Today is International Baby Loss Awareness Day as it is every October 15th. I have flooded my Facebook page and the Angel Steps Facebook page with candles lit in honor of Angel Babies taken too soon. This has caused me to reflect.
Thankfully I have never heard it, I would cut a !@#$#@, but there are those who claim that people have told them that they should "get over" losing their child. I, for one, have a few things to say about that! (Surprising, I know!)
The Angel Parents Club is one that NO ONE wants to join, we just happen to be in it due to horrific circumstances. It is a lifelong commitment with NO chance of an obligatory fee to quit. We are the only ones who know what it feels like to lose a baby, niece, nephew, Goddaughter, Godson, Grandchild, Great Grandchild, Cousin, 2nd Cousin, Step Daughter, Step Son, Foster Son, Foster Daughter...need I go on? We stand up and support our own and welcome the support of everyone yet we are judged for our plight by those who do no understand what it is like to experience such a loss.
We speak about our children the same as any parent, they are, after all, still our children. We honor their memories and carry them in our hearts at whatever capacity that gives us peace. We rely on them as needed to help us start a new day and to put one foot in front of the other sometimes because their strength is all we have left of them. We don't have the rest of their lives to celebrate, only the fleeting moments that we grip on to with the strength of Atlas himself because our children, just like all, are more than dreams. They are hopes and plans for the future, our legacy, our progeny, our purpose for family, our bloodline, our namesake. In my case, Trey was John Thomas Chatham III. That name cannot continue and my husband and Father-In-Law are reminded of that every time they sign their name. Imagine how often that is. Try forgetting that.
Many of us support other efforts and organizations without judgment but some see our efforts as Angel Parents as living in the past. Isn't that all we have, our past with our children? We certainly don't have a future with them. In fact, we can only imagine the milestones and futures our children would've had. We support charities and causes because it is the right thing to do, not out of pity. We don't want pity, simply understanding.
We parent our living children better than we might have because we know how precious each minute is with them and we know tomorrow holds no certainties. We are more sensitive to those around us who are going through hard times, as, we too, have been through Hell and back and are still standing.
We do this because there is no other choice. I have been told that I am so strong. What choice did I have? Some give me that look that suggests that I off myself. That is not an option for me and many others but I won't judge anyone who ventured there. I had to live because my son could not. Our babies are not ready for us in Heaven, they want us to live their legacies and make them proud with our accomplishments. It can be inferred that they have taken the parent role in watching us make accomplishments and milestones in life instead of the other way around. In that case, I want to make my son proud.
It is a heavy weight to bear, but the daily strength training Angel Parents do enhances our lives and makes us healthier people. They are our Scarlet Letter to some, but to us they are our Red Badge of Courage.
There is no cure for what we have gone through.
There is no law that can be passed to make it right.
There is no political party to call upon to take it away.
There is no army to fight it off.
There is no god to pray to that will reverse what has happened.
We live daily with holes in our hearts yet our hearts are full of love for our children, Earthly and Heavenly.
We know that you can't always support our cause with donations or gifts, neither can we always reciprocate. Our only wish is that you support our cause with whatever you can, whether it be funding, prayers or hugs. We always pledge the same. We did not choose this, we only want to live and love through it.