Sunday, October 21, 2007


"I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends."
~William Shakespeare

I said in my last blog that I was going to tell you about meeting another angel-mom, as well as my weekend with Jim, so I am starting with Part I and moving on to Part II later on.

Over the weekend of October 6th, Jim and I had originally planned to participate in the SHARE Walk in St. Louis. It is to benefit an organization that provides free materials to grieving parents after the loss of a child. One of my angel-mom friends here, Heidi, had invited us to join her team, and we were really looking forward to the event. All of the babies' names were to be read aloud in memoriam before the walk, and they would all be printed on the t-shirts. I thought it would be a wonderful way to honor our sons' memories. Unfortunately, Jim couldn't get the time off work. Being one of the newer employees means that you basically have to do what they say when they say to do it, and they don't give "time off" to really anyone. It was his weekend, he had to work, and that was it. Period. So I was really bummed that we couldn't go.

Well, it's funny how things work out sometimes. I believe that God has a hand in these things, but whatever you believe, it's pretty amazing when one door closes and a window opens, which is what happened to us.

When I was pregnant with Brian, still in my first trimester with no hint of the tragedy that would befall us, my friend Nicole told me that her sister, Amy, had lost her son, Tyler. He was lost at full term, and it was a huge shock to everyone. At the time, I remember crying when Nicole told me and feeling very, very sad . . .but I had no idea that soon I would be able to relate to the deep pain Amy was going through. Even though I sympathized with her, I couldn't truly understand, because I never thought anything like that would happen to me.

Well, as you all know, a few months later, I lost my own son, Brian. Nicole gave me Amy's email address. I was really nervous, but I decided to reach out to her. As kind and caring as everyone around me was, I needed someone to talk to who really understood. Amy responded right away, and gave me her phone number in case I ever needed to talk. She was the first angel-mom I had met, and she really helped me through my grief.

A couple of months later, we were both expecting again. We supported each other through the months of worry and anxiety. Once again, tragedy struck, and I lost my second son, Sawyer. Amy was pregnant with her daughter, Gabrielle, and terrified of losing her, but she still stood beside me as I dealt with the loss of Sawyer. All moms deal with grief and fear differently, and I've had some friends who, while pregnant again, pretty much ignored me . . .I think out of an understandable terror that it would happen to them again too. Amy never did. She always helped me, listened, and cared about what I was going through. And even though I'd just lost my second child, I tried to be a good friend to her as well. I encouraged her through her worries and prayed for her and Gaby every day.

Nothing made me happier than the day Gabrielle Nicole was born, a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Amy was still very sensitive to me. She didn't know if she should send pictures, because she didn't want to upset me. I told her that she deserved this happiness, and I would never have wanted anything else for her. How could I wish my unhappiness and grief upon anyone else? She knew this, but she just didn't want to make it harder for me. It didn't. It gave me hope to know that Gaby was a success story. It made me believe that I could try again.

So . . .you're probably wondering where this is all going. Nicole told me that Amy was going to be in town, and asked if Jim and I would come to dinner at her house on October 6! After not being able to go to St. Louis to meet all those other angel-moms, it was so strange and amazing that this was the exact weekend Amy would be in town! We accepted, of course, and I finally met Amy and her daughter Gaby, as well as her and Nicole's mom.

We had a great dinner and shared a lot about our children, Brian, Sawyer, Tyler, and Gaby. There were definitely some tears, but laughter as well, and joy in the birth of Amy's daughter. She encouraged me a lot, and let me know that she supported my choice to try again. It was a wonderful evening, and I am so grateful to have been able to meet her. At the end of the evening, as we said goodbye, she said that she felt a special bond with me because of what we'd been through and hoped that I felt the same. I can't imagine where I'd be without Amy's friendship. She has helped me in so many ways, and I always know that whatever I'm feeling, she will understand. She never tells me how I should be dealing with things, or what I should be feeling, she just listens and she "gets it." I'm so glad we got to meet, and I look forward to our continuing friendship and more children for both of us.

And I have to say a HUGE thank you to Nicole, who has also been there for me through EVERYTHING. I'm really glad she introduced me to her sister, but I'm also glad for her. I value her friendship and presence in my life very highly. when I lost the boys, both times, she was there for me in so many ways. She gave donations for their headstone, she sent cards, she talked to me every day, she called, she wrote me emails . . .but most of all, she cared deeply about me and our children. These two women have been the best kind of friends anyone could ask for.

Nicole, Gabrielle, and Amy

Amy and I

1 comment:

April said...

Hey, I read this when you posted it, but just read it again and was struck, for the second time, about how you continue to look for blessing amidst your trial. That's really wonderful, Amy. And it's wonderful that you have such good friends there.