Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Fairy Tale

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.

And then.

The week after Duncan was born, these showed up via Fed Ex.

duncan's love 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were full of all this:

duncan's love 004

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:

duncan's love 001

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.

But wait.

Remember this?

lisa leonard necklace 003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

lisa leonard necklace 001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than enough, right?

Nope.

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.

10 comments:

Kristin (kekis) said...

You will have your happy ending. With J, S and such wonderful friends on your side, there's no way you won't.

Blair said...

I adore that quote. & I adore all of my Nesties & the friendships I've truly formed.

and you, above all, deserve a happy ending.

Valerie said...

Mon, you had me crying while I read that post. I am so glad that we were able to do something for you that was helpful and comforting and supportive.

You will all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Val

Brooke said...

I'm also teary reading that. I too know the outpouring of support from the Nesties, and it is amazing! We love you!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful...what wonderful friends...

Helene said...

We always come through for those in need. I've never met a group of people who live by the golden rule better than the pal nesties. They are truly blessings.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Oh, Monica,
This is such a beautiful, heartfelt and inspiring post. How precious and wonderful. Sisters are truly made- not all are given. Sounds like you have an amazing connection of friends there. My favorite part of the post was "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." That speaks volumes of the depth of friendships. So special-
Hugs,
Hill

Kendra said...

Tears....

what a beautiful picture of the Family of God.

Angela said...

That is so wonderful.
I have my own support group of Internet friends from a different parenting website. And while I always enjoyed their friendship and loved all the advice and stories we swapped back and forth when we all had our first children (born in March 06), I never truly knew the depth of these friendships until my Benjamin was born in April 08 and we found out he has Down syndrome. Gifts came pouring in. But not your typical baby gifts. The kinds that are so heartfelt and wonderful you can't even believe this is someone you've never met.

Flowers with a Pizza Hut gift card attached

Books about Down syndrome on reserve at my local Barnes & Noble under my name

Later, when B had to have open-heart surgery, they called our hotel and arranged for us to have an upgraded room so B would have a separate room for two nights while we were in Nashville for pre-op stuff.

Countless things mailed to me that were so helpful: a Hotsling AND a Moby to carry him in, the perfect crib mobile that has been a lifesaver in both of his surgeries, lots of gift cards to restaurants.

One of them even flew down to Chattanooga from Minneapolis to stay with me for a few days before she had her second baby just to get away.

My real-life friends and my family are blown away that these are "Internet" friends. But seriously, these girls are my lifeline. I am closer to them than most of my friends IRL.

I'm so glad you have your own set. (((HUGS)))

Ashley R Sellers said...

Monica, you are such a sweet writer; God has blessed you with great talent! You had me crying from the start and still am.
I do pray for you often and know God has more babies in store that will be delievered healthy!
Some Bible verses to look up and quote daily (as I did when it took almost 5 years to get prego and we did it with our Faith and no meds!) Exodus 23:26 AMP, Gen 25:21 (for the hubby), Ex 23:25, II Tim 1:7, Is. 66:9, I Tim 2:15, Ps 113:9, I Sam 1:27-28. I know it seems like a lot, but oh so worth it!

God is good all the time and Satan would love nothing more than for us to give up when trials come, but we have God who makes us stronger and lets us even make lifelong friends from our trials. So we can say, "Ha ha, devil, your plan didn't work and I am stronger now than ever."

Love ya girl,
Ashley