One year ago today, marks the day my life would changed forever. I would become a completely different person with a new identity. An identity that I did not choose, seek or want. I can never erase, change, or undo the events that took place that day. But on June 5th 2015 my healthy, happy baby boy passed away and I became a mother to an angel.
I sit here and reflect on the past year. A year dealing with tremendous grief and emotional pain. A year dealing with feelings of incredible betrayal and anger towards our ex child care provider. And a year trying to process this change. Figuring how to function again as a Mom, a wife, a friend, and even an employee. How do I move forward without leaving Harrison behind? It has been a journey.
So how am I doing? People say to me, “I’m so glad your doing well.” Or “I’m so glad you are Ok.” Or “You are stronger than I.” I don’t even know how to process these comments. I don’t feel “ok.” I don’t know if I will ever be “ok” again.
I mean, I can’t help but remember this exact time last year. I think about the fog I was in. I remember my sister-in-law taking Bennett to the Home Depot kid’s craft. I was so numb I had no desire to leave the house and join them. Neighbor’s brought us milk and Kleenex. Normal tasks were impossible. I would climb inside Bennett’s crib and watch him breathe all night. My breasts were engorged and ached to nurse. My job that I loved and circulated around didn’t even enter my mind. I have moved passed this fog.
I now function through life. I am back to enjoying work. I laugh. I play. I enjoy my husband. I enjoy making life fun for Bennett and watching him grow and explore his world. I enjoy my friends. I have made new friendships through this nightmare. So I guess that makes people say “I’m doing ok.”
But I’m not “ok.” And I’m not sure I want to be “ok.” Because “ok” might mean I have moved on. I can’t move on without Harrison. My heart aches JUST as deeply as it did 365 days ago. The pain and loss will still take my breath away. Even with this new baby in my womb, I am not moving on. I don’t care if I continue to have 10 living children. I will actually be the mother to 11 children. Harrison will always count. I think of Harrison every day. I see Harrison in every 4 month old baby. I think of Harrison when I see a kiddo that is approximately his age. Even Bennett thinks of Harrison. Just last week an ambulance drove by and Bennett said, “They have Harrison, Mommy.”
No matter how hard I try, I can’t bring Harrison back to this Earth. I can’t change what has happened, but I can control the way I react to it. I will always miss Harrison. I will always feel the pain his absence causes. I might always be angry with the care provider that was in charge that day, I have that right. But I have to choose out to react to the situation. I was reading Developing the Leader in You by John Maxwell and found a segment that gave me clarity. The book was describing a study that was done on highly successful people. People like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein. The study revealed that 1/4 of the people had handicaps, 3/4 were born either born in poverty, come from broken homes, or at least came from exceedingly tense or disturbed situations. But they still reached incredible success. As John Maxwell put it, “They realized they could not determine every circumstance in life, but they could determine their choice of attitude toward every circumstance.”
So how does this apply to my situation? It means I will continue to choose to honor my son. I will share his joy. While I may not be “ok.” It will NEVER be “ok” that he passed away. However, I will choose to function. I will choose to be kind. My husband deserves a wife that is kind and loving. Bennett deserves a mother that is present and loving. This new baby deserve to join a family that is ready to embrace more love. Harrison deserves to be the catalyst of positivity in this world. So I will choose to strive towards living a life that represent kindness, love, patience, and positivity.
I love you! I miss you! You are always my baby boy. I am sorry I was not able to protect you.