Saturday, July 27, 2013

For Allie and Leo

There once was a woman named Sam.  She lived in the Greater Philadelphia area.  She was a newlywed.  She was Jewish.  She was in her mid 30's.  She was fortunate to get pregnant relatively easily.  Her son's name was Leo.  She delivered him.  He was born still.  Her life was forever changed.

Our stories are eerily similar.  We even share the same name!  A mutual friend connected us with each other back in 2011 and we have been "pen pals" every since.  She has been an avid reader of my blog and we connected on Facebook.  At first, Gary and I wanted to meet her and her husband but they were not ready.  When they were ready, Sam was pregnant with her rainbow and we were not ready.  So we waited.

Today we were both ready.

I was so nervous on my way to meet Sam and her 15 month old daughter, Sydney.  I felt like it was a blind date!  I checked my lipstick in the car, put Miranda in the prettiest little outfit (which is insane as there is not an outfit she has that is not adorable) and I nervously walked the stroller over to our meeting spot.

I saw her before she saw me and my heart jumped into my chest.  Even now, several hours later as I write about it, I feel the tears behind my eyes.  Then she saw me and ran over and gave me the biggest hug that I have ever gotten from a stranger.  Except that is really is not a stranger. She is my friend.  A sister I met in grief who turned into a friend that I will have for life.

Our Rainbows
We were instantly comfortable with each other.  We talked and talked and talked.  We walked laps around the mall.  We talked about Allie.  We talked about Leo. We talked about Sydney.  We talked about Miranda.  We talked about parenting after a loss.  Neither of us got a chance to do it any other way.  Does that make us different parents?  We feel that it does.  Better?  Probably not!  Just different.

We said things out loud that we would only share with each other about fear and loss and grief and pain.  We laughed and smiled and shared happy stories, too.  We talked about hope and frustration.  We talked about adoption and fertility.  We talked about rainbows and how symbolic they are in the baby loss community. There was so much we did not get to say - so much that we will save for the next time as there will be a next time.

The time flew by.  We met at 11.  Then it was 12.  Then it was 1.  We stopped for pizza and then kept walking.  We eventually had to say goodbye but it was really goodbye for now.

I felt like I knew her my whole life.  In some ways, maybe I have.

So to Allie and Leo - thank you for bringing us together.  Thank you for the lessons you teach us each and every day.  Thank you for letting us share your stories and remember you.  We love you.

Looking at Allie's butterfly bush

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