Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Peanut Effect

Peanut -

Over the years I've heard a lot of references to "the butterfly effect" even spawned a not very good movie.  Basic concept - a small action in one space of time creates a larger reaction in another space of time.  A butterfly flaps its wings and creates a tidal wave half a world away.  Well,  I've decided to tag what I think of as the "Peanut Effect."  From the perspective of your Momma, it's the opposite of the butterfly concept.  A massive, tragic event in our immediate family has created thousands of small, wonderful changes in countless other lives.  I think the Peanut Effect is part of your eternal legacy.

Every day I receive beautiful e-mails, posts, voice mails and other messages relaying how your very special story has resulted in a new appreciation for life, for parenthood, for family, for love.   I've been told amazing stories about people who have never met, never known each other, connecting in unexpected places over a shared knowledge of you and your story.  Familiar strangers with the same comment, uttered in awe..."You know Peanut?!?"

Your loss has given so much back to other people.  Mommas who have found a new level of patience and understanding with their children.  Daddas who have re-evaluated their life balance and decided to recommit time to family.  Siblings who are consciously saying "I love you" rather than fighting.  And so many people remembering the loved ones they've lost over the years...with joy, peace, smiles and stories.

A friend/co-worker shared a special story with me today.  He is someone who doesn't share much, but has been particularly impacted by your loss.  The day after your service, which he attended, he was sitting next to a perfect stranger in a public place who was holding the Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper...the one from January 30 that published your obituary.  This total stranger had torn out your obituary to save and share.  As the two strangers talked, they discovered a connection beyond the impact of your obituary.  The stranger worked at the hospital the ambulance took you to on that awful day.  The doctors, nurses and staff at that hospital were so impacted by the loss of our beautiful Peanut that they were still honoring and remembering you.  And my co-workers were grieving for you in a different - yet similar - way.  These two people made a heartfelt connection that has stayed with my co-worker for the last three months.  Familiar strangers.

My Peanut.  My darling little boy with his old, wise soul.  You continue to live on in so many unexpected ways.  I love the moon and back.  (And, hoping for another sleep-hug one of these nights.)

- Momma


  1. I am covered in goose bumps from head to toe. It really is amazing how connected, we as people really are from miles away. As a mom, your story has impacted me and makes me want to be a better mom and hug my girls a little tighter. I am think about you and peanut often and hope you find your peace and get the chance to see and hug peanut in your dreams.

  2. As a new mother with an 11 week old son, I have been overwhelmed with sleep deprivation the last three months. I have told anyone who will listen how awful I feel and how much "getting up" every two hours is so hard. I was lead to your blog today by a post on facebook. The tears in my eyes won't stop. How I know you would give anything to be kept up at night with your little boy. I am devestated for you and for your loss. Please know that your blog will be me a better mother. My perspetive has changed now and I will cherish every minute I get with my sweet son. God bless you and thank you.