Liv's birthday party was last weekend, and as I was choosing who to invite, I found that my friends fall into two main categories as an adult: family (which includes friends who have been there so long they are now family) and people I've met through my kids. I think that's pretty much the same for every parent. Your kids just introduce you to their friends' parents, or their teachers, doctors--whomever. And out of proximity, frequency or necessity, your introductions blossom into friendships. But I suppose the strange thing about this process is that even after your children die, they just keep introducing you to new people.
Carpenter has been a busy bee, increasing his mommy's social circle on almost a daily basis.
First, I met his nurses, who held my hand through the first weeks, and who I will always consider friends. Then, he introduced me to Heartstrings Support. Through them I met Carpenter's angel-friends' parents. We have dinner once a month. I talked about Carpenter on Facebook and ended up meeting more of his friends' parents there. I talk to these women daily, and some of us share calls, texts and letters. I signed up to receive a hankie from Lil Angels Hankies, and now I'm part of the team! And a few months ago, while taking Liv for a check-up, Carpenter introduced me to another friend.
We were supposed to see Liv's original doctor from the hospital nursery. He's a great doctor, but was on vacation at the time of her 6-month check-up, so we switched. The match with Dr. A (a woman) was so perfect, we just kept coming back. At her 9-month check-up, just a few months after Carpenter's death, I was wearing one of my "1 in 4" t-shirts. Dr. A walked in, stopped, and immediately asked me about my shirt. Then she confided in me. Carpenter used his little sister's check-up to introduce me to yet another angel-mom.
Fast forward to today, and we're back in the doctor's office. Dr. A, as always, is the sweetest ever, and starts asking me how I'm dealing with my grief journey and tells me about hers. We had a normal check-up and she left us so the nurse could give Liv her shots. But before the nurse came in, Dr. A opened the door again. This time, she brought a different nurse with her. Carpenter was introducing me to someone new, using Dr. A as his voice.
I made a new friend today. A mother who is hurting--just days after her second angel went to heaven.
I know my son is sending these people to me, or pointing me in their direction. I know I am supposed to befriend these mothers. I feel immense pride that my sweet son feels I can be entrusted to help these women in some way. That maybe I can help make a small difference in how they experience their grief journey. But most of all, I feel grateful, because I know that for every hand I hold, there are hundreds more holding me up, being my support. And Carpenter introduced us.
Love you all, love your angels, and love my sweet son.