I had an interesting event at work I wanted to share with everyone here. I had the opportunity to meet with a woman who is 86 years old, she will be 87 in September. She told me she had five daughters in her life and I told her I had two sons, we laughed about that. Her having all girls and me having all boys. I did not tell her I had lost a child. I try not to share that with patients that I meet. I am there for them, not the other way around.
Anyway…. She then told me she had lost her one daughter when she was 15 years old….many years ago…..I asked how it had happened, if she did not mind sharing.
She said her daughter had died of the flu and they had to drive her all the way from Lawrenceburg to Nashville because back then there was no hospital to speak of in Lawrenceburg. The little girl died in her arms on the way. Well, that just stopped me in my tracks. I thought how horrible to lose your child in your arms, unable to help them.
She looked up at me, sadly. I said, “Oh, my, I am so sorry.” Then I said, “That was many years ago right? Does it really ever get easier?” She looked at me with her pretty blue eyes, and said, “No, dear, it does not, if you are waiting for it to get easier, you are just wasting this time God has given you!”. The way she emphasized the word “you” just gave me chills. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I did not tell her I had lost a son. It was as if she just knew it instinctively. Her Mom radar was full tilt!!
She went on, “you get used to it, and God helps you get through each day, but, no, it does not get easier.” She added, “When you have other children, you are best to mourn alone, dear.” Then she asked how my son died. At first I hesitated, but then I thought she was honest with me. I told her, “His name was Ryan, he died of an accidental overdose last year.” She said, “You know, I hear a lot of that now a days, I am so sorry for you.”
Wow! Then, I thanked her for sharing her story and much needed Grandma wisdom. And, as I was leaving I gave her a hug.
Note to self…. Sometimes God places us in the right place with the right people at the right time… I think that is what happened. I just needed a wise old woman to tell me that I will survive, life will go on, I will never forget, I will not be bitter….but no, it does not get easier. It took another mother to tell me these things. Another mother who lost a child, and survived.
Remember, love each other, hug each other and forgive each other. Everyday!
Thank you so much God….again! Just a mom
PS: The above picture was taken on Mother’s Day 2006 at Percy Warner Park, Nashville Tennessee. Ryan (L) and Joe (R). The time stamp is wrong on the pic, need to fix that :)Both looking “cool” in their shades.