Posted by Mick O'Toole on September 15, 2019
September 14th (yesterday) was your birth and death day 23 years ago. You were only 13 weeks from being born. You were due on Christmas Eve. I will always love you, my darling. Love, Mommy
Posted by Mick O'Toole on March 6, 2019
I will always love you my darling. I feel you with me always. 
Love, Mommy

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Posted by Mick O'Toole on September 15, 2019
September 14th (yesterday) was your birth and death day 23 years ago. You were only 13 weeks from being born. You were due on Christmas Eve. I will always love you, my darling. Love, Mommy
Posted by Mick O'Toole on March 6, 2019
I will always love you my darling. I feel you with me always. 
Love, Mommy
Recent stories

For Samuel, Goodbye

Shared by Mick O'Toole on March 6, 2019

You don’t have a fluffy quilt

To cover your little baby head.
A blanket of grass wet with dew
Covers you instead.

You don’t have a lullaby
Sung to you softly over and over again,
But you have the breeze and a chorus of crickets
Blending a sweet refrain.

You don’t have a cheerful light
Shining you comfort in your room,
But the silver stars light your darkness, my darling
And the moon.

You don’t have these mother’s arms
Wrapping around and holding you tight,
But you have a mother’s eternal love
Holding you close to her day and night.

You don’t have a fluffy quilt,
You don’t have a sweet refrain,
You don’t have a cheerful light,
And you don’t have the pain.

Niki Flow  (fka) Sara Michele O’Sullivan
Copyright 2003.  2015.
All Rights Reserved.
For My Children collection.

Samuel Christopher, b/d September 14, 1996.


Shared by Mick O'Toole on March 6, 2019

Samuel was named for his father’s brother (Samuel) and for one of my best childhood friends (Christopher).

Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers.  When I carried Samuel, I was on a journey out of the deepest, most terrible darkness of my life.  Samuel didn’t come with me all the way, but I believe he gave up his life so that I could move on.

In September, Samuel died. I held his perfect tiny body in my hand. He was so beautiful. He had a full head of black hair, and each tiny finger had a nail on it.  He had square hands like mine, and chiseled cheekbones and coffee-colored skin like his father.  We buried him.  On his headstone is an angel and the words to a Native American song my son Joe taught me:  “Sleep, sleep little one.”   Joe sang it to his brother before his was born. He sang it at his gravestone too until Samuel’s father took even that away from us.

Samuel died in my seventh month of pregnancy.  Had he lived, my children and I would have been tied to a vicious psychopathic stalker and killer (his father).  His father’s physical and psychological abuse was probably the reason Samuel died.

After he died, his father threatened to kill me for killing his son.  He left threatening notes on Samuel’s grave so that even the comfort of visiting his grave was lost to us.  I tried to talk to Samuel’s father and appease him. I met him in public places and tried to reason with him.  He begged me to take him back. When I refused, he told me no other man would have me. He’d kill me first.

One night he broke into our house with a machete.  He was a professional soccer player in South America.  He was strong and fast, and I didn’t have a chance against him.  The only thing that saved me that night was that he was drunk at the time so I got away.  The cops didn’t save me.  They took their sweet time.  My dog didn’t save me and didn’t even bark.  Samuel’s father had been my husband. He had lived with us for a year.  I brought a monster into our house.

The night he broke in, and the cops came and took him away. I tore my entire big toenail off in the fight with him. I understand now why they use that method for torture.  The cops took him to jail in my town and let him go the next day.   They had a very cocky attitude about the entire thing. I was the one who tried to kill herself, the waitress who used to have a great job working for attorneys. I was nobody.


The next day, I started packing.  I put my kids in the safest places I could find, I sold my car (to my neighbor for a ludicrously low price, but I was desperate), took my son and fled to the other side of the country.  My friends in California opened their home to Joe and me.  I got a great job. I loved California and the people there.   But I kept running.  Fear chased me like a demon.

In Houston, in a hotel on some highway, after walking for miles from the bus station (after a 48 hour ride on the bus), we landed again.  That night I had a dream.  I was on a yellow school bus in the middle of a blasted out landscape.  It looked like some kind of post-apocalyptic war zone.   As far as the eye could see was a firebombed, vacant city.  The sky was empty — no clouds, no birds.  Vacant.  I heard a noise and looked behind the bus. I saw my oldest children,running and screaming, “Mommy!  Mommy!” and chasing the bus.  I ran to the back of the bus and tried to open the door but it wouldn’t budge.  I screamed their names.  They were getting further away, and I couldn’t get off they bus.  They were all alone out there, and I had to get to them. I turned around and yelled for the driver to stop.

There was no one on the bus except me.

I woke up sobbing.  I immediately knew exactly what the dream meant.  The bus was my fear.  I had to go back and face everything. I had to go back and be present through it all.  I borrowed money from a friend and we took a plane back to NJ.   It was so hard.  I had to face the monster in court both to get a divorce and to get a restraining order.  The judge warned him he would go to jail for a long long time if he came near me.

Everyone in my family was furious at me. It was rough.  I stayed put because I had to be there — as close as I could — for my kids.  I couldn’t get them back.  I couldn’t get back into my house.  I couldn’t get anything from my house back except the few things I’d stored at a friend’s.  I lost everything.  We lost everything.  We were blown apart, our entire family.  That’s the mistake I made that I have to forgive, the biggest mistake of all the big mistakes of my life.  I have to live with it, sit with it, forgive it and move on.

That was 19 years ago.  Had he lived, Samuel would have turned 18 on Christmas Eve, when he was supposed to be born.  One day a few years later, I was sitting in my mom’s kitchen.  I had lost all my kids but one. One by one, because of choices and circumstances, I lost five children.  All I had was my youngest son now.  It was too much. I couldn’t take the pain.  It’s not that I didn’t deserve it, I told my mom, but my kids didn’t deserve it.  We were going to be a family. It was supposed to be so wonderful.  I lost everything.  Why did God take Samuel, away, too?

Then I told my Mom the deepest shame of all.

“I told my friend Christen from Carpentry School about Samuel’s father, how scared I was.  She knew he made me quit school.  I told her I was terrified of him and didn’t want to be tied to him for life.  My friend said:  ‘Ask the baby to go home.  It’s his choice.’

“So, Mom, I did. I asked him.” I began sobbing.

“You didn’t hurt yourself.  His father did,” she said.  “If Samuel had lived, you would have been tied forever to his father.  Forever Micky.”

She was right.

Saint Christopher

In the legend of Saint Christopher, he carried a child across a river.  Once they got to the other side, the child revealed his true form. He was Christ.   So, maybe it’s just an opiate but I don’t care. I believe Samuel loves me.  I believe he loves all of us, his brothers and sisters. He didn’t want us to be tied to the darkness in his father any more.   He carried us all across the river, and then he went home.  We survived.  We got free.  There are scars, and there needs to be healing.

There will be healing.