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Day 2190

Anniversary of Constance’s Passing

On March 15, 2018, my daughter Constance Jervis Mar-Yohana died suddenly. At the time, she was eight years old and my only child. Her unexpected death from a cancerous brain tumor meant broken hearts for me and all her loved ones. I was fortunate to have such a loving, fun daughter for eight years. We all still miss and love her.

The following is subsequent event timeline (excluding traumas that involve the healthcare of others or that could result in legal action against others):

In 2018, my then only child died.

Immediately afterward, Constance’s father decided we were going to sell and move out of our family home, which we did.

Constance’s service dog and our beloved family pet Otis moved to Oregon to help another family.

Then Constance’s father and I divorced, and he moved to the West Coast. Much could but won’t be said about this.

In 2019, I began fertility treatments in the hopes of having another child.

In 2020, the pandemic arrived.

The pandemic was stressful for everyone.

My mom works in a hospital and wouldn’t take time off to avoid infection. When I pressed her on the issue, she said it was more important for others who were at higher risk to avoid infection. I tried to channel my stress into productive activities like turning all my clothes into fabric masks and sending them to family, friends, volunteers, and my former job’s clients.

I married Sid via Zoom. Thank you to everyone who donated to charity in celebration of our wedding. Events related to that and being a newlywed are for another post on another day.

Thanks to the pandemic, we were reliant on realtors and their websites to see the inside of a cottage we bought. After we closed and got the keys, we discovered that all the photos of our new home were highly edited. It turned out that our “historic cottage” was a dump featuring broken windows and holes in walls. My husband lost his mind. He wanted to sue to get out of the purchase. I knew I was secretly days pregnant and wanted to live closer to my family as soon as possible so I refused. He was justifiably upset with us being victimized and by my unwillingness to hold the seller accountable.

As family attempted to fix up the house, I also tried not to lose the growing (and still mostly secret) pregnancy. On the way to Eden’s birth, there were miscarriages and false starts, which are common with high-risk pregnancies. Another embryo, which would have been Eden’s twin didn’t make it. I was fearful of everything.

There were two reasons why I waited until the last possible moment to tell anyone at work that I was pregnant. First, I feared that I would miscarry and have to tell everyone I’d lost the baby (again). Second, I was concerned that they would fire me. I know that firing someone for being pregnant is illegal, but employers can cook up any excuse why they fired someone; It happened to my sister-in-law when she was pregnant. I did arrange for an interim executive director, and she was ready to step in as I stepped out.

There were complications involved in the birth of my second child. Despite the high risks of a late-in-life pregnancy, I waited to schedule a C-section so that it wouldn’t fall on the anniversary of Constance’s passing and on the day after a board meeting for the benefit of my job. Those were my poor decisions. I shouldn’t have put Eden and my life behind the needs of a job.

As the University of Chicago’s medical team revived her tiny, purple body, I thought I was about to lose my second child. Fortunately, she survived.

I had complications and we recovered together for a couple of days and was then transferred to a regular hospital room.

We were blessed to have my mom, a registered nurse, with us. I named her Eden because she is my paradise.

I had to return to work quickly because the interim executive director had a more lucrative job waiting for her. Also, I was in the process of on-boarding much-needed additional staff members.

During my second week back at in person meetings, I was driving to a meeting at a restaurant with baby Eden in the car when another driver hit me on the Chicago Skyway.

On the first impact, which resulted from the other driver’s SUV hitting mine, Eden cried. When our vehicle flew into the cement median, there was a second impact that made Eden abruptly stop crying. I was terrified and called 911. We were by the exit to Comer Children’s Hospital, where Eden was born. The EMTs wanted to take her there and take me to the adult emergency room (ER). I was terrified to be separated from Eden and went with her to the children’s ER. Then I received care the next day. I spent over a year in post-concussion physical therapy and treatment for a traumatic brain injury. Miraculously, after the accident Eden was still perfect.

My phone had been hacked sporadically beginning in 2021. However, in 2023, the hacking intensified and expanded to any device with iCloud access. It became a major problem for me when doing my job, as did the stress of the work environment. I posted a video about the hacking, so I won’t reiterate that. I may share more about my work on another occasion.

In December 2021, Otis, our former family pet, and Constance’s service dog, passed away. Much like Constance, Otis died suddenly of cancer.

In 2023, my family dog Lakes, a French bulldog, died from complications of a brain infection that he had when we got him. He was just a puppy.

If you’re a dog person then you might imagine what those loss so soon after losing Constance felt like.

Unfortunately, due to the loss of Sid’s job, I couldn’t donate to the charities for Constance—which is something I do in her memory—on last year’s anniversary, March 15, 2023. This year I am the one unemployed. Thank you to everyone who donated to charity in Constance's memory in the past.

In 2023 I had to step down from the board of Aspiritech, a place I volunteered in Constance’s memory. This was an important way that I remembered Constance.

On the 2023 anniversary week, Eden and I were very ill and couldn’t even visit Constance’s tree. I cried for Constance in bed.

This year (2024), we made it to Cherry Preschool, where Papa took Eden and I to see Constance’s Tree. We left flowers. Next year we hope to visit Constance’s Corner at Aspiritech’s headquarters too.

On the way home from Constance’s Tree, Eden giggled at her hiccups. I thought that the moment would have been perfect if Constance was with us. She always had a great sense of humor. I am lucky to have had my two girls in my life.

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Unknown member
Mar 15

Oh Constance, I miss you baby girl. XO

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