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An Anchor of Hope

It’s funny how connected I feel to others who have been through the loss of a child. This community is much bigger than I ever knew – which makes me very sad. But it is also extremely close – which makes me extremely grateful. Now, I would trade all of my new “friends” in a heartbeat to go back to my naive innocence about this world and to have Joshua back safe and happy with us, but since this is part of our story, I’m just grateful for the support and love that we have found.

One of my favorite sources of hope and encouragement that I have found has been Bryan and Missy Lanning over at Bumps Along the Way and the Daily Bump. I was introduced to their family and their story after seeing the video that Missy did for Mother’s Day – Portrait of a Mother. The sweet video was exactly the message I needed to hear on this first Mother’s Day that was but was not.

I started watching some of their other videos and quickly started following their story of pregnancy after loss. Their openness and honesty about their life and their journey was refreshing and so encouraging. I watched the Bump Dates and Daily Vlogs as they awaited the arrival of their rainbow, Oliver.  I admired the strength that I saw in them.

Saturday night when I saw a tweet saying that they were having the baby that night I was anxious and nervous for them.

I said a prayer that they would be holding their sweet boy soon – happy, safe, and healthy. (Side note: I find that my prayers are really specific now. Before I prayed that Patrick and I would have a baby and we did, but we didn’t. So now I pray that we will have a safe and healthy pregnancy and be able to deliver a healthy, happy, and strong baby that we get to bring home, raise, and watch grow up, get married, and have children of their own. Yeah, I’m specific. I’m not leaving it open to interpretation.) Anyway. I could tell by their updates that things were not going exactly smoothly and I prayed harder. It’s weird how nervous I was for this family that I’ve never met. When I finally saw the tweet that said that mom and baby were doing good, the sense of relief I felt for them was something I didn’t expect.

 

 

Here was this family that I don’t know except through the Internet, they don’t know me, and yet there I was happy for them, relived that even though things didn’t go according to their plans, everything was okay. EVERYONE was okay.

I’ve had a hard time watching my news feed fill with baby photos. I’ve had a hard time being happy when friends have babies. I’m told this is normal and doesn’t make me a bad person, just a normal reaction to our own grief. Yet, every time I see one of my new friends’ rainbow babies or see a couple who has struggled with such deep loss announce a pregnancy or safe delivery I’m filled with nothing but hope and joy. Hope that someday Patrick and I will get to experience our own little rainbow of hope. Joy that for a moment their grief can not be outweighed by their joy.

So congratulations, Missy and Bryan! I don’t know you, really, but at the same time you feel like family on this very bumpy road of loss. Thank you for sharing your lives and giving all of us a little bit of hope with your sweet little Oliver.

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