Last night I stayed up way past my bedtime, chatting for hours with the lovely Andrea. We talked about all we hope to do with Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, and just about life in general. It is so wonderful to talk to someone who truly gets it. Every single one of the women I have gotten to know in this "babyloss" community is amazing, but like with any community, there are going to be those that you just totally "click" with, and Andrea is one of those people. We share a lot of the same interests (like photography, though she is way better than I'll ever be!), and just seem to have a lot in common.
One of the big things we have in common is that we both get a bit crazy and obsessed (in a good way!) when we get excited about something. Take Faces, for example. For the past few weeks, we've been going back and forth, email after email after email, with more and more ideas. Like, "let's do this!" and then "okay, and then we can add this too!" and then "yeah, and then we should also try this!" and then "totally, and then why don't we do this!"
The thing is, before you died, I would often have really great ideas (if I do say so myself!), but very rarely would I actually follow through on any of them. But it's different now. Now, it's not just, "we should totally distribute Faces postcards to hospitals," it's "yes, we should....and here is what the design will look like, and this is what it would cost to print them, and I will start creating a list of hospital bereavement contacts at hospitals around the country." It's not just, "we should totally turn Faces into an official 501c3 nonprofit someday," it's, "yes, we should...and here are the first steps we need to actually make that happen." Our big dreams and ideas are becoming actuality. And it's incredibly exciting.
For the first time in my life, I am not just saying, "I should do this," I am actually doing it. And it's all because of you, Baby.
It's like, if I can go through losing you, I can do anything. I have gone through the very worst thing that can happen to someone, really, and you know what? I survived. There were certainly times I wanted to give up and go wail in a corner somewhere, but I didn't. I'm here. I'm making it.
I think back to how I was, how I felt, three months ago, in the days and weeks immediately following your death, and I am amazed at how far I've come. I truly thought I would never be happy again. I truly believed I would never smile, or laugh, or feel "normal" again. And I've done all those things. Not to say I'm not still sad, or that I don't still struggle and have really bad days, obviously, but I am damn proud of myself. I've been kicked to the ground and have somehow managed to dust myself off and get back up again. That's quite an accomplishment, if you ask me.
Sometimes I find myself amazed by my own strength. By the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. It's empowering. And it's given me a whole new attitude and outlook on life.
I feel like I can literally do anything these days. Everything seems easy, a piece of cake, when compared to holding your dead child in your arms. I used to think about how cool it would be to start my own nonprofit someday, but never thought I'd ever actually be able to pull it off. Now, it's like why not?
I can do that.
I used to talk about how cool it would be to be a writer, but then I'd quickly follow it up with, "but I'm not good enough." Now, it's like, I may not be a Mark Twain or Ernest Hemmingway, but I can write just as well as a lot of published authors out there (I mean, come on--just look at Twilight!), so why not?
I can do that.
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the people who are successful and get the things they want out of life are the people who just go for it. The people who are willing to take a risk and jump in. The people that think "I can do that" and, well, do it. That's the kind of person I want to be, the kind of person you are teaching me to become. Life is way too short to live any other kind of way.
Thank you for inspiring me, and for helping me realize I can do anything. Anything and everything I set my mind to. I will take this new found confidence you've given me and use it to do great things, Stevie, I promise.
I love you, little girl of mine.
2 hours ago