This blog has been a little quiet, I know. The older Ethan gets, the harder it is for me to keep this blog as detailed as I did when he was a baby. I try to keep this blog an honest representation of our lives -- of my life, as messy at that feels at the moment. My promise to myself is to just keep this blog for me, for it to be a place to spill my guts (and help others) and, of course, to share my tot school curriculum because I've signed on for an additional year of homeschooling come the fall when Ethan will not be joining his similarly aged pals for pre-K. Anyway, I'm rambling. There was a point to this post, I swear.
This weekend, we had a visit from a few really special people. When I first lost Wylie, my grief counselor warned me that grief was isolating. At the time, I was surrounded by a support system who was reeling in shock, horror and sadness about what our family had gone through. The support felt endless. As time went on, most people returned to their own lives or were just unable to reach me. I say often that it feels like I now speak an entirely different language from the general population. This aided in the isolation, the fact that it felt there was always some kind of barrier in between myself and whoever was speaking to me. On one particular desperate night, I reached out to a stranger on Facebook because their profile photo was one I recognized, one with a quote about pregnancy and infant loss. One that said that this person, too, had been through what I had. This stranger was kind and seemed to also speak the language that I was sure that only I spoke. She invited me to a Facebook support group where each member was also fluent in this same language. I'm rambling (I do that, if you haven't noticed), but the point of my meandering little story is that I met these two incredible ladies and they drove for hours this weekend to be able to join me for the Healing Hearts Angel Walk, the first memorial walk we were participating in for Wylie.
Krissy and Rebecca have been continual sources of inspiration, joy and strength in my life and in my own struggle. They are people I can vent to, people who respond with "I know" instead of "that's not what they meant" or "they meant well." Although Team Wylie was registered today at the walk, I was walking for not just my little girl but for Katy and Kenley too.
We spent this weekend as if we'd known one another forever (and eating ridiculous amounts of junk food, too, but that's allowed) and tonight I'm feeling a little renewed. My heart feels a little lighter. As time creeps closer to what should be Wylie's first birthday, I feel as if this weekend was an outlet and a time to be a kindred spirit instead of an outsider. I felt a little human this weekend. I felt a little, well, normal again.
The Angel Walk is an annual walk put on by the Bobby Resciniti Healing Hearts Foundation. I can't thank everyone enough who donated on behalf of Team Wylie or those who came out to walk in her memory today. It meant more to us than you know to have your support. There really isn't any greater gift than keeping Wylie's name alive. One of the speakers at today's walk, Mitch Carmody, said something that resonated deeply with us: "turning loss into legacy." That's all I want, my daughter's legacy to live on and be as beautiful as she was. As I've said before and continue to say, she may not have had her whole heart but she will always have mine. It's never going to be good enough, of course, but I will make it the best it can be. I know I speak on behalf of every parent who has lost when I say it's what we all want. We want our children's names, memories, legacies to live on and shine brightly. Thank you to everyone who helped Team Wylie do just that today.
I heard a lot of people mention sadness today, as they usually do when someone speaks of loss. Death is sad always, and the death of a child is senseless and tragic on top of everything else. I get it, I do. While I am devastated that anyone else has to know the feeling of living the rest of their life without their child in it, I still somehow found immense comfort in today. I found hope and joy and the ability to breathe a sense of relief in that I'm still able to fit in somewhere. Before today I was beginning to question if it would ever truly be possible to feel like I fully fit in somewhere again.
And in case I didn't say it enough, thank you to these couple of crazies for taking the trip down here to South Florida to be with me at the walk. We share something in common that no one wants to have in common, that I don't want anyone to ever have to feel, but I'm so grateful to know you. I love you both more than cookies and cupcakes and ice cream and, well, even more than Doritos. That's love.