I'd like to chat about something that's been sitting heavy on my heart. I wasn't sure how to reach out, but think maybe my blog is a good spot to start. A few weeks ago, WKOW morning show anchor, Dani Maxwell went into labor with her triplet boys. She was 23 weeks along. I want to say first, what strength it took to so elegantly let her story be a part of the public eye. Viewers watched the gender reveal live on TV one week … cutting into the cake with all blue filling and then the next week posted their condolences and mourned with her and her family.
It brought back memories of loving and letting go of my nephew, Sammy. Right about now three years ago my brother and sister in law were trying to wrap their heads around a lethal diagnosis for their unborn son. He wouldn't live long after he was born so they decided that while they got to call him theirs, they'd do everything. They traveled to Cape Cod, went to a Sox game (yes, they live in Boston) and took as many pictures as they could as a family of three. It's true, in his short life on Earth he knew nothing but love which comforts the soul on a good day. But on an 'I just miss Sammy day' it does nothing. And there's nothing internally or externally that can make those bad days go any faster or just away, period. I am nothing but honored to be his auntie and to have kissed every inch of his body while trying to memorize it at the same time. He is forever a part of this family.
We were so lucky to have a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer to capture his delivery and time spent with Sammy. Jim cried with us and laughed with us and thanked everyone afterwards for allowing him to be a part of it all. Those pictures have a direct route to my heart. I am yet to look at them all…there were hundreds. There are all of a sudden times when I NEED to look at those pictures and connect with Sammy. To say they're cherished is the understatement of the century.
Dani's family and our family have both benefitted from this amazing organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. These are photographers who volunteer their time with those who have to say good bye to the youngest members of their family. It can't be easy. But they do it. As you can imagine it's quite a commitment and they're always looking for more photographers. If you or someone you know is willing and able to help in a way that I'm unable to even put into words…please pass this link along. Thank you from a very humbled auntie. Please keep Dani and her family in your thoughts and prayers because grief is a son of a gun, death is gut-wrenching … grief over the loss of your children is unfathomably deafening and as you can imagine, changes you forever. I have one more thing to add. I was referred to this song for strength after Sammy's diagnosis. It's not an easy listen … but its words are very powerful.