I see a lot of letters out there to different “groups”, but I wanted to write this one to mommies from my side of the fence.
To the Moms,
I see you at Walmart. You have your beautiful children with you. Your buggie loaded down with supplies for the week. Your little boy is dancing to a song he is loudly singing. Your little baby girl cooing along in her own way. I watch you as you desperately remind your son that he needs to use his inside voice. I see how stressed you are.
I see you in the neighborhood as I walk my dog. You vigilance as I walk past with a ” dangerous” dog is admirable. You watch carefully as we walk by. I wave, as people in the South do. You wave back and return my smile all the while watching. One of your children wants to pet my dog, you quickly try to shush him. I hear and we stop. I look straight at you and say it’s fine. You cautiously approach, your children come forward fearlessly. My dog behaves wonderfully and your comment on the matter is a surprise to you. We part having only spoken a few words, but your eyes are apologetic as you walk away.
I see you at a friend’s get together. We greet and talk for a minute. Your children come up and throw their arms around me. I soak in the affection of little arms and legs wrapped around me in a big hug. You watch and see the grief in my eyes. You know my story,you know what I have lost. I can tell, even after all this time, your are still uncomfortable around me. You watch me carefully as I listen to your daughter tell me some new thing. The chasm that divides us grows wider by the minute.
We will never be equal, you and I. You will only know the innocence and joy of pregnancy. I will only know the fear. We reside on opposite sides of an imaginary fence. I will never make it fully to your side, the best I could hope for is to straddle the middle. Yet, you showed me great courtesy and strength. The things that separate us are big, but you find ways to try to bridge the gap. Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be in your child’s life, whether it be as a passerby or the lady with the doggie or as a friend. You show great courage.
A mommy to angels
This is not based on a single encounter. This based off my personal experience with different Moms that have crossed my path. When you lose a child, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss; the grief is a part of you. It’s not something that can be hidden all the way. It is an ever-present, a mark upon your very soul.