Once upon a time, there was a girl.
Sadly, this girl became pregnant, only to lose her first-conceived in an early miscarriage.
Distraught and alone in her sadness, she sought comfort and hope in the sanctuary of sisterhood with those who had also suffered this heartache.
As weeks passed, she formed friendships and bonds with a handful of women from all over the land.
In a few months, she conceived again, and her ladies in waiting cheered her on, until one cold winter’s eve, she delivered a healthy son.
In due time, this girl conceived a third time, only to yet again lose the pregnancy to miscarriage. Her ladies in waiting wept with her; they held her hand; they carried her dreams as their own.
Several months passed. The girl conceived once again. Her ladies in waiting held their breath as each milestone of miscarriage passed – 6 weeks, then 10. The doctor’s wisdom foretold that the child would be another son. All the women rejoiced.
And then, tragedy struck the land.
A son was born; but alas, he was born sleeping, never to wake.
The girl mourned the loss of her child; her ladies in waiting mourned, too. From all across the land, the sound of crying could be heard. What to do in the face of so great a loss?
A sad story, no?
Like all good fairy tales, however, I assure you that there is a happy ending.
You see, this girl is me, and the time is now, and the ladies in waiting are very real. They are my Nesties – the sisters of my heart.
I told you about one of these ladies, Kelly, in this post. Three more of these ladies were spoken of in this post. These women, although brought to me through the modern-day marvel of an Internet chat room, are as real to me as any friends I have ever made. They have held my hand through the loss of four babies – my first, my twins, my Duncan.
They have sent emails. They have called. Cards have arrived in the mail. All needed, all welcome. And yet…..predictable.
The week after Duncan was born, these showed up via Fed Ex.
They were full of all this:
I don’t even know how to begin to describe the wonder and thankfulness that filled our hearts as we emptied those two huge Omaha Steaks coolers into our spare freezer. Steaks, chicken, salmon, vegetables, desserts – almost more food than we had storage for. But even in that regard, these girls were on top of things. In addition to the items they selected to have shipped to us, they also sent a gift card with a very generous balance for us to use in the months to come on whatever OS products we choose.
Not only that, several days later, I received this:
In this box were the BEST brownies that I have ever eaten. Brownies so good that I’m going to give them their own post, recipe included, in the near future, because I just love you that much. So, brownies, and two gift cards – one to Starbucks (to be spent selfishly, because – ha, ha! – Jim doesn’t like coffee!) and the other to Target. Seriously. These girls are too much.
This says “From, Kelly.” And while I have to say thanks to Kelly for doing the actual ordering, this necklace was actually from ALL of my Nesties. But believe me, there were too many names to list on the card. Thirty-five women love me enough to chip in for such a thoughtful gift. And the thoughtful gift was ON TOP OF the practical gift.
More than enough, right?
In addition to the letters, the food, the gift cards, the Lisa Leonard necklace….each week since Duncan’s birth, we have received an additional package of homemade goodies and special treats.
From Kelly, my Angels Embrace figurine and to-die-for brownies.
From Erin, bags of trail mix, wasabi peas (I know! how cool, right?), and peanut butter rice krispie treats.
From Marisa, coffee and truffles, apple cinnamon raisin bread (that made killer French toast), and a toy truck for Seth.
From Renee, oatmeal cookies.
From Val, a beautiful ivory music box.
From Helene, peanut butter cup brownies and chocolate chip cookies with DARK chocolate. (Didn’t I tell you these girls love me?)
I can’t put into words the bond that I share with these women. Some of them have walked with me since Day One. Others have come alongside somewhere during the journey, joining only when they, too, became a childless mother.
Some of those closest to me “in real life,” as we like to say in the chat-room world, have been skeptical of the depth of these online relationships. Well, let me tell you. Their skepticism is fading in the light of such love.
As I said a few days ago in a post to some of my best girls, I wish that these relationships hadn't been forged in the fire of pregnancy loss. But I'd go through that heartache again if it meant gaining each of them.
Someone once said, “Friendship is a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” I love this quote, in this instance, because I think my girls have proven themselves to be this kind of friend. They gained no benefit from holding my hand in these darks days. Surely, they could have been spared some heartache had they backed away from my grief. Instead, they rolled up their sleeves and got down in the mire and muck with me – holding me up, cheering me on, drying my tears, and feeding me chocolate, as all good girlfriends do.
So, even as I sit here today, with miles of of rough terrain still to travel and fierce dragons to slay as I go, I’m happy to say that I know in my modern day fairy tale, we will all live…
Happily Ever After.