Saturday, July 28, was the Divine Run in Kansas City. It’s a biennial 5K held to raise funds for SIDS Resources. Jeff and I felt very blessed and loved to have a very large group of friends supporting us at the Divine Run that morning (and we were very thankful for the Mason Werner Foundation for helping us with our shirts). It was a beautiful morning. Cooler than most have been this summer. I’d like to think all of our little angels had something to do with that weather. 🙂
One of my friends asked me how I felt that morning. Was I sad to be surrounded by all these other families who had experienced the same type of loss? Was I happy to be around everyone? I was overjoyed to have so many friends to walk/run with us that morning. I decided that I was going to walk and not run and really enjoyed myself throughout the walk (running would not have been enjoyable as I had not “trained” for it at all). I was so happy to meet more of the moms from my SIDS Facebook group. I walked most of the race with two of the moms and was glad I had the chance to talk with them about their journey in their grief. I guess it kind of just helps to make me feel more normal about how I am grieving. The truth is, every individual’s journey is different. It helps to hear that over and over again and remind me that there is no right or wrong way to go about how we are grieving. More than anything, these moms gave me hope. Both of the moms I walked with have babies under a year old. There were other moms from our group that were also there that are also moms to newborns. They have all been through what we went through, but they were brave enough to take the leap into parenthood again.
Mommy and a few of her friends
A smooch from mommy
It took my breath away as we approached Carter’s picture along the course. We submitted what has become my favorite picture of my sweet boy – jumping in his jumparoo with a big smile on his face with the word “Carter” on the television behind him. A couple of my friends told me that they noticed how many of the other babies died around the same age as Carter. It’s so sad, but yet comforting to know that we are not alone in this journey. We are not alone because we have many friends and family to help us through this never ending journey…and of course, we have all these other families that have been through this situation that we now can share in this journey with. We especially are thankful that none of our friends have shied away from us because of Carter’s death. I know I’ve shared this before, but we have several friends that have babies Carter’s age or within a few months of his age. We are so happy that all of those friends feel comfortable bringing their babies around us…or even if they don’t, they suck it up and they still come around us. Of course, Jeff and I will always think to ourselves “I wonder what Carter would be doing now,” but that doesn’t give reason for any of our friends to not bring their kids around us. We will ask those questions for the rest of our lives… When would Carter have walked? How big would he have been when he started kindergarten? When would he have lost his first tooth? What would his favorite sport have been? When would we let him go out with friends for the first time? Where would life have taken him after he graduated from high school? What age would he have been when he made it to the Olympics for the first time? (Ok, maybe not that one…I couldn’t resist since we’re in the Olympic spirit right now.) We have a lifetime of those questions ahead of us. Nothing can change that, so we just have to deal with it…unfortunately.
College and childhood friends that came to support Carter’s Crew
We want to express our THANKS again to all of our friends (and family) that were there to support us that morning (and every day). We know there were many people that weren’t able to make it, but we know they were all with us in spirit. We hope that when this race rolls around again in two years that we are able to have as many friends come and join us again.