Today I came upon a blog post that had me in tears and has started my week off with some beautiful perspective. Remember last weeks post and my week that seemed it would never end? Well Today I have been humbled. The blog post I read today is called “Perspective” and is a young mom’s thoughts after losing her child. I highly recommend you read it, and then go hug your children a little tighter.
Here is part of her story:
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After dropping Goob off at school I was alone and needed to run to the post office. I always had little Clayton as my sidekick. Though my other munchkins are in and out of activities, preschool, school, etc…. Clayton was always with me to “talk” in the car, or run errands. It was fun to do things with him. As a mother you often look forward to “alone time”. I don’t. It’s hard.
So, I ran to the post office alone to drop off a package. Clayton’s cemetery is very close to the post office, so any time I have to go to the post office I have the opportunity to stop by. I took advantage of the opportunity and went. It was hard. It had only been three days since his burial, his funeral flowers were still on his grave with the freshly cut grass edges and temporary marker. Such a small little patch of grass for such a special little boy. Tears. Lots and lots of tears. That was hard.
I left the cemetery to get my princess from Preschool. I had a lot on my mind. I picked her up, then went back to get Goob at school. I had to run one more errand- so my kids went with me. I have a huge purse- to store snacks and treats- just in case they have to go out for an extended period of time with me. These treats came in handy. I grabbed what I needed from the aisles as they quietly sat in the cart and ate their snacks (this NEVER happens- so don’t be fooled by this one time occurrence). There were a few people in line. I stood deep in thought about all of the emotions I’d experienced the past few hours…… little did I know I was about to have an experience I will remember the rest of my life.
You see— I was standing there, minding my own business, deep in thought, and tending to my kids so we could get out of the store and get home. A few spots ahead of me in line was a mom with a little baby girl in a carseat carrier- most likely 4-5 months old. A cute little girl. The mom was carrying on a friendly conversation with the lady behind her. Then, a few minutes into the conversation this mom begins to complain about her little baby. She goes on for about 10 minutes- about the cost of food, diapers, how she doesn’t sleep, how tired she is, etc, etc, etc. I stood there again, fighting back tears with all the strength I could muster. All I could think about was how lucky she was to be standing there next to her baby, and that she could hold her, and that she was healthy. I would give anything to hold my baby again. Anything.
I tried to ignore the conversation….. until a few short minutes later she looked over at me, with my two munchkins in the cart quietly eating snacks…. and said:
“You are so lucky to be done with the baby years– and that you don’t have to worry about this difficult baby stuff anymore”.
It wasn’t like I felt like I got hit in the face. I felt like a dump truck emptied the entire load on me. It caught me so off guard I couldn’t even respond. I was completely numb. I’m still numb thinking about it as I type this. While I understand she probably meant it to be a compliment, and I recognize I am still very sensitive…..
She had no idea how much it hurt…… that just a few hours ago I received some of the only photos I have of my little boy when he was happy and playful- just like her little girl sitting in the cart in front of her. She had no idea I just had the difficult conversation about oxygen at my son’s school and re-living Clayton’s last moments and last breaths. She had no idea just 30 minutes prior I had been standing at my baby’s gravesite praying for comfort, for peace, and reflecting on what it felt like to hold him. All I could think was how the word “lucky” to be done with the baby years– wasn’t exactly the word I would use.
After what felt like an eternity we got through the checkout line. We got to the car. I sat in the driver’s seat. For a very very long time. Crying. Like I never have before. Realizing what it means to be grateful. Truly grateful. And, learning that life is about perspective.
You never know what may come in life, or what others may be going through. But, gratitude and perspective is a choice. It is a lesson I learned that day. I won’t ever forget how that experience felt. I won’t ever forget to be grateful.
THANK YOU JOY for allowing me to share your story. I don’t know you, but you have already had a big impact on my life today. My prayers are with you during such a hard time.
Clayton at 4 months
I thank Joy for letting me share her story. I was reminded me of when I lost my first pregnancy at 12 weeks. I can’t imagine losing a child and do not wish to compare it to miscarriage in any way, but I too couldn’t help but notice all the complaints during my time of heartache. During the months following my miscarriage, it seemed that women everywhere were complaining about being pregnant and all the discomfort associated with it. It is important that we watch what we say as mothers, and realize that others around us are suffering through things we may not be aware of. Whatever it is that we may be complaining about, there is someone else that would love to be in our situation. I did not judge these pregnant moms, because prior to my miscarriage I had my fair sharing of grumblings as well; but oh how I wished I could turn to them and say, “Be grateful that you are still carrying a child inside of you! I would go through the discomfort ten times over if I could just have my baby back.” When I got pregnant the second time and spent my first 22 weeks next to the toilet, I tried to remind myself of this lesson and take moments to be grateful even when I felt miserable. I love the last few word’s of Joy’s post:
“You never know what may come in life, or what others may be going through. But, gratitude and perspective is a choice. It is a lesson I learned that day. I won’t ever forget how that experience felt. I won’t ever forget to be grateful.”
In looking around at Joy’s other posts, I noticed that she also had an adorable boutique blog and etsy shop! If you have little ones, you must Check her out!
Being a mom can be challenging, what are some ways that you try to keep perspective and gratitude on the hard days?