Happy Birthday baby girl. I never know exactly how I’m gonna feel on this day each year. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, it was overwhelming sadness at the piece of my heart missing. More recently it’s been a mixture of deep gratitude and wondering what you would’ve been like this year, as you turn eight. I think you would’ve idolized your sister & brother and they would’ve protected you. You three probably would’ve ganged up on me & daddy and since there are more of you, you’d win. BUT, this is just one of many alternate realities.
Today my reality is that there is still so much need to help mothers through their pregnancies and beyond whether their first or fifth child, it doesn’t matter. Each new pregnancy carries it’s own path to travel and each is a new story for the mother.
I’m about to start my 6th semester in my MSW, about half way through the program now, but I am certain now more than ever that having this knowledge and experience along with all that I’ve already learned (and will learn) outside my studies is going to do a world of good for The Tangerine Owl Project. As always you inspire me and only through this have I been able to be there for other mothers who are shut out by the rest of society when things don’t go picture perfect. Its Ok to not be Ok.
2020 Mom, who you know I’ve worked with for the past several years, has deemed 2020 the “Year of the Mother”. This is another year that we take on the social stigma, injustice, and the archaic policies that keep mothers from healing and take emotional tolls. I think it’s got a nice ring to it, no? Supporting mothers in allowing whatever they are feeling is so important, it was for me. Allowing them safe space to share and feel and vent and breakdown is imperative. So for now, that’s what I’ll do as I wait to finish my program so that I can make some more concrete change to the way we work with mothers during the perinatal period.
I thank you again (as I do on the daily) for being the one responsible for all of this. We miss you dearly and love you so much it hurts sometimes. I hope that you are proud of what I’ve been up to in your name, and I hope that you know you’re the inspiration that has allowed me to learn from others and to support them through their darkest and most confusing days.
We love you. Always.