My Testimony: I am who I am Because of my Children

I am frequently reminded of this one truth……. I am who I am because of my children.  A little less than 6 years ago, I said hello and goodbye in the very same breath to my eldest son, Vinson.  His death knocked the wind out of me and shook me to my very core.  Those first few months were heavy and dark, I could barely see through the tears.  After a while, I picked myself back up, wiped away my tears and vowed to myself that his death would not be in vain.  I returned to work and pushed through graduate school to become a family nurse practitioner.  I joined the board of directors as vice-president for a wonderful organization called Footprints for Faith.  During my stint as VP, we raised funds to purchase a cuddle clot for our local hospital.  We wanted to give other families what we didn’t have when our babies died, more time to spend with them before they would be taken away.  I also created a blog where other loss mamas could share their stories as a form of healing while others could read their stories and not feel so alone.

Vinson’s death made me stronger and wiser.  His death prepared me to be able to handle Kolin’s 6-month NICU stay.  Yes, his NICU stay was long and hard and felt like it was never ending but he was alive.  I had no choice but to fight. I managed to return to work full-time two months after Kolin was born, pump throughout the day, call his nurses several times a day for updates and manage a household.  Due to the distance between my home and the hospital, I was only able to visit him three times a week. 

Vinson’s death and Kolin’s premature birth and subsequent NICU stay, made it possible for me to be able to survive my husband’s unexpected death.  Once you have had a baby barely make it into your arms before passing away and another fighting for his life for 6 months, what can break you?  I have been knocked down more times than I care to count, but each time, I have had no choice but to get up swinging no matter how wounded I was.  My Kolin depends on me to be okay.

I do not share my story for sympathy. I do not need anyone to feel sorry for me.  I share my testimony to let others know that If I can make it, so can they.  I want others to know that joy and peace and healing are on the other side of your pain.  Like a Soror told me, I want them to know that joy and pain can co-exist.  As I look back over the past few years, even when it did not feel like it, God was there leading, guiding and protecting me.  During this current season of my life, I am choosing to use my pain as a steppingstone to the next level.  I have goals to reach and a mission to accomplish.  If death cannot stop me, nothing can. 

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