for sitting down with someone else who "gets it."
Last night, Hubs and I got together with another couple who lost their little girl to Leukemia. It was a really nice time, but the kind of time that only two couples who have walked the road of loss could share, laughing and making jokes one moment, and tearing up talking about the last moments we each spent with our child the next.
2008 was a terrible year for both of our families. Their daughter lost her battle in May, ours in October. A year ago we would have just sat there, fuming and bitter at how incredibly unfair losing Peyton was, and how angry at the world we are, but somehow we have come to a different place. A place where we could truly enjoy ourselves, even beneath the cloud of grief and loss. A place where you say, "Man, I really like this couple, they are awesome, but I so wish the circumstances for having met had been different."
I go to a therapist. I meet with a mom's group. I write and talk and make connections here. Last night was really the first time that Hubs, in an informal setting, could look across the table at another guy sitting in the same position. He's not one to open up about how he is feeling, but I could tell over the course of our time together, that making a connection like that was important for him.
This couple has come further in their journey than we have, I say this only because they have gone on to have two more beautiful children. I guess there was healing in that too. In seeing that it CAN happen. You CAN move forward towards a family, without Leukemia looming foreboding over your entire future. Does this couple ever stop worrying? Probably not. But they move forward, and this was something I needed to see right now.
Their story offered us some much needed reassurance, especially as we start our IVF cycle next week, that there can be a happy ending. Well, maybe happy ending is a bad choice of words. Can any of us truly be happy in the end without the child we are missing? No, I don't think we can, so I will word it like this: meeting this couple showed us that losing your first child to Leukemia doesn't have to be the end, and for that we are grateful.
On an unrelated note, can you please send my friend Bobbie some love today. Her beautiful girl, Evelyn, lost her life to the same exact Leukemia that Peyton battled. Today, she is spending her first birthday in Heaven. Many of us have crossed this painful bridge, others are facing it down. For me it was the hardest day after Peyton died, one that should have been full of so much promise, instead brimming with so many tears. Please send her your love here.