy Birthday

twins

For my girls… Kim and Meg… (04/15/87 – 08/16/1992)

Today it’s been 28 years since they were born… my beautiful little girls… They were always happy, laughing, singing and dancing was their favorite thing to do… Kim loved to sit by my side and watch me play the piano… she asked me to teach her… and she was a fast learner… Meg said she wanted to live on a farm, with animals… but like many little girls she also wanted to be a princess, living in a castle… “when she grows up” as she always said…. They were only 5 years old… forever 5… yet I wonder what they would be like today if they were still here…

In my mind I can see you dance….
like two little butterflies
smiling and laughing… happy
I smile at the thought
but yet I can’t stop the tears

Happy birthday little girls…. love you forever….

– this is not me playing… This is my son… and originally made as a school project… This is however a song composted my me… dedicated to Kim and Meg — and yes… I can see them dance…

To my friend

To Chris Dec 20 1968 – April 12th 2001

Fourteen years since you left … way too soon…

I don’t think I ever thanked you properly for believing in me… for not listening when I didn’t go outside with you… You always wanted to go somewhere… wanted to study in the sun… go to a party… or meet people at a coffee house… When I wanted to lock myself in my room you persuaded me to come out from there… you saved me from myself so many time by telling me to come and talk…

We talked about anything and everything… I wanted to tell you things but it was almost like you knew already… I know you knew what I did when I was alone…. that I didn’t have to tell you unless I wanted to… and all that you asked as for me to be safe…. I wanted to and you helped me stay safe… Thank you for that…

You taught me so many things… and many of the things you taught me neither of us knew at the time… Even long after you left… I’m still learning from you… or rather… it’s more like I am just now taking in what you said… what we talked about both in our “serious” talks and while laughing together … and from the letters you left me… I realize now that I am a better person than I would have been if I hadn’t met you… because you taught me to love other people… you taught me to care about other people… you told me to laugh… and allow myself to believe that I deserved to be loved and cared about when I believed I shouldn’t be….

I want to tell you how much I wish you’d be here…. and how much …I want to hear your jokes that always made us go rolling on the floor laughing no matter how silly they were… You would have had a ball of fun with the poop jokes… and stoma farts and tummy sounds would probably have caused me a competition of some sort… I wish I could feel your hugs and have back the moments of the “serious talks” we used to have …I wish I could tell you over and over how I feel about you as my friend… my buddy …I wish I could have told you more often about how much I love you…. and how much I appreciate you coming into my life years ago and helping me to gain at least… some sense of my life… and inviting your sister to the November concert… Thank you for that…

I have so many thoughts running around in my head right now… some that make my heart filled with love …some make me want to cry my eyes out… and everything in between… I am scared for the future… but I know I can talk to you and get my strength from your words… from the memories… You are my friend… my best friend… Thank you for everything….

Love you always and forever…

Birthday memorial

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About a Boy

This is about a little boy named David…

When he was born no one was expecting him to arrive for another three weeks at least but he didn’t wait for the rest of the world to be ready.
His dad didn’t get the chance to see him arrive into the world as he was in another country far away working…

David was never quiet… he never got tired of asking questions….like he wanted to know everything there was to know….. David was the most curious kid and people who met him talked about it… His mom and dad used to joke about that and told people that his first word was “why?”

Like so many times before…. David’s dad came home very late in the night…. after many hours of work… or maybe it was morning already…. There was nothing different about that night… it was just as any other…. As many times before daddy decides to take a look at the kids….
Mr. Teddy Bear and David had kicked the covers down to the floor so daddy pick it up and tug them both in…

Everyone seems to be sound asleep…. but within a few minutes the house is awake….

Soon daddy has to leave again along with mommy and David’s baby sister…. Before they leave David climbs up to his dad lap and asks… “Why are you leaving? – Why can’t I come with you? Why can’t we all go?”

His daddy gives him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and tells him to be good…. and take care of the house until they come back….

Mommy and daddy never saw David again….

David

Never in a million years

For Johnny (June 20th 1991 – August 16th 1992)
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Never in a million years
So many things left unlearned
But darkness came and took you
…took you all away
…too little …too soon
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Never in a million years
So many things left unsaid
I’m alone in the night
Darkness fills my soul
Hiding my feelings
Out of everyone’s sight
Despair fills my soul
Which as a fact is quite strange
Cause inside feels empty
The sadness and confusion
Like a lost little boy
I feel like an oyster
Without its precious pearl
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Never in a million years
So many things left undone
And then like magic…
Like you were speaking to us…
Telling us to be OK
You sent us a gift
…most precious gift
It felt like you were here
Living with us… through him
Giving us strength
To live life and not “just be”
I’ll never forget
And I’ll always miss you
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Never in a million years
But we’ll meet again
This just has to be true
(c) 1998 Gabriel

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