The cards are dealt. They’re turned over and fanned out and read. Everybody has their poker face on. My face has tears streaming down it.
It’s right there in front of me. I was dealt THE HAND. The dreaded “You’re going to be the mom of the baby that died” hand.
How easy it would have been to fold. To turn my cards over. Give them back. Say, “I quit.”
But how was I to know that somebody else didn’t have scarier cards than me? Or the same cards as me? What if they all had a worse hand and mine was the BEST one of the bunch?
I choose to keep my hand I was dealt. I choose to embrace it. I choose to use it for good. I can’t ask for more cards. I have to take the ones given. For better or for worse, they’re my cards. I own them.
I will play them.
Why am I writing this today? The last week has been filled with exciting things. Things that if I hadn’t been dealt that hand, I wouldn’t be experiencing.
Band Back Together is growing exponentially. We’re working 12 hours a day (or more) on it and have finally gotten some others to help us. It’s exploding and helping more people than we can imagine.
I’ve gotten to share Charlie’s story with no less than four people (and that doesn’t include those who just read it here and are impacted). I don’t know why, but it seems to happen like that. One was with a mom of Henry’s friend who didn’t know. We were talking and it was just time to share it. If we’re going to be friends, she has to know. It’s who I am. It’s who we are.
Another was a girl who wrote in to the GBS group with an almost identical story as Charlie’s, as most late onset Group B Strep stories are. We’ve been emailing back and forth this week and she has had some wonderful questions. Questions that honestly, in nearly eight years, I haven’t processed the answers to. I’ve thought about them, but have never dug deeper to be able to tell someone my answer. I think they may be another post, but her biggest question was basically, “How did you go on?”
My answer to that is, “I just did. We just did.” We weren’t given a choice. Nobody asked me if this is the hand I wanted, was this ok? If they had, I certainly would have told them, “HELL FREAKING NO, it’s not ok.”
But then I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be talking to people and helping them heal. I wouldn’t be running a site that is helping SO many people deal with their demons and burdens and heartaches. I wouldn’t have an understanding of what it’s like to live without part of your heart and soul.
But I also wouldn’t know what it was like to have an all-time guardian angel sitting on my shoulder, going with me everywhere I roam.
And for those reasons, I won’t fold. I’ll play my hand.
In fact, hit me, dealer.