“The only way I can introduce you to my sons is through me.”
Whoa. Heard that from a grieving father who had lost his son in war. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child that was an adult. By then you know who they are, what drives them, what annoys them, what makes them laugh and what makes them cry.
The only way you could get to know Tucker and Fletcher is through me. And the love I carry for my boys. And the change in me that is because of that love. It’s a beautiful, special thing that even death can’t take from me.
Wearing my heart on my sleeve through life has been what I do. I’m excited, you know it. I’m sad, you see the tears. Something makes me happy and you hear my belly laugh across the room.
Their deaths have changed a lot and it’s changed me but it hasn’t changed me. You’ll either get that or you won’t. I’m more open; some see that as too open. I’m more emotional; to others I’m way too emotional. I have big dreams, hopes, plans and desires. Their life brought that out in me tenfold; their deaths have reminded me of what I wanted to live for.
Let me be completely transparent and raw for a moment. Finding out I was carrying twins, that my husband, my best friend and I had created not one but two babies out of love, absolutely blew my mind. I was head over heels. Finding out they were boys, I went from completely terrified to completely in love in .5 seconds. I have never known a love more true and sincere, a love more protective, than I had for our boys.
I can say this, as one very proud mother, my boys left a huge mark in a very short time. I’m proud of them, in the only way I can be. That in those few short hours that we held them as they lived, as we held them while they died, they were loved. More than that, they gave me purpose. They gave me joy and they made me complete.
Don’t call me brave, I’m the most scared person I know. Every benign circumstance goes to worst case in my mind. Don’t tell me I’m strong. I’m tired of being strong. I’m only strong because no one has the heart to wrap me in their arms and tell me it’s ok to break down they won’t judge me, they won’t criticize me, they’ll simply hold me while I cry and get the pain of trying to be strong while missing half my heart forces me to keep going.
Life changes. People change. Birth changes people and so does death. I wanted so much for my boys. I had such big plans for them. I don’t have kindergarten and proms and football and weddings and grand kids. I won’t ever have that from them.
What I do have is a love stronger than anything I ever knew possible. An undeniable trust in a God bigger than me. A hope that my life didn’t end when theirs did, even though that was such a real fear for me. I lived. Without my boys, I lived.
How do I introduce you and get you to know my boys? I do that by showing my heart. I do that by loving unconditionally, even when it’s easier to walk away. I do that by fighting for each breath that it takes me to get though the grief attacks that paralyze me. The unknown fears of what tomorrow holds.
Tucker died and Fletcher lived. For 11 more days. Without his best friend, without his brother. He flipped around in my womb, he waved, he sucked his thumb. He wasn’t worried about tomorrow, I believe, because he was enveloped in so much love and he knew he was taken care of.
And that’s how, as his mom, in the moments I feel I failed him most, I know I didn’t. I fought with all I had to save him. Up until they took him from my arms, that little boy knew he was loved. And when he slipped from this life to his next, he never knew anything but love and peace.
My boys aren’t here to show that to you. I have to believe they are looking to me to show others what they taught their mom.
Strength when you’re drowning, hope when you lose your best friend, and being surrounded with nothing but pure, complete, unconditional love as you pass from one place to the next.
My boys made me a mom and I will forever hold onto that. But the things that most makes me proud, my boys changed my heart to reach out to the hurting, to share the struggle and to be transparent in your needs. If I hadn’t shared their lives, their stories, their beauty, If I’d have never opened myself up to the hurting hearts of others, I’d have never been blessed with the amazing people who share their stories with me everyday.
I miss them. Every single day. But as their mama, I’m so proud that for the short moment they were here, they mattered and left a beautiful legacy of love.
I can get through this because their lives, their deaths, are bigger than that. They mattered, they are loved and they forever will be my precious sons who never gave up. This is one very humbled, proud mommy of two sweet baby boys. I can stand here, completely raw and transparent and be okay saying, “I’m strong, even when I don’t want to be. I’m sad, it’s only natural. But I’m proud, I’m living, I’m faithful, I’m hopeful and I’m trusting that life will soon, once again, start to make sense.”
Mama loves you boys! Take care of each other for me! xo