Along the Broken Road

Open Letter to My Beautiful Boy

My Dearest Mason,

This past Sunday marked two weeks since your birth and two months since your father was taken to Heaven. My heart hurt so much for you. I wish there was something I could say to make sense of the fact that you will have to grow up never being able to physically meet your dad. I look at you and I see this beautiful, innocent little life who did not ask to be here, who does not deserve to grow up fatherless. It makes me angry. I will endure whatever pain I must to protect you as much as possible, but the reality of it is, this is not something I can protect you from. This isn’t something Mommy can ever make better or kiss away. It makes me feel so helpless. 

All I can promise to do is give you all the love in my heart and to talk to you about your dad every day. To show you pictures of him, tell you stories about him, and answer your questions about him as you get older. I know those questions will come – and I know some of them will be difficult for me to hear. But I’m prepared for that. I will do whatever I can to make you feel close to him. But I ask for your forgiveness and understanding in advance because I know I will fall short sometimes. Please just always remember how much I love you and how much I will ALWAYS love him. 

Let me start telling you a little about the amazing man your father was…

He was mostly known for having a heart so big it barely fit inside his chest. He was always willing to give anyone the shirt off his back, to help in any way he could. He didn’t have a malicious bone in his body. 

He was crazy smart. Seriously, your dad was a brain. He always got straight A’s while growing up, graduated as valedictorian from Saint Brendan’s elementary/middle school and then was second in his class when he graduated from Columbus High School. He got into many colleges, including Harvard. He faced some opposition/criticism when he decided he wanted to go to FIU and get a degree in Mathematics Education while persuing his dream to become a firefighter/paramedic. But he knew what he wanted, and he went for it. During his last semester at FIU, he was taking 12 credits worth of classes (actually, it may have been 15 now that I think about it), going to paramedic school at night, completing all the necessary clinical rotations on weekends, and still managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA and graduate Summa Cum Laude. Oh, and I forgot to mention he completed his bachelor’s degree in 3 years instead of 4. He was an incredibly hard worker, which is a quality I hope to teach you. 

Your dad accomplished everything he set his mind to. That was his nature- whatever he did, he did all the way. He finished Coral Springs Fire Academy with the title of Most Outstanding Student. When he completed the City of Miami Fire Academy, he was awarded the  Manuel Padron Award, also an honor given to the top recruit. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he would have aced that lieutenant’s exam and would have worked his way up to chief one day. 

He was an adrenaline junkie who loved to fish, work out, play sports, drink beer, watch movies and TV, lounge on the couch, spend days out on the boat, going to Bass Pro Shops just to browse, playing pranks on his friends. He loved me. He made sure I knew it everyday. He loved you so much and was SO excited the day we found out you were going to be a boy. Please never doubt that he wanted to be your dad more than anything. 

Lastly, I just have to mention that your father was the most handsome man I ever laid my eyes on. (Well, actually, now tied with only you.) He always made my butterflies rumble, but when he got all dressed up in a suit, tux, or when I saw him wearing his uniform – wow! Okay, sorry – Mommy is embarrassing you, I’m sure.

You would think with everything I have mentioned, that your dad had reason to be full of himself, right? But he wasn’t. He did not possess an ounce of arrogance. He was the most humble person I’ve ever known and had a way of building other people up, of bringing out the best in them. He always brought out the best in me. 

Mason, I could go on forever about your dad. He was the absolute love of my life. I know I’ll never be able to fill his shoes, but I promise to give you my all and do my best to teach you to be the selfless, humble, respectful, hardworking, loving, loyal, joyful, fearless, determined man your father was. Anything you want to know, just ask. 

You now own my whole heart,
Mommy

24 comments

  1. Julie Machado

    Maeghan,
    Thought you don’t know me, your story has really touched me very deeply. My husband has been battling his brain tumor for two years now. And the doctors have told me that he doesn’t have much time left. It’s the wrost news any human being can get… I cry every night when I lay next to him..

    I wish I can meet you one day in person. Actually my second cousin Aimee is married to Ralph’s brother…

    Stay strong there is no doubt t you’ll be a great mother.

    Love,
    Julie M.

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  2. Romina

    The love we feel for our children is unconditional and so pure, that alone will show Mason to be the man you want him to be. The love you have for his dad will show Mason the man he was and the love he had for him. May God bless you both ❤️

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  3. Yami

    Maeghan, thought you don’t know me, I have been following your story since Ralf got sick. I get so inspired by your writings, that I continue to read everything you post. I love to read about your and Ralf’s love story, I believe so much in true love. I pray for Ralf, you and Mason all the time and know the Lord is holding you as well as our Mother Mary. You are very lucky to have loved and be so loved by Ralf and he continues to be with you though Mason. You are bright, beautiful, strong and an inspiration for us women. Maybe one day you decide to write a book, I for sure would acquire it. God bless you and Mason always.

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  4. Eyda Arguelles

    Wow!!!! Incredibly touching Maeghan!!!!! I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it again, you are an amazingly courageous woman and Mason is one lucky little boy to have you as his mommy. Your writing inspires so many people out there and I hope you continue doing it as long as you wish to. My son Ruben and Michele went over there to see your precious Mason and I was so touched with the pics they took. Being a mom is the most precious gift God can give us women and he will forever be your pride and joy…..enjoy him every minute honey…..xoxo

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  5. LElrod

    Maeghan,
    I do not know you either, but we are the same age, I am another fire wife, & a new mother to a 3 month old baby boy. My husband took a class with Ralf & had only the best things to say about him. We were both very heartbroken to hear of his passing, as this *is* a brotherhood/sisterhood. I pray God keeps you both in his embrace – you astonish me with your grace under pressure & are such an inspiration. Your boy is very lucky to have such a beautifully strong mama – don’t downplay how amazing you are!
    Thinking of & praying for you ❤
    Lia Elrod

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  6. Maria Serralta-Valera

    Beautiful words that your son will hold close to his heart always. God bless you and Mason, you already are an extraordinary Mom!

    Like

  7. Michelle ozete

    Mason will definitely miss out on not having his father’s physical presence but he will make up on it thanks to having an incredibly strong, smart, good hearted and beautiful mother. God chose you to carry this heavy cross because he knew you could and that you would be able to raise this child well. There will be difficult times ahead but with faith you will be able to overcome any obstacle and I do not believe anyone including your angel Ralf doubt that Mason has the best genes ever.
    God bless you, guide you and give you the strength to overcome the pain by allowing you to raise this infant to be a happy, healthy, good man like his daddy!

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  8. You are simply incredible. I waited to read your post until the end f the evening because I knew it would be a wonderful end to a long day. Your writing is so raw, so expressive and I hope it helps heals your broken heart to know that you inspire some many people. Even people that don’t know you (I have never met neither you or Ralf), but your story me somehow drew me to you and now I feel like I have known you all along. Life has come full circle for you, and now you have a beautiful piece of Ralf with you forever and always.

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  9. Cristy

    Hi,
    I’ve been following your story since your husband was first diagnosed and your post was shared with many of my friends in request for prayers. So today, I finally got the courage (I feel a little shy since you don’t know who I am) to simply say that I admire you in so many ways. You are an inspirational woman to many. Through your journey, you enlighten & inspire people you have never even met.
    I continue to be with you in your post, and feel every word of what you write.
    Thanks for being my inspiration.
    With love,
    Cristy

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  10. Christy Romero

    Maeghan, just like on the previous letter, I cried from beginning to end. I don’t know you personally but have been praying for you and your family since I heard about Ralf’s illness. May God continue to carry you as you continue this journey, May He bless Mason and keep him safe every day of his life. May Ralf’s spirit remain with you always as your precious little boy grows. May you continue to feel him in the whisper of the wind and the warmth of the sun. You are an amazing woman and mother. You are inspiring so many people as you share your inner thoughts and beautiful memories. I will continue to pray for you, for your beautiful Mason and for the rest of your family. God bless you.

    Like

  11. Angie

    What an incredible woman , wife and mother you are. I will always pray for you and Mason to be guided with the outmost light and love and to ease the pain of having lost your soulmate. God will provide and protect you and the beautiful fruit you and Ralf created with so much love. May God bless you both always!

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    • Meaghan you are definitely an incredible woman, wife, and mother. I continuously look for new postings on your blog because you are an inspiration to countless women. Thank you for sharing pictures, sentiments and even your wonderful Mason. I look forward to your future blogs . May God always bless you and Mason.

      Tamara mother of a Firefighter

      Like

  12. susy mier

    Maeghan,
    You r an amazing beautiful and young lady. I was able to see the pics that u posted of 2011 and they are beautiful. Yes those pics would always be kept in ur heart for you to share them with Mason. I hope that you continue with your posts. This is a beautiful letter that u have written to Mason. Ralf was a an amazing person and you r too.
    May god continue to give you strength.

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  13. Arlene Rodriguez

    You don’t know me but I follow your blog. I follow it because my husband is a firefighter (Pembroke Pines) because I have 2 children, because I am amazed by your strength and heartbroken by your loss. I didn’t know either of you until my husband came home one day and shared your story. Back then Ralf was sick and he was talked about and prayed for among many firefighters. You know that they are like one huge family from city to city and county to county. I prayed too. I still pray for all 3 of you. I pray that Mason grows up to be a healthy and smart boy like his father and that he fills to heart with joy each day. Boys will do that… I have a 5 year old. I pray that Ralf has eternal peace and that he continues to guide and protect you and Mason. From what I read… It’s so wonderful that you feel his presence. He will always be with you. And last but most important I pray for you to continue to have that faith! That faith will guide you and lift you when you need it most. I pray for your health because Mason will need a healthy mommy when he starts to walk and run and play some sort of sport. God bless you and keep writing. By the way, Mason is beautiful!!

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  14. I read everything you write and everything you have gone through and as sad as it all is I feel in my heart that everything happens for a reason . I hope to see one day a book by you with all these beautiful stories.

    You are very special Meaghan. You are an angel on earth and he is an angel In heaven.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  15. Michelle

    Maeghan you are not helpless.You are amazing and Mason is incredibly lucky to have you as a Mommy. You are right, losing Ralf is a void for him but do not ever minimize or underestimate the power of your love, support and strength. Both of you will make it through together…soaring through sorrow. Lots of love and prayers your way.

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  16. Your heart has limitless capacity, though bruised, to love Mason unconditionally and through your love his eyes will see his dad. No regrets on anger, just searching for clues to this mystery so the anger dissipates with new found knowledge and guidance from Ralf looking over us; that is our remaining journey here; to learn to live like he did with total emptying of ourselves in others.

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  17. Nancy

    This Too Shall Pass

    If I can endure for this minute
    Whatever is happening to me,
    No matter how heavy my heart is
    Or how dark the moment may be-

    If I can remain calm and quiet
    With all the world crashing about me,
    Secure in the knowledge God loves me
    When everyone else seems to doubt me-

    If I can but keep on believing
    What I know in my heart to be true,
    That darkness will fade with the morning
    And that this will pass away, too-

    Then nothing in life can defeat me
    For as long as this knowledge remains
    I can suffer whatever is happening
    For I know God will break all of the chains That are binding me tight in the darkness
    And trying to fill me with fear-
    For there is no night without dawning
    And I know that my morning is near.

    …Helen Steiner Rice

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  18. Nancy

    I know there is no words to comfort you and I imagine being two weeks out of giving birth your emotions are on a wild roller coaster . Can’t even imagine with all the other things that have happened . dont worry about Mason … He will be fine with a mom like you !! And always remember this to shall pass …

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Irma Garcia Rodriguez

    What a lovely letter to your son. You don’t know me I heard about your tragedy from my niece who knew both of you. She is an alumni of St. Brendan and her ex-boyfriend went to Columbus with your hubby. I’m sure everyone expresses the same thing to you…. that there are no words to comfort you because you are the one living this horrible loss and at the same time the moat glorious event of your life…that of becoming a mommy to a son. You will love that child more than your life (I’m sure you do already) and he will grow up knowing everything you are telling him about his dad and he will become very much like that wonderful man you just lost. You are doing so remarkably well and I take my hat off to you. Please keep writing these posts so that we can continue to follow your journey to healing and making a new life. You are a very young and beautiful woman and I’m sure that right now a new man in your life is not even imaginable but it will eventually happen and you will find companionship and love again. Not like what you and Ralf shared but something wonderful to make you and your son very happy. Wishing your happiness now and always.

    Liked by 1 person

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