Over and over people say to me, ‘I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know what I would do, how I would go on. You’re so strong.’ While this is said as a compliment, people need to realize that there’s no choice. I don’t have the option to not be strong, throw in the towel, I have a 5 year old. There is a little girl that needs me to still be her mother, to take care of her and love her.
I had two children. Because one is gone, I don’t have the option to shut down and stop living life because I’m grieving. I lived through that when my own mom passed and my father couldn’t deal with it. One of the first things that I promised to myself and Parker was that I wasn’t going to disappear, that Darcy would still have me. This doesn’t make me strong, this makes me a mom.
For every person that is doubting what they would do in my situation, you would put your children first, period. After you have to look your 5 year old in the eye and tell her that her brother has died, believe me that you will do everything in your power to make sure that she feels safe and loved. You would move heaven and earth to make it ‘better’ for the surviving children. Even on days when I am on the floor in the kitchen crying, I know that if Darcy needed me in that moment, that she would come first. This doesn’t make me strong, brave maybe.
We’re lucky that we sent Darcy to Kindegarten when we did, otherwise she would have been with us that Friday. When that thought crosses my mind, I cringe. I’m thankful that she was safe at school, happily ensconced in pretend play with friends. I’m fortunate that we have the most amazing neighbors that came in and took charge of her in what could have been a terrible situation when she got home from school. These are people that responded before we even had a chance to ask them.
We are lucky we have her. Without her, I don’t know that I would get out of bed every day and put one foot in front of the other. She is beautiful, outspoken, courageous and brave. She is my little doodle bug, as tough as they come. She saves me everyday. I’m so lucky to have her in my life and that I get to be her mom. I spend a lot of time missing Benny, but I also spend a lot of time realizing that I have this amazing person in my life. She gives me so much hope for the future. She makes me feel lucky to be a mom. Love you to pieces my doodle bug!