Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I am basking in the joys of accomplishment....

When I was first babylost, I yearned for the days when I could be entirely satiated by sitting quietly with a suckling newborn, needing nothing more.
And I need very little more than my children, it's true. Not much more outside of just being their sweet devoted mama.

But to truly give? It is the most satisfying thing on earth. Giving my time and energy to this group I run is like being a mother, you just give with no expectations of anything in return, and it's from the heart, and it feels like butter. Our conference was such an amazing, rewarding success. We had an attendance over the two days of over eighty, and I just stood there in partially stunned amazement, listening to the great Cathi Lammert speak, thinking, I made this. This is something that I did.

I admit now, at this point, that there is a piece of me that benefits greatly from a tangible product, from having something visible and useful that others can benefit from. My job as a mother is irreplacable and I think I do a fairly decent job at it, but let's face it: the kids don't often thank me, and there's generally not much feedback on what I'm doing right. So to put together something that felt so good and right that taught and benefitted so many made me soar above the clouds and just feel so ... well ... useful! I really needed to feel that, and I'm grateful.

Grateful for the people who helped to make it happen, grateful for those who came, and mostly grateful to Charlotte, who gave me the courage to pick up and keep walking when I wanted to stop and lie down and die. And now somebody else might keep walking because of her.

There was a story at the conference that made me cry, cry, cry. I still can't get it out of my head, and you won't either. Cathi was talking about memorials and funerals, and it came upon this slide: a family, man and woman, walking side by side in the sunshine down a path in a cemetary. Their heads are hanging, eyes cast down, they are wearing black. The mother's face is concealed by her long hair. Behind them they pulled a wooden wagon, the kind with the big wheels and the slatted sides that you can take on and off. You could see flowers in the back, and a tiny casket.

These parents, said Cathi, lost twins five weeks apart, Gage and Garrett. This dad decided that he wanted to take them through the cemetary in a wagon as part of the service.

She said, He wanted his boys to have a ride in the wagon.

A ride in the wagon.
A ride in the wagon. Like my two kids do every day, almost, in our wagon, and these people did it through a cemetary, and that's all their little boys got.

I wept and wept, as if I'd never even been there myself.


Aimee said...

"...grateful to Charlotte, who gave me the courage to pick up and keep walking when I wanted to stop and lie down and die."

Carol, I cannot say enough--you and Charlotte have helped so many. YOU are the reason *I* didn't lie down and die. YOU gave me the courage to get out of bed and really look at the two living children I have. You gave me everything to start the group up here in Maine and now there are over 15 people a month who say they draw strength from ME...which is really coming from you. As I watch my group grow and stand back in awe at what "I" have created, I know it is because of you...and Charlotte and Sophie.

Never doubt your power to change the world.

Shannon said...

You should feel so proud of yourself, you've provided a much needed service. Your community is lucky to have you as a resource.

Meg said...

I'm so glad it went well!!!! You are doing such a great service to all and the people who made the choice to go to your meeting will be forever changed. I am happy for you that it gives you so much joy. You are truly helping people!

Mama said...

My Dearest Friend,

I have to agree with Aimee...

It is because of YOU that I was so encouraged, and inspired to carry on. Through the darkest of days YOU were there for me and Matt. It is through the courage and strength that you and your dear Greg had to try hope against all odds that you could have a living child. It is this that you have shown that pushed me onward. It is the beauty of how you continue to love Charlotte alongside Liam and Aiofe that inspires me and Matt.

I cannot tell you enough how special Charlotte, You, Greg, Liam and Aiofe are to me and Matt.

You are inspiring so many not to give up on love, not to give up on hope...and not to give up on remembering those beautiful little babes who's flesh (but not their spirit) left us way too soon.

Sara said...

I am so glad you had a good turnout for the conference. I was thinking of you earlier in the week hoping it went well.

Add me to the list of people you have helped--and continue to help!