One night, completely overwhelmed, I sunk to the floor. With the couch at my back, tears poured silently down my cheeks. I could feel this hard knot of pain and heat in my chest that wanted to erupt. And I have no doubt that it would have been ugly. Screaming, raw awfulness could have poured from me in that moment.
But as I sat there, three year old Dancer came to me. Wrapping her chubby arms around me she said, It will be ok Mommy. Shhhhh, it will all be ok. I love you.
There I was, trying so desperately to let nothing but the tears escape. To not crack the lid on the vastness of the pain within me. And that simple, simplistic, gentle reminder from my baby pulled me back. Back to the place we were in, and the moments we were in, and the life we were making.
She was my support. Not like my mother. Or my best friend. Not like the adults who were there and did their best to understand. Or my husband, who grieved with me. Or even My Angel.
Dancer became my reason to smile. The need to take care of her is what pulled me out of bed each morning. She didn't pass along cliches as thin comfort. She simply took me, her mommy, where I was and reminded me....It will all be ok. I love you.
And, God forgive me, because I know I was suddenly a different mommy than she'd had before. I was fundamentally changed, down deep in the center of who I am. But she still needed me, and that made all the difference. Her joy helped me find mine. And her love, absolute and unwavering, helped me heal.