Today is the Adversity Bloghop, hosted by Nick Wilford at Scattergun Scribblings. This bloghop is to raise money for college for Nick's stepson, Andrew, who has cerebral palsy. I think it's an excellent cause and would highly encourage anyone reading this to check out Nick's blog to learn more about it.
P.S. As a quick addendum, I've been looking around at other people's stuff and realized I did this wrong. My apologies. I guess it was supposed to be a short story--more like a fiction kind of piece. I thought we were supposed to talk about actual adversities we'd overcome. So, I guess I messed up the rules a bit, but I'm still leaving this up cause I wrote it and I tried but, fair warning for anyone reading, that this is not like the other stories on this bloghop.
I thought a lot about what to write for this. We all have our things in life to overcome and I've definitely had my share of adversity. There are a lot of things that would've been much easier to talk about than what I ended up choosing.
But, in the end, I decided to write the story you're about to read. I wanted to write about this because, at the time that it happened, there were days I didn't think I'd get through it. There were days when all I wanted was to never wake up again. But, after a long, long time, I came out the other side of it and maybe somebody will read this and will know that, no matter how horrible something is, there can still be a life beyond it--just maybe not the life you thought you'd have.
I was only eighteen when I married my husband. Twenty-one when I gave birth to our first daughter, Caitlyn. Twenty-two when our second little girl, Meggie, was born. Twenty-four when I had our first son, little Marc--dubbed Quick at some point during the pregnancy and known to everyone as such.
Looking back, it's so crazy. We were little more than kids ourselves. We were still young enough to believe we were indestructible and, by extension, so were our babies. And yeah, other people had bad things happen to them--but me and Marc had both already lived tough lives. We'd already overcome so much adversity that it never occurred to me how much worse there could be on the horizon...We were young and in love and life seemed kinda like one of those country songs--the one where the washing machine breaks and the bills don't get paid, but you know it's all gonna work out in the end. We had these beautiful kids and we had each other and we had our whole lives stretched out in front of us like an endless summer.
And then, when Quick was three and a half months old, he died on Christmas day. We all laid down for a nap, only our little boy never woke back up. I won't ever forget the sound of my husband's screams when he found him. It took a really long time for me to hear any music in my life again, because all I could hear for a lot of years were those screams.
There are probably people reading this who are wondering why I would write about something as horrific as a baby dying. But I'm writing about it because it happened. We lost our son and, in losing him, lost our hope and our faith and our youth and ourselves. And it took a long time to find those things again.
And during that time, we wanted to give up. We both wanted to die...but we didn't. Because we still had two little girls to live for. We still had each other. And those things are worth fighting for.
It's been nineteen years now. Long enough to look back and know that, if Quick had never died, our whole lives would have been different. I wouldn't have ever had any more kids, which means Chance and Kassidy would've never been born. The person I was before I lost my son would've never considered something like homeschooling--a choice that radically changed the people all four of my children grew into.
Looking back, the person I was before Quick is almost a stranger to me. I have to believe that he came along to touch my heart and touch my life and force me--through the heartbreaking loss of him--to become the person I was meant to be.
Sometimes I look at Chance (that's where we got the name, he was our second Chance) and I wonder if he looks like his brother. I wonder if Quick would've liked to write? Or would he have been more into sports? Would he have had the same sense of humor as Chance or would he have been more serious? Those are questions I'll never be able to answer. But I was meant to have Chance. I cannot regret having him. Having Kassidy. I cannot regret having the life the loss of Quick lead to.
But I will always regret that I didn't get to watch my first little boy grow up. I will always miss him. I will always love him. And I will always hope that someday, somehow, I get to hold him in my arms again.
Until then, I will tell him thank you for coming into my life for as long as he did. For making me a better person and a better parent. For giving me his little brother and sister. For all of it.
Thank you, son.