I have a friend whom I met some years after the loss of her little girl. Her sweet babe was diagnosed with cancer and she lost her life before even living one full year. I knew, no matter what, that my friend was no longer the woman she had been. She never had a palpable sadness, but there was something distinct about her. Something in her life had defined her and you could tell. I couldn't imagine what she had gone through. And I couldn't stop thinking about how that must have felt.
But not any more.
The events in the last 2 years have certainly defined me. I am now the mom who has buried a child. And not one, but two.
I am now that woman.
When twins are mentioned, I can feel the tension in me and people around me. When preemies are mentioned, when death is mentioned, when pregnancies are mentioned, I can feel it. I am not the same. And I don't expect people to act any differently. I am different. My life is different.
And it's okay. I am learning to live with it.
There is no way to go back to who I was before. It is the past. That was a whole different journey. But the future is a new journey too.
I can only move forward, sailing my boat for uncharted waters.