It’s Superbowl Sunday and my thoughts have travelled to the past. Not the recent past but, back when this photo was taken. While I cannot remember the exact year, what I do believe is that this moment was when my step-daughter was close to 15 years old. She would have been 31 today and while I live with regrets about our relationship, today I’d like to remember our happy times like his one. The hard part is we did not have contact over the past decade and I never got to tell her what was truly in my heart. Life took us both in different directions and ultimately fentanyl poisoning took her life nearly 6 months ago. I have not shared publicly the pain I have felt over her death but those closest to me know how difficult these months have been and some even have understood that they should not be surprised by my reaction or response to grief simply because they didn’t understand why we didn’t have contact for several years.
I took Natashia into my heart when she was a tiny baby. I taught her to read. I taught her the letter, “N”. I remember her first day of kindergarten, taking her to the doctor, to church, to school and mostly I remember so many little moments. Recently, I found some letters she had written me. That was a comfort. My heart will never be the same after her death. I did not get to say goodbye or try to make sense of the past with her. I did not get to tell her how much I loved her and I did not get to say I’m sorry. Reasons for this are not simple and all these things are things I’m trying to unravel. In the meantime, I wrote a song that I shared with a select few. This week I will be recording her song in the studio and hopefully will have the courage to share with you all. I don’t want her to be forgotten and I don’t want anyone else so young to die from this horrible drug. I know I will see her again one day in heaven but today, I really want to wish her a Happy, Peaceful, Adventurous and Loving Birthday.
Happy Birthday, Natashia. I love you. Lori-Mom
Natashia Monique Stocker ~ February 12, 1992 – August 15, 2022