I did it. I think I did ok. Most importantly though I really enjoyed it. For me this was a bit of a test to see how I did with public speaking and if I did ok.. did it feel right. ..?
My goal was to hopefully make a change.
I am so grateful that the ladies that run Mamas Night Out were willing to take a chance on me and giving me the mic. It is my sincere hope that I am awarded the opportunity to speak and share again .. in any capacity. So if you have a venue or gathering in which I could be of help… or that I could speak to share, not only our story but also the truths of pediatric cancer funding and statistics or other portions of our story..please please let me know. Tony and I are both feeling like this is the right fit for our family.
We still have a non-profit in the works… but our thoughts are that my talents can best be served by joining others in the fight versus completely trying to re-invent the wheel.
I wonder what I look like to others… especially those that haven’t read my blog and don’t know that I do not cry in public. . And that I am constantly living a double life.. broken mom of 4/surviving mom of 3 .
I spoke. It was an obviously emotionally charged topic.. . there were some tears shed.. just not by me. And then I was done.
It wasn’t that I didnt feel the emotion. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe every word I spoke.. I just didn’t cry. I just don’t cry in these situations. I am not even sure why . I am so open and vulnerable here .. sharing what is in truth my own personal journal. And in speaking.. I share my daughter, my husband and our living children interwoven with personal moments and memories we have together.
Its just the outward/physical show of emotion stays too personal to be exposed.
I sometimes feel bad for my husband, my kids and my sister who are pretty much the only witnesses to my tears. Tonight at dinner Jonathan said tomorrow is Mothers Day. . and the emotions came flooding out. He did what he always does. He shares about his sadness and listens to me share about mine.
and then he hugs me.
long and strong one tonight. He shared that he missed his sissy today and wanted to go cry in his bed.. but wrestled with Daddy instead. I shared how mothers day makes me sad since I am missing one of the little beings that called me mommy… and I shared how very thankful I am to him and his little brother and sister for being my children.
These tears I cannot control.
After I spoke there was a piece of me that wanted to run to my sister. Fall apart in her arms. Go to a corner .. lay down.. and cry. All of those things that 6 months ago I would have said that’s what I would do if I lost one of my kids.
But what would I have missed.. ??
Taking some really ridiculous pictures with my family members that were able to be there to support me..
Drinking some champagne.. and then having some more. (and I am not a drinker)
Dancing with my friends.. a opportunity rarely given once you are in your 30s and a mom of 4.. a time that I thought I would never have again after the sorrow of losing one of those babies. Mostly because I have been so scared I would lose all those friends.
A time for people to see a part of me that I don’t share in my writings.. because in these evening meetings with myself I don’t need to let the Libby that does the “running man” in the middle of a dance circle out. .. Before I became known for the mom who lost her daughter.. the one who shares the stories of her days and the gritty of her nights. .. I was known for being the life of the party.
So last night I turned the no’s of this new me into the yes’s of the old me. I danced and I laughed and I made other people laugh too.
It was hard. I felt so vulnerable and exposed.
Would I be judged for not being in a corner… for not drowning in my pain.. the way everybody thinks they would.. and the way.. in the depths of me I am . .
Would people think what I share isn’t the truth?
Was I perpetuating the painful notion so many bereaved moms have shared with me.. this feeling that others think they should be getting over it?
Or the opposite..that I am not missing her and grieving her the way I should be?
In this room full of mostly strangers .. that now knew my life’s biggest tragedy I became totally exposed ..Sharing our story was the start of it.. but the culmination of it was.. I was fun.
I thought of her so much. A few times I wanted to run off the dance floor.. find a place to release my missing her. I didn’t give myself that space though.
because it wouldn’t have made a difference.
It wouldn’t have changed anything other than the loss of those moments…
So I pushed myself.. I embraced the gifts of memories to be made,with family, friends and strangers, that I was presented with. ..
Less than 3 months gone and I am dancing. But I do. All of it I do. Thats the reality of a grieving mom..I am never not thinking about her. But I have to keep going and trying to rebuild .Although my family sees the pain more than anybody else I cannot let it swallow me day after day..its not fair to them.
.. .so I dance.. a little everyday for them.. in all kinds of ways. Because thats what a mom does. I am getting good at my dances. My hope is that one day it wont just be something I am working at. .. something I am trying to do.. I hope that it will be a piece of me.. again.
Those moments I started to feel overwhelmed with the reason I was actually there.. When I felt like I didnt have it in me anymore to keep trying.. I rubbed my necklace or I threw glitter in the air
and I thanked her.
For the gift she gave me by being the biggest cheerleader of this blog. She didn’t understand it .. she didn’t grasp what it was about.. but she knew we made business cards and she was the one who pushed me to hand them out. Because of her willingness to have
her death .. .exposed.
I got to speak at the event.
and I danced.