Sunday, May 20, 2007


This is so interesting. We started our KotaPress website in honor of Dakota 8 years ago when he died. I have blogs about my art and other work. But I never thought about having a blog just for Dakota. My space to commune with him. Lizzie, Caden's mom, is what brought me here to Share Your Story. Maybe Caden told Kota and together they got us all hooked up together here :)

Anyway. I guess maybe I'd like to make this first entry a Q&A with Dakota. So here goes: 

Me: Hi, my love. Geesh I miss you. 

Dakota: I miss you, too, Mom. But you know I am always here, right? 

Me: Yes, Kota, I know you are there. Sometimes I just feel you. Sometimes, your dad makes up little drawing and notes and signs them from you. Sometimes my friends send me ecards signed from you. I love that you are still a part of all our lives. You've grown up with us as if you were here. 

Dakota: Good. Oh, and yes, I did conspire with Janelle and then Caden to eventually get you around to here! 

Me: Kota, I often feel like you are a guide for me, pointing me toward things like this, inspiring me to be mindful, even to be playful or more creative. I wonder if that is weird? 

Dakota: Mom, what is weird? It is a judgment of your inner critic or someone else's judgment of you. There is no inner peace in that. Just accept each moment for what it is. Prescribe to it, whatever meaning feels right to you. Live fully within your own skin as comfortably as you can. Not to be complacent. But to fully be who you are right now, to be here, rather than be out in some random future trying to change or improve or be different than you are now. 

Me: Thank you, sweetie. You know, I want to thank you for leading me to Chey's mom, Dr. Jo at MISS who then led me to Dr. Peter Barr who has two sons over there with you, who then led me to Layla's mom Vanessa Gorman. Vanessa's documentary of Layla's story has so changed me. I'm moved by all that they were able to do at Layla's birth and death -- Vanessa's documentary opened my eyes to see what is possible. At the same time, I have such sadness because I was not able, at your birth and death, to vision that kind of ritual for you. Your daddy and I had no caregivers who knew enough to guide us to that kind of thing. And I have always felt badly about that. 

Dakota: I know you feel badly, Mom. But you know what? You value Layla's story so much precisely because my story was different. What Vanessa eventually shared with the world and you in Losing Layla is something that came full into your awareness exactly because our experience together was so different. If our experience had been the same or similar, you might have just glossed over Losing Layla missing the impact of it, the way it can be a tool to educate caregivers and family and friends and parents as they have their own experiences. It's okay, Mom. Your experiences with me gave rise to your ability to value what Layla and Vanessa have given your world on film. Just be okay in that for now. 

Me: Thank you. 

Dakota: No problemo, Mom! 

Me: I think I'm going to post this and go share it with your dad now. Hope he and those reading don't think I'm completely insane  :)

Dakota: If you're insane, I'm insane, they are insane, and then we're all insane and then guess what -- it becomes "normal" because we're all equally insane. It's okay, Mom. Just let it all be what it is. I love you! Glad you thought to make this blog space for us to chat! 

Me: Love you, Kota! Till next time... miracles!