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A Special Bond


I thought this over several times before posting this story as I didn't know what the reaction was going to be. But as usual, I would like to know what my fellow posters think. As usual, my story is long because I have added explanations. So here is my story:

Recent stories on this site got me remembering a case that I dealt with as a social worker. Also, the note by Minimom on the story "Ghostly Smell", made me feel sad at the outcome of this case. The note by Minimom was, "I think that these intense emotional bonds act almost like a magnet, drawing them to you. When my ex died he was in Florida and I was in Colorado and I knew he wasn't well but had no idea he was terminal. Even though we had gone on to marry others we still loved and cared for each other, we also spoke on the phone when we could. That kept the bond strong. The very last thing he said to me was that he always had and always would love me. The feeling was mutual."

I have changed the names to protect the people involved. As mentioned above, when I was working as a social worker, I dealt with a case where the father of the child had come to us to help him find a new home for his child. Patrick was a caring father who loved his son, John but he was terminally ill with cancer and doctors had given him only 6 months to live. Patrick was about 35 years old and his son, John was about 7 years old when I was assigned their case.

As I got to know Patrick, we became fast friends and I felt left like we had a long lost connect. It felt like he was a big brother and it didn't hurt that Patrick had the nicest Irish accent. When I was training to become a social worker, I was told to avoid becoming emotionally involved because it will be hard for us in the end but with Patrick and John, it was different and difficult not to get invested. Patrick told me that he had come from Ireland to Canada to find a better way of life about 15 years ago. He said that he fell in love with the country and also fell in love with a beautiful Mexican lady. They dated for a while and got married. Even though there were lots of people who were happy for them and their marriage, there were people who didn't want them getting married including his ex - wife's uncle and brother. In the end, they ended up separating and going their own separate ways (even though they loved each other). Though out the years, they did keep in touch and Patrick confided in me that he should have fought harder to keep Maria and that was one of his regrets. I had to remind Patrick that if they didn't go their separate ways, he wouldn't have a gorgeous and polite little boy like John.

As a social worker, I did my job in trying to find a permanent home for John after Patrick passed but I became a friend to Patrick and John and as a friend I helped emotionally (even though, many times, I wanted to break down and cry for what Patrick was going though and to see John preparing for his father's dead. But I didn't do that because it would have been a dishonour to Patrick's strength and outlook on life. He didn't hate the world or God for what happened to him). As time went on, my family got to know Patrick and John. But to the every end, I couldn't find a permanent placement for John.

Patrick died peacefully in his sleep on July 5, 2006. Patrick spent celebrating Canada's Day weekend (July 1st) with John, then on the third he went into the hospital for his outpatient treatment and went to sleep and never woke up.

The night before I found out that Patrick died in his sleep, I saw him in my sleep. (Like my mother and grandmother, I could see ghosts/spirits in my dreams and through feelings). In the dream, I saw that he had the healthy glow of a handsome Irish guy and he was smiling. He told me that he had come to trust me in the time he has known me and that I would know what to do with John. He also told me that he had complete trust in me and that he knew I would never fail him. Then he was gone. I finally broke down and started crying when I felt this comfort come over me. It was so peacefully, it felt like someone giving me a bear hug. I just knew it was Patrick. My room is next to my parents' room and my mom must have heard me crying and she came into my room and woke me up. I looked at her and told her that Patrick died. In the morning, Patrick's lawyer called to say that he had passed.

At the time of Patrick's dead, John was staying with his Godparents and I was constantly there to make sure he was okay and to help with the preparation of Patrick's funeral. Looking back, I didn't know how I held it together but I did that just for John. I knew that it didn't do anybody any good if the social worker assigned to helping John and Patrick broke down.

John's godparents were an older couple and I knew that it was difficult for them to take of John on a regular basis, so I had filled out paper work to have John stay with me and my family. I seriously thought that I would face a lot of hurdles for that to happened but I later found out that Patrick had listed me as one of the care givers for John after John's godparents in his will (I was downright floored by this because I didn't expect that to happen). Anyways, John was staying with me when he told me that the morning that his father died, he heard his father waking him up by saying, "Wake up buddy, life's too short to sleep." (That's what he said to John every morning, according to John). I took turns taking care of John between his godparents while I found a permanent place for him to live.

Patrick didn't want John growing up with his 2nd ex - wife (and John's mother) as he believed that John wouldn't have a stable home with her. I didn't understand why when Patrick told me this. Patrick only told me that his ex-chose career over family and left. By law, I had contacted John's mother and when I did I got the shock of my life. His mother didn't want him and gave up her parental rights because she didn't want to settle down. She was enjoying her journalism career. I finally did find someone to adopt John. It was Maria, Patrick's 1st ex - wife. Patrick had grown up as a Catholic and one of the conditions after he passed was that John still attends church every Sunday. Usually, it is John's godparents that take him to church but for some reason they couldn't take him so I took him. I sat in the back while John went to the front for the mass. While I was sitting there, I prayed in my own way for a miracle, sign, or anything to guide me to help John because at that time, I started getting a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I wasn't going to able fill Patrick's wish to place John in a home where he would feel safe and at the same time have room to grow. I don't know if it was the atmosphere of the church or if it were a sign but when I opened my eyes, the first thing I heard was someone in the church calling out to a Maria. That name stuck with me for the rest of the day. It was the end of the day, when I realized why the name Maria stuck with me. Maria was name of Patrick's 1st ex - wife. I knew that they separated but still loved each other. I knew it was farfetched and I didn't know whether it would be a dead end but I knew I had to try. I was able to track down Maria with difficult hiccups along the way and as they say got the ball rolling. I explained to Maria that Patrick had died of cancer and that he left behind little John and that I was left responsibility to find him a home as his mother didn't want him.

Maria broke down and then asked me when Patrick died and when I mentioned the date, she started crying uncontrollable. When she finally calmed down, she explained that the past couple of months, she started thinking about Patrick and was wondering how he was doing. Since she lost contact with Patrick, she started looking for him to see if there was a possibility of getting back with him because in her own words "I finally grew a spine and told my uncle and brother to mind their own business." The day Patrick died, she felt a sense of grief for a while and the felt calm like someone was hugging her and felt that it was Patrick. That renewed her conviction to find Patrick because she was about to give up.

When I asked Maria if she was willing to adopt John, she said yes and we started taking the steps to file all the paperwork. I don't know how people have adopted kids but the paperwork could drive anyone insane; you need a lot of patience for it. Anyways, the adoption went though and John (although, he greatly misses his father) is now settled in his new home and happy. Maria also has respected Patrick's wish that John follow the Catholic faith and go to church on Sundays (this is made easy as Maria is also Catholic). I get to see John every once in a while and he also gets to see his godparents.

After everything had settled, I had the same warm feeling that I got from Patrick and felt a big weight come off of me. I knew and felt that Patrick was really happy where John ended up. There were a lot of cases that affected me both emotionally and physically but I think Patrick and John's case topped it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, geetha50, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Ann4shadow (1 stories) (36 posts)
7 years ago (2017-02-24)
Dear Geetha, I have read everyone of your stories and I really think you are a very special person. I doubt if you will ever read this message because it was so many years ago that you were on here... But just in case... I felt the need to let you know that your stories really helped me and they mean a lot to me. Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful life! I hope you add more stories someday...
Khili180 (3 stories) (78 posts)
10 years ago (2014-09-19)
Wow! I'm actually sitting here crying! Such a Wonderful story! What a lovely person you are geetha didi! To care so much for the two of them, then to go through all that crazy paper work, and to care for the little things... Just wow! And to think your family and you kept john at your home while he couldn't find one is so touching:)) ) )
I totally love the way you got that signal in church to contact Maria, and then inspite of the hurdles, managed to do it... I'm sure Patrick and and john and Maria will thank you eternally! Though I wish Maria had chosen to stand up earlier, I think it's extremely sweet of her to take john now! Glad to hear you're in touch with them! Another of your lovely stories that goes to my favourites! Thank you for sharing:) take care!
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-28)
Thank you stephyw2001 and darkness for you comments.

When I saw Moongrim's comment, I had to go back and check if it was the same person. I think it's because Moongrim doesn't have any beef with me or maybe he's becoming soft but either way it was nice of him.

You are right, everyone could learn from Maria's experience but what can we do? People have to learn their own lessons in life. I think Maria will always live with that regret for the rest of her life.
stephyw2001 (guest)
13 years ago (2011-10-26)
Wow, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do, but between yours and Vandessa's story, I'm not sure I can catch up while at work! 😭 These stories are so emotional! I'm glad things worked out for John, but wow. How sad. I feel bad for Maria, I bet she wishes she would have "grown a spine" earlier so she could have seen Patrick before he died. 😢 I guess this serves as a lesson to always do what you think is right, and always listen to that voice in your head. Thank you for sharing.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-18)
Geetha50: Your story was absolutely brilliant you seem like a very loving and sensitive person, it is no wonder Patrick had complete trust in you, what a blessing. It was that good, you even got Moongrim to show a side of himself that is rarely ever seen lol love it! 😊 😁

Thank you for sharing.

cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-17)
Geetha, wow this is a beautiful and very sad story. I just have to say that you are such a wonderful kind hearted person to have stuck with Patrick and John all the way through until the end. Patrick sounds like he was a wonderful man and he knew that he could put his trust in you. It's amazing how the signs pointed you towards Maria. Now she will always have a part of Patrick with her. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. 😊 ❤
BeautInside (3 stories) (326 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-17)
This is too much for me... I'm crying, I can't cry in my work
You must have a big heart, and Patrick and John must be forever grateful to you, this is just beautiful!
You kill me with these stories... ❤
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-15)
Thank you for commenting... I didn't expect this kind of response from you guys.

It truly is much communicating with the ghost through the dreams than face to face.

That's what my mother said about Maria. I guess love and hate will make us do things we normally won't do. Y grandmother told me that soulmates will return in one life or another, so your Patrick come back to you as a child.

It's okay to cry; just tell your co - workers that you have allergies. 😆 Thanks for your comments.
taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
geetha I have sat looking at just your name typed for a good 15 minutes trying to think how to say what I want to say and all I can say is you are wonderful,
To help patrick in his last few months, find john a new home and family AND give maria the one thing that patrick lived for, his son.
Thank you so much for deciding to share this with us all, I have tears rolling down my cheeks, I'm sat at work and I don't care what others think this has truly touched me.
Bless you geetha
minimom (50 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Amazing story! The weird thing is my ex, his name was also Patrick.

That was such a wonderful thing that you did, and Maria. My biggest regret is that my Patrick and I weren't fortunate enough to have a child together. I can see why Maria did what she did. One word; love
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)

Thank you for sharing that story. You are a very caring person with a sincere concern for people. As another poster stated, the world would be a much better place if we had more people like you in it. You certainly went above and beyond your "job" and I am happy to hear that the little boy is doing fine in his new home.

I also found it interesting that you "see" things in your dreams. I have found that I receive many messages also in my dreams. I think this is a rather uncomplicated way for our loved ones to contact us.

God bless you, zeta.
ngute80 (220 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Aahhh...look at moongrim being sweet and sensitive 😊

What a wonderful story! I truly love it and loved reading it. Thank you for sharing and for everything you have done for that family. We need more social workers like you!
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Moongrim, Javelina, and granny,

Thanks for your comments. There were a lot of cases that I dealt and like I said in the story, Patrick and John's case effected me more than the others and this one of the truly different cases I dealt with.

Like you said, I think it was Maria's way of keep a part of Patrick close to her as a reminder of what she lost.

I still keep in contact with the family and they are getting along fine but I think John still misses his father.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3329 posts) mod
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Geetha: Wow... Your story has me speechless... What a wonderful person Maria is to accept little John as her own... I guess it's some consolation for her to have a part of Patrick near her at all times, though... I can relate 😊

Thank you for posting, there are bonds that can never be severed!

PS...Mr Grimmy, is that a soft spot I sense?... 😊
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Oh my. It seems that today is the day for tears. You did such a wonderful and blessed act for all three of them. It fell together in the end as it was meant to all along. I still have tears coming down as I type this. I'm sure Patrick is very happy with how things turned out, as it seems he had a hand in it himself.
You were the right person in the right place and time. And I feel very proud that you decided to share this with us.
Thank you geetha. The world needs more people like you.

Jav ❤
Moongrim (2 stories) (871 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
That was... Wonderful.

Thank you for being you, and having a heart to do the right thing. The world needs more of you and your honor.
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
Thank you for that DivousAngel. It was really difficult. That's why I took a break and working in a different part of the department because I needed the break. I will be going to work there but many times the cases take an emotional toll on you.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
13 years ago (2011-10-14)
geetha50, thank you for sharing this deeply personal and very emotional story. I cannot even imagine where the personal strength to deal with situations like this comes from in a person... I guess it is one of those things where you try not to think about it, and just take actions that move you toward the results that you feel are best for everyone involved. I applaud you for your ability to stay strong and stay true to your word for Patrick and his son. They both sound like very special people, and surely Patrick will be missed.

Looking forward to hearing more of your stories!

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