This graced my timeline this evening:
Happy 5 years of friendship! Today, five years ago, two scared-shitless, clueless mommas with infant girls first reached out to each other for comfort and support. 5 years later I cannot imagine life without one of my dearest friends. I love you, I love Parker, thank you being a part of my life and holding me up for the past 5 years. Xoxoxo
I immediately cried thinking back to the girl I was five years ago. I was scared-shitless. I was beyond clueless. But I was desperately trying to change both of those things and a support system of other parents is exactly what I needed and found. I found moms who knew what it was like, the panic, the fear, the unknown.
Five years ago I became the ‘newbie’ of a special group of parents. A support group full of other moms like me with kids like Parker. Five years ago today was the first time since Parker was born that I didn’t feel alone, like I was fighting a war with an army of just one – me. Five years ago was the first time that all the hope I had in my heart was visible. All these families, these children – living, loving, thriving beyond what all the doctors kept saying. Five years ago I found me – Parker’s mom, a warrior, my daughter’s advocate and nurse, and a supporter of other parents like myself.
I was lucky enough to find a mom who was on the same path and timeline as I was. We had an instant connection. An instant bond even thousands of miles away from each other. We have been through it all. Deeply sad moments of watching other parents bury their child, but being there to comfort each other. Pride in moments of the smallest milestone being met. Frustration of dealing with DMEs, nurses, agencies, doctors, hospitals, therapists. Breathtaking moments of sharing our children’s smiles. Happiest of moments while watching our children thrive and be happy. To the gut wrenching, heartbreaking moment one of our children outlived the other. Through all of this I’ve made a lifetime friend, a sister soulmate. The love I have for her, her daughter. And her family is indescribable.
This is not an uncommon bond to form when you go through the special needs life. I’ve forged many a friendship throughout these five years. Some have dwindled while others have flourished. And some I’ve loved from afar.
One of these families had a tragic loss on Sunday. This mom suddenly found herself as a ‘newbie’ to a new group, bereaved parents. A group I also know too well, one none of us thought we’d be in nor ever wanted to be. I say tragic loss because, to me, it seemed just that. On Saturday night there was posts of her daughter’s beautiful smile stating she had been so happy all day only to open social media again on Sunday to see she joined the angels that morning. Yes, she was ‘sick’, but all our children are technically ‘sick’. With Parker I had warning, time to really say goodbye, to soak in every moment as they counted down. I can’t say which way is worse, they both suck because the outcome is still the same, but I’ve only experienced one way so I can’t imagine the other kind. I broke down immediately upon reading this. Like can’t breath or make words kind of break down. My heart instantly broke…..for the family she left behind – her parents who now have to know the deep, brutal pain of losing your child, her twin sister who now has to deal with this and is only 6, her grandparents and other loved ones. I know Parker greeted her with open arms, they danced, played, sang, enjoyed life like they should’ve here on earth. I know she’s in great hands until she’s reunited with her family. But my heart still broke for all the anguish and heavy hearts here on earth. I wouldn’t wish the pain that comes with losing a child upon my worst enemy. I know this mommy is strong and she will continue to share her daughter with the world. But from one broken mommy heart to another I will pray for comfort.