In the midst of fretting and complaining about going back to work this week, Momma had a wake up call. A reminder. The world doesn't just revolve around one person, one family, one event. Given the vast impact of your Peanut Effect you would think I'd have that concept down pat, right?
In the final days of my maternity leave with The Bean, I hit a very selfish low. After all we've been through, the relentless pace of life despite our grief, I felt I deserved a break. A time to resolve some of my sorrow, a time to embrace and bond with my new little boy, a time to re-energize. A time to reassess life. And, I think I did have the chance to scratch the surface over the 8.5 weeks of leave I got to take...but it wasn't nearly enough. Will any amount of time EVER be enough? Doubtful.
During my maternity leave, on the awful anniversary of your passing, another tragedy occurred in St. Louis. One that directly impacted a co-worker of mine. Her husband was murdered in a senseless shooting, leaving her and her two young children alone. Confused. Angry. Heartbroken. A widow at the age of 35.
I sat in my office this week, greeted by a smiling picture of you and instantly knew...this wife, this mom, this widow...she needs a friend. She needs to know she isn't alone. She needs to know she can and will survive this. And, I can help her with that. As it turns out, she was waiting for me to come back from leave, so we could talk. After spending over an hour with this brave, yet broken, woman I can say this: She is a survivor. And I will hold her hand as she walks through the fire.
This sense of paying it forward, of sharing experiences to help another mourning woman, is yet another ripple in your vast, expanding Peanut Effect. While nothing about your loss will ever make sense to me, these unanticipated impacts provide a measure of comfort...a sense of...well...sense.
Peanut, I feel you in the hugs I give, in the words of comfort, in the tears I share. I love you, my sweet son. To the moon and back.