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Here’s to Endings and New Beginnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the proud Mama of a high school graduate!

For all of you who have followed my book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood and know the story of our girl’s birth, you know that moments like these hold an extra sprinkle of significance.

Yet, I was so busy getting ready for the event of graduation – cleaning the house, making beds for family and friends, ordering platters of food, replying to graduation party invites, and attending end of year presentations, that I wasn’t really thinking anything about the significance of this moment at all.

And yet, once the day of graduation arrived, and we all sat on folding chairs under the big white tent, and I looked up on that stage and saw our daughter with a huge smile on her face, my throat constricted, and tears started forming behind my eyes.

She’s no longer a preemie, but I couldn’t help but imagine, what if, in all those dark, uncertain moments, we’d been given just a glimpse of the young woman she’d one day become? Just a quick peek behind that curtain. I began to imagine how differently I would have moved through those days. How I would have been so much less afraid and so much more present to both our baby in the hospital and our beautiful two-year-old, Tucker at home.

But, alas, as a dear friend once said, Life don’t work that way, girlfriend.

So I grabbed a tissue from my purse and decided that instead of looking back on what could have been, I can be present to this current moment and allow myself to see what is right in front of me. A beautiful, confident, ambitious, young woman.

And at the same moment, I allow myself to think of all the other parents currently facing the unknown with their babies, and send out a blessing and intention that someday, they too, will be sitting in a crowd of weepy and cheering families watching their former preemies move across a stage to mark the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another.

And what a beginning this will be for our girl, as she has deferred her college acceptance for a year and heads off on a Gap Year program that takes her traveling to different countries all over the world.

New beginnings for us all!

The Gift of Connection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 2019 word of the year is Connection.

Which reminds me of a story about the incredible power of connection.

A few weeks after my first book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood was released, I was traveling to speak at an event in front of a large crowd in Forth Worth, Texas.

The airport parking garage was full, which meant a satellite lot and a shuttle bus to the airport. I was already nervous about my talk, so this just made me more stressed.

On the bus, the only seat left was next to an older gentleman in a navy sport coat. The gentleman whose name I later learned was Jim, asked where I was headed. We chatted about my book, and then about his daughters.

Just as we were about to get off the bus, a little voice in my head suggested I give him a copy of my book. I was reluctant, because all my other copies had been shipped to the event, and it was the only copy I had with me – but I honored the voice, and put the book in his hand.

Six months later, I received a two-page handwritten letter. “I’m not sure if you’ll remember me, but a while back we rode a bus together, and you gave me a copy of your book.” I smiled, remembering Jim. Then I read on: “Your beautiful story and positive outcome were, for me, the encouragement and validation I needed to help my wife and me through the deep grief of losing our daughter last January.”

I keep that letter in the top drawer of my desk, and often think about the circumstances that had to occur that day in order for our paths to cross.

I can’t help but wonder if we’re always being guided toward those with whom we are meant to connect.

That moment continues to inspire me to stay open, to listen, and to act upon that quiet voice from within. I hope it does for you, too.