Some of you may have noticed my new sidebar object (there’s one at the bottom, too!).
Yep, I am walking again this year. We raised $685 total last year, between us and my aunt in Huntsville. My goal is set at the same as last year. I’m horrible at asking for money – for me, or for charity. My family is very giving and very supportive, but I don’t expect the same response as last year. I don’t have money to pass out all the time, which is why I choose to walk. (I DO donate to the MOD throughout the year, but they get it all.) It’s the same reason I chose to ring for the Salvation Army. I don’t expect everyone to be able to just drop $20 in the bank of every charity that asks. But I do believe it’s important to give something (money, time, whatever) to a cause that you hold dear.
So, if you are able to spare a few dollars, I would greatly appreciate you sponsoring me. Or if you would like to sign up to walk yourself, check out their website.
It was really a great experience for me last year. Even though it rained the entire time. It was also healing for me. Seeing how many people were affected by premature birth, just in my area, was a shock. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel alone.
After I gave birth to Bella, The Man stayed home for a few days, but eventually had to go back to work. I still had seven weeks left before my leave time was up. So there I sat - aching, tired, alone. For seven weeks.
My mom tried to get extra days off, and my sister-in-law spent a day with me, too. We also moved into our new house during that time, so I was able to fill some time in the end getting things settled up there. But for the most part, I was just alone.
I don’t remember what I looked like back then, I really didn't care. I had few clothing items that fit and my face was so red and swollen, I though it would never go down. I had to force myself to shower. I would run into people that I knew and I probably scared them. Of course, they all congratulated me on the baby. I had to be on-guard at all times because I never knew when someone was going to pop up and make me explain to them that she wasn’t there. I was trying so hard to get back to normal – normal being getting through the day without crying – but everywhere I went, there was someone bringing me back to my reality.
Coming back to work was even worse. People close to me knew. Some of them wanted to know details, some of them wanted to pretend things were normal. A lot of people were yet to be told. A year after it all, I still had people asking “So, your baby must be about a year now, huh?” It never gets easier trying to find the words to explain it.
I went from being alone to being constantly surrounded by people. Surprisingly, I had never felt more isolated. At least at home, I was able to curl up with her blanket. I had the freedom to cry when it hurt and feel okay once in a while without worrying what other people would think. “Can you believe she’s smiling?” I would imagine them saying. I would hide in my cubicle and cry. Seeing people meant explaining what happened all over again. Every day.
I tried so hard to hide myself from everyone. I quit talking to a lot of people. I lost the bubbliness that had made me so likeable before my heartbreak. I did everything I could to keep to myself. It was hard for me to even go to doctor’s appointments, or go to the store. Social engagements were out of the question.
In March of 2006, I decided that 6 months of reclusion and obesity were enough and started taking steps to fix myself.
Our daycare was an avid supporter of the March of Dimes, a charity that, up until then, I had not even known what their actual cause was. One day, dropping the kids off, I took notice and realized how tied to them I already was. I signed up for the walk and started letting my family know about it. They all supported me and told me how proud they were.
Facing that large group of people was going to be a big challenge for me. Yet, surprisingly, nobody offered to walk with me. Not my mom, not The Man. I guess they thought I wanted to do it alone – which couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I made The Man come with me, and it was still a challenge. I walked five wet miles and kept telling myself, “Just keep going.” When we finished that day, I knew that I had it in me to do things that scared me, to finish what I started. I knew I was going to be okay.