Friday, September 24, 2010

Miss Clementine with her wings...Why not let the little guy do the work?
On Aoife's first day of school
And on the topic of food, I believe kids should be allowed to have FUN. So when I saw the Fun Dip in the ice cream store? Nostalgically, I bought it immediately. ALL kids should have intermittent access to awful junk food that is this cool.


I am bringing a speaker to Western Massachusetts the week after next. Cathi Lam.mert, the director of Share, is coming to present "Compassionate Caregiving When A Baby Dies" 3 separate times over the course of 2 days. She will also meet with my group participants and share an evening with them, imparting her wisdom upon them.
I have done everything for this conference absolutely solo this time, because the one remaining person at the local hospital who used to help me out has sadly had to leave on long term sick leave. And so, I trudge forward, absolutely alone, and while the work can be hard, I am also proud to be doing it. So far I have 50 participants for the first session, 22 for the second, and 48 for the third. I'm very pleased and expect to keep getting registrations next week. If you are within driving distance and are interested, I should mention that 3.5 credit hours are available for RNs and LICSWs and the cost is free/minimal (depending on where you work, it's either free or $15).
Today a woman called me, wondering if there was room in one of the sessions. As I began to speak to her I excused myself for a moment to let Aoife know that I was going to be on a work phone call and was not going to be available to answer questions for a few minutes. (Aoife has that typical child's habit of needing me desperately the moment the phone rings, and while I do believe in doting upon her as much as I can, we are working on common courtesy as a rule in our home). When I returned to the phone, Fiona squealing delightedly in the background, the woman on the other end of the phone said, "It must make you feel really happy to have those kids when you're running a conference called Compassionate Caregiving....." Her voice trailed off. It was as if she couldn't even say it, it's that awful. (Which, of course, it is...)
"Oh, yes, I said. I'm missing one here." And I wonder if that somehow didn't register with her, because we began to banter happily about what day she would come, how far it might take her from her small town in southern New Hampshire, and whether or not she would need the CEUs.
Suddenly she said, "It's just wonderful, amazing, that you're doing this. It's so hard to find things like this."
"It's very important to me," I explained. "My baby daughter died in 2003, and I needed this so very much, and I realized what a lack of resources there truly were."
"Oh," she said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to make a flip comment about your other kids a few minutes ago...."
"Please," I reassured her, "Don't worry. You are absolutely right, I do have a different type of appreciation for my living kids as a result of being thrown into this world, and I'm grateful for you to acknowledge that right off the bat."
"Was it your first baby?" she wanted to know, and they all do.
"Yes, she was my first."
There was a pregnant pause, and a breath on the other end of the phone.
"That must be so hard."
And I was the one to take a breath, then, because it is so hard.

I'm so grateful for the work that I do, and I am going to make this organization grow and work and flourish if it's the last thing I do. Somehow I'm going to figure out a way to break even financially so I'm not supporting the organization myself, and somehow, over time, somewhere, somehow, I hope somebody will come out of the woodwork, fiercely determined like I am, and want to throw themselves into the group like I do. This is my greatest wish: that some day I will have an equal partner in this operation; equally willing to push and pull and tug and create space for this in her life, and that I won't only be accepting offers of help, but will be making offers of help to somebody who is wholeheartedly committed to my team.

But for now, the best part about being a one woman show, is that I can smile demurely and say thank you when people say it's an amazing organization. There isn't anyone else I can give credit to, and right now in my life I do flourish on knowing that there is something I created all by myself and that has grown and affected people and will continue to thrive for years to come.


Birdies Mama said...

Love. If you show me the ropes I will do my best to follow along side you. =) I want to help, but I don't know where to start. I have been thinking of bringing loss packets to Holyoke Hospital, but I don't even know where to start from...

stephanie said...

I am so proud of you for everything that you do. you are an amazing, one woman show and you are truly an inspiration. i too hope that someone comes out of the woodwork to help you keep this organization going, but in the meantime, keep trudging along and know that you alone are making such a huge difference in this world.

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Thank you for what you do. Someday, maybe in the not too distant future, I too plan to do some kind of loss/grief work for other women and families in my community. Not quite ready yet, but I will be. It's so important.

Hope's Mama said...

Today, more than ever, I wish I lived closer.

butterflymom said...

You are such an amazing person...and, despite the fact that I'm too far away to truly appreciate all of your hard work, I find peace in knowing that you are out there fighting the good fight for all of us. Thank you for being there for others like ourselves. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs to you always.

Emily said...

Can you give more details on the upcoming talks? (date, time, location, or website with info about it?). I'm a social worker in Boston and very interested in coming out, but not sure I will be able to as I have family visiting in the next few weeks.

you can email at moodindg (at) gmail.

Thank you.

Jen said...

I am in awe of your work, Carol, and I hope that you keep articulating that wish for an equal partner until someone comes forth. What you do is sacred.