Thanks Michelle!! Pamela :)
Today my seventeen year old son Matt is preparing to attend his first prom. Energy is high. Flowers are ready. Tux is in the closet. He has showered and shaved without complaint or prodding. He’s happy and I’m happy for him. And yet….there’s something missing. My thoughts drift to my daughter, Samantha. She was born eighteen years ago. She died of SIDS when she was eight weeks old. She’s not going to prom.
Time. It’s a funny thing. I used to dread milestones like this; always unsure how I would cope: mild sadness and still functional versus total meltdown, shutting the world out, alone in my room. Unpredictable. Today I’m good; reflectful mostly. While ironing a shirt I started to wonder, “What is it really about these moments? Why are birthdays and rites of passage so important? And therefore, so painful to miss?”
They bring joy and happiness. Birthdays-presents-activities. Seeing a smile. Hearing laughter. Receiving a hug. But what motivates us? Simple really. LOVE. I love my son and so many of my actions are an extension of that. Same holds true for my daughter. I’m motivated by love. Even though I may not be shopping for a prom dress, I still love her. When I dig deeper I discover it’s not the shopping and prom that matters. It’s the love. That realization, that awareness, is the biggest gift of healing. LOVE NEVER GOES AWAY. Not one little bit.
So, I as watch several prom couples around town and see smiling faces, I’ll think of Samantha. The love I have for her. And I’ll smile.