Vanessa Johnston
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Her legacy
Vanessa Lane...Our Angel  

Vanessa Lane

Vanessa has touched the hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to know her.  She has even touched the hearts of many people all over the world that never knew her but who have read her story on the various web sites that we have for her.  The Internet can be a wonderful thing!

Vanessa is in our lives everyday.  She is always in our hearts.  I always have family members telling me of different experiences they have had where they know that she was with them.  I believe it because I have those experiences myself.

On the 1st anniversary of Vanessa's passing, October 8,2003, we planted a little garden for her out in the front yard.  We planted two pink rose bushes, calendulas (they’re her birth month flower), periwinkles, pentas, and begonias.  The rose bushes we planted had these huge fragrant blooms when we first put them in the ground.  They were beautiful.  We live in Florida and the rose bushes we got were supposed to grow blooms for most of the year.

After those first blooms died, we didn't get any more roses.  I fertilized and watered, but there just wasn't any roses blooming on those rose bushes!  The calendulas started to grow and the other plants were doing well, but no roses.  I wanted those roses to bloom so badly!!  Seven months went by with nothing.  Then in May 2004, a week before Mother's Day, I noticed a little bud.  I watched it over the next couple of days, but it started to droop quite a bit and it looked as if it was going to die without blooming.

Then on the morning of Mother's Day, I went out front and looked in Vanessa's garden, and there was the rose fully bloomed!  It was so pretty and so fragrant!  I brought everyone out to see it.  I took some pictures and then I clipped it the next day and put it in a vase on Vanessa's memory case mantle. 

All those months with no blooms on those bushes, and then a week before Mother's Day one shows up and then blooms exactly on Mother's Day!  That one was Mother's Day present from my baby girl.  There are signs all around us.  If we just open ourselves to them we will see them.

I believe that before we are born we have already chosen the family we will be born into.  We choose the souls that we want to be connected with.  That is why I always say that I am honored that Vanessa chose me to be her mother.  She has taught us all the true meaning of love and strength.

I think that those we remember can never really die... they will live on through us and in our hearts.  About 9 months after Vanessa's birth and death, I got a portrait tattoo of her.  It looks just like her, and I love having her right on my arm where I can see her and kiss her face!

In July 2004, Vanessa became a big sister!  On July 30, in the same room where Vanessa was born, Liana Jolie joined our family.  She was born the day before my birthday!  She is healthy and happy, and as she grows, she will learn all about her big sister Vanessa.  We have Vanessa's pictures all over the house.  She is all around us.  I know she watches over her brother and sisters.

I miss her and I always will.  She has touched me so deeply.  My heart and my life are better off because of her having been with me.  My children have been my greatest teachers, and Vanessa has taught me so much, and she continues to do so through her loving spirit.  I will love her and miss her always.



Vanessa has another little sister!!  On July 25, 2008 at 7:15 a.m. Kyah Lanae was born.  She was born at home unassisted (only mommy, daddy & the sleeping kids).  She was 8 lbs 3 oz and 21" long.  She loves to sit in her swing or bouncy seat in front of Vanessa's memory case and look at all the pretty, sparkly stuff inside.

A Poem I wrote...  

I wanted to share a little poem I wrote.  After we lost Vanessa, we really didn't think there would ever come a time when we would ever consider trying to have a child again.  It was just too scary to even think about.  After Vanessa's 1st birthday and the first anniversary of her passing, we started to talk about the possibility of having a baby.  We didn't tell anyone, and as far as any of our family knew. we were not going to have any more children.  We decided to try, and we were successful on our very first cycle.  I became pregnant at the very end of October 2003.  As a matter of fact, the "fertile date" was Halloween.  As soon as I got a positive pregnancy test, I announced the news to our unsuspecting family with this poem.  I went to each of their houses and told them I had written a poem about motherhood and wanted their input on it.  Here's the poem...

My Journeys As A Mother And Wife

I have embarked upon the journey
of motherhood more than once.
What a wondrous miracle!
A person created in just 9 months!

Every child born to me,
unique in their own way.
I am thankful for my children
every minute of every day.

My first child born to me...
a son....
so handsome and so strong!
My second child born....
a daughter...
so beautiful with hair so long!

My third child born to me...
my precious daughter, Vanessa Lane.
Only a moment in my arms
how I wish she could have stayed.
And although I cannot touch her,
my love for her will NEVER fade!

Each one of my sweet children,
so precious and so dear.
My angel who is far from me,
and my children who are near.

My journeys into motherhood
have been the best times in my life.
The things I like most about myself
are that I'm a mother and a wife.

It seems like only yesterday
my role as "mommy" first began.
Now here I am all these years later
embarking on that journey once again.

Another sweet amazing journey,
as a mother and wife.
For you see...
in just 8 short months
I'll welcome another child into my life.

(Estimated due date: July 24,2004!!)

Needless to say there were many tears that day!!

My pregnancy went well, and Liana Jolie Johnston was born on July 30,2004 (the day before my birthday!)  She was born in the same room where her sister Vanessa Lane was born.

We have Vanessa's pictures everywhere, and Liana will know who she is and how amazing she was.

Our children are our gifts.  Whether we have them for 6 days or 60 years.  No matter if we are lucky enough to hold them in our arms, or we only get to hold them in our wombs.  They are our greatest teachers.  Keep them in your heart and cherish them.

"We need not walk alone...."  

Click here for:
The Compassionate Friends

Special days to remember ......  

Click here to learn more about:
National Children's Memorial Day

Click here to learn more about :
Pail Remembrance Day
(There are also a lot of helpful links for pregnancy and infant loss at the PAIL site)

What is Amniotic Band Syndrome  

If you would like to know more about Amniotic Band Syndrome click here:
What Is ABS?

The Waterbug Story...  

One of the hardest things to do is to explain death to a child, but when the person who has died is a child, and that child is their sibling... it's just unbearable and very difficult.  My children were 6 years old and almost 3 years old when Vanessa passed, and they had a hard time understanding that she wasn't coming back.  The chaplain who did Vanessa's service told a story about a water bug.  I think it's a nice little story and can help a child understand a little better in a way that they can relate to.  Here’s the story....

The Water Bug Story

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs.  They were a happy colony living far away from the sun.  For many months they were very busy scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond.  They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends, clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another, "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she's going?"  Up, up, up it slowly went.  Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight.  It's friends waited and waited, but it didn't return...

"That's funny!" said one water bug to another...

" Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second...

"Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third...

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally, one of the water bugs gathered its friends together.  "I have an idea.  The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."  "We promise", they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk.  Up, up, up he went.  Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen into the broad and free lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise.  He couldn't believe what he saw.  A startling change had come over his old body.  His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail.

Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings.  The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body.  He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself above the water.

He had become a dragonfly.  Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air.  He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.

By and by, the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest.  It was then that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond.  Why... he was right above his old friends the water bugs!  There they were scurrying around just as he had been doing some time before.

Then the dragonfly remembered the promise.  Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down.

Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away.  Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water.

"I can't return!", he said in dismay.  "At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise.  Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body.  I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too.  Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.

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