Over the past few days when things have been tough for me, I have found that again, Melanie and her blog have shown me things.
Interestingly, we are different in that she is a stay at home mom (which kudos’s to her, that is something I could not have done with my three) and I am a full time Director where I work in a healthcare organization. Both demand a lot of attention, different in each, but still demand us to focus on other things besides our loss of our sons.
At the beginning of this journey, I can honestly say, at times I felt like I failed at saving Big Bubby. Every mother lives to protect their child, it’s what is called our animal instinct, whether that child is with them or thousands of miles away, our instinct is to protect.
When we learned Big Bubby was gone, I felt as though I could have somehow known that there was going to be an accident and warn him, call him and keep him home just 5 minutes, etc. We all know that would never have been the case, we all know that when God calls you to come home, no matter where you are, you go. But in the fleeting first moments of losing him, it was my thought.
Success used to look like a big title to me, the corner office of some big healthcare organization, showing everyone that I had made it in the corporate world. Today, success to me, is making it through my day without having meltdown. What a difference a year makes in someones life.
You go along thinking you are doing everything right, living right, providing a good home for your family, then all of a sudden, the world is ripped out from under you. Your world stops, while you watch the rest of the world move around you. Its almost like an out of body experience as you can see and hear but it isn’t happening to you. You want to yell to everyone don’t you see what has happened? Don’t you care that someone is gone from this world in an instant? You see people go on with their daily lives as if nothing has happened to you. I think that was the hardest thing for me to get used to seeing is that everyone went on with their lives, except for those closest to Big Bubby, his family, his brothers in arms, his bestest of friends, etc.
When older generations go to their heavenly place, we say they had a great life, we say they lived it full, etc. What do you say to a bereaved parent who just buried their 24 year old son? There are no words, there are no grief cards for that loss, that’s not to say people don’t try. Like other bloggers on here, the sayings that become the hardest to take are when your told that “God needed him”, “God only takes the best”,”He’s in a better place”, friends try by saying these things but truly, in the moments and even years after losing a child, those are sayings that sting, yes we know where our child is, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we want them here more than ever, something that will never happen.
So for me now, a successful life, it’s making sure my two living kids and husband know how proud I am of all their accomplishments, that I love them forever and always, that I talk to them daily. Because a job is a job and there is always another one in its place. There is always another title someone else can have. I have made my way in the corporate world, not looking to go any further up the ladder of success as they call it because my ladder of success is what I leave behind in my kids hearts and soul, not what I have provided for them. The material things only show that I have the means to provide, it doesn’t show them how much I would do for them if necessary.
So from a bereaved parent, may I ask that you take a moment and ponder the question of the title of this blog? What does success mean to you? Do you have a family that you are giving 100% to or 10% because you want that corner office? Or are you putting off a family because you want the corner office first? I can guarantee you bury a child and that corner office won’t mean one thing, you will look back on what you did with that child. I am lucky, I spent many hours and days with my baby and don’t have regrets when it comes to losing him, well maybe a few, losing him first of all and not telling him I love him enough is one. But I didn’t miss baseball games, soccer games, birthdays, holiday trips, him growing up, etc because of a job that was more important. I always made sure there was time for my family and my job was accommodating to that or I moved on.