Yes, I’ve been missing from the blog world for a bit. Yes, I have an almost one year old (queue the tears and the OMGs and the how the f*** did that go by so fast) who has taken over my life in the most magical, exhausting, bittersweet way possible. And yes, I still have all these thoughts and words in my head that will spontaneously show up at random times and then just as quickly, escape my mind in the midst of changing diapers and cleaning up toys. So, while the words and emotions are there, they’re not always able to be captured in the blog world like before. But know it’s for good reasons.
Today, however, I have a sweet story that I feel needs to be shared. So, while I have a couple minutes, a quick blog post is happening.
Saturday I attended my third Keeping Connections conference at Boston Childrens Hospital. This is a conference for parents and family who have lost a child that was a part of the Children’s Hospital community. My sister had decided to come with me last year and got a lot out of it, so this year she would again be my guest. It’s an emotional day with lots of crying, lots of memories shared, and a lot of families who can relate to one another.
The day starts with a parent panel who share their children’s stories, their bereavement experience, and any advice they have for others going through the same journey. Side note: I was part of the parent panel this year for the first time and only cried once – win!
After the parent panel there are small group discussions, followed by lunch, and a beautiful remembrance ceremony with music and a slide show of all of our little superheroes.
After the slideshow, a fellow loss mom sitting next to my sister asked her about the bracelet she was wearing. She explained that I make bracelets and this particular bracelet said “wildflower”. The word was chosen because of a quote from Alice in Wonderland that she had connected with since she first heard it as a child.
Well, this mom connected with the word in an entirely different way. As she was watching a slide show of all these lives lost WAY too soon, including her little girl, she looked down and saw the word “wildflower” literally sitting right next to her. It turns out, the song “Wildflower” by Tom Petty was played at her daughters funeral.
We had never met before, we hadn’t even spoken at the conference that day, but she happened to sit next to my sister who happened to be wearing her “wildflower” bracelet to a conference because her nephew had died.
This was enough to say “some things are just meant to be” but in talking more with this amazing mom, we learned that our little ones were born less than three months apart, and passed away 11 days apart. She called this a “God’s Wink” and I couldn’t agree more.
The best part of this story and, if I’m being honest the whole day, was after chatting and learning just the beginning of her story, my sister took off her bracelet and said “I’m not entirely sure why I’m still wearing this, the bracelet is clearly meant for you”.
There was then crying and hugging and just an overall sense of meaning behind what was really only about 10 minutes of our day.