Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You Never Know

It has almost been 2 years that Oliver has been gone. I remember that day so vividly. I can replay it moment by moment. I knew he had passed. I am not sure how I kept so calm. I didn't scream. I didn't throw a fit. I was definitely frantic. I remember the nurse doing the sonogram, looking for Oliver's hearbeat. She said there's a heartbeat I see, but its yours. My heart was pounding. I didn't need her to tell me that he was gone. I am his mother, I knew it.
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In the waiting room before this, I let the receptionist know that someone's car lights were on,a Honda. and if she knew who it was, to let them know. Mind you, I never see anyone I know in this office, EVER. So the day that I am there - to confirm the worst, I see a high school friend. Her brother was a close friend of mine and to many of my friends - [Chris Lembo "Lil C", may he rest in peace]. His sister, Erica, happened to be in the office that day, and coincidentally has a Honda. It wasn't hers - we came to find out. But it was so unexpected. I kept on a brave face, but seeing her almost made me fall apart. I can keep a brave face and stay super strong in front of strangers. It's the familiar faces that can get the tears rolling. I thank God it was her at the office, she is one the nicest people I know. It was a quick encounter, in fact, she may not even remember that day. It was a huge life event for me, not her.
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You never know when you see people what they are going through and vice versa.  Each person we know is going through their own personal struggles. Mine that day was losing my son. I was lucky in the sense that I saw a sweet person in a quick passing.
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That being said, they are days that I have been at my worst. A few weeks after I had Oliver, my mom and I went to Home Goods. Just to get me moving and out of my bed. We were walking around, and I got to a point where we needed to leave. Everything in the store reminded me of Oliver. How I could decorate his room, how I could make this for him, do that with him. Literally everything. I'm sure I flew out of that store, trying to hold tears back until we could get to the car. And I am sure I probably was in someone's way, ignored someone, and potentially rude. But not intentionally. I am guilty of this myself. Judging someone's actions based on something so small. "They didn't say thank you", "Or they didn't hold the door", "I've said excuse me 3 times and they have ignored me completely". 
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There are times that we are so quick to judge and we have no idea what is going on in that persons life. Maybe they didn't say thank you, because the if they open their mouth to utter a word, they will fall apart and break into tears. They could have not heard you because all they hear is that their son's heartbeat did stop and their life just changed completely. Maybe they didn't hold the door, because they are running as fast as they can to their daughter who just called and said that it's time to go to the hospital. We don't know any of their reasons.
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My journey, becoming a mother to Oliver, has taught me so much. I was someone who always assumed someone's life was better than mine. That nothing could be that bad. And I was wrong. I have met so many people who have shared my experience and those who are going through it. Those that are going through divorce, those who just lost a parent, child, or loved one. Those who were diagnosed with cancer, or a life threatening illness. Everyone around us is going through a struggle of their own. I have and am still learning, to slow down and think before I judge. We pass so many people, and  have many of those small exchanges. That person may be going through more than you can imagine and their response, or lack of, shouldn't affect us in such a negative way.  The response you give them could be make or break their day.
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I may have been short with her, or acted reserved. I don't remember. What I do remember is that she was nice and just had a good vibe about her. I could have easily had a negative memory (as believe me I have many negative memories from being in that OBGYN's office), but I didn't. It's a reminder to me that your attitude can make a huge difference for someone. It may give them something positive to remember from such a heart-breaking experience.