Guys, I'm having a hard time lately. I'm not sure when it started or why. And I'm not sure how to shake it. But I'm feeling nervous and anxious for no reason. It was inevitable, I had a baby and now my hormones are running rampant and anything even remotely related to a baby or family has me in a puddle of tears. But lately there's been something more to it. There are things that I just can't get out of my head.
Most recently it was the news about the Haley family. You may have heard of the couple that created a bucket list for their unborn son when they learned he would die shortly after birth from anencephaly. I've been following their story for awhile and was in awe of the love and devotion they had for this tiny being that they hadn't even met yet. Last week, little Shane was born, and then he died less than four hours later. I sat there staring at the photos of this little person with tears streaming down my face, not comprehending how the family was able to function knowing that at any time their first baby would pass away. I don't know if I would've continued with the pregnancy knowing what the outcome would be, and I guess I wouldn't know until I was in that situation. But watching the family go through it with such grace and love? I... well, I'm a bit speechless.
And then there was the news of little Eli who went to bed one night with pink eye, and never woke back up. Later they learned that he had died because of the enterovirus. Your child goes to sleep and then just never wakes up? I can't even figure out how you deal with something like that. You go to wake him up and he's just gone? I know it happens every day across the country (and the world) but something about this story has really hit me. Maybe it was his blond hair or that grin that reminds me so much of Henry. Maybe it's because I'm already terrified of this virus because Henry is in daycare and sickness spreads through there like wildfire. Either way, I can't get it out of my mind.
Then (yes, there is more), I'm thinking about Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old who is CHOOSING to end her life on November 1st so that she isn't taken down in a horrible way by brain cancer. This is a situation that is a little too familiar to me because my cousin Steve lost his life just over a year ago to brain cancer. But thinking of her in her bedroom surrounded by her family and husband and she swallows pills to peacefully pass away- it has me wondering how exactly you're supposed to feel in that situation. Grateful that she doesn't have to suffer, sure. But how do you say goodbye, especially to someone so young? When she goes to put the pills in her mouth, how do you stop yourself from tearing them out of her hands?
There is so much sadness in the world (not to mention the scary shit- ISIS, Ebola, etc.), so many people who are hurting and in pain and are losing their families. And somehow I've been given the gift of having my son. And he's healthy and he's happy. But I guess I'm terrified every day that we're going to be stricken with something. Because it's not like it's only bad people who have cancer, or lose a child. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in the baby's death. ONE IN FOUR. It's people just like you and me, it's people who love the crap out of their child just like I do. The world is unfair, it's scary, and I look at my son every night and pray that nothing happens to him. And then I cry because I am so lucky to have him, to know him, and to love him.