I’m one of those people who believes whole-heartedly that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we’re all better off if we get to know the kids around us, if we try to be a part of their world. I’m also one of those people who believes that actions speak louder than words, so I try to live by the ideas I find important.
If you stop by here on any given day, you will see the village. There are always 10 or 12 kids hanging around. I’m good with that. I’d rather them be here, so I can try to guess what kind of mischief they’re cooking up in their ever-changing brains.
Right now it’s my Pickle who is almost grown, so we’re surrounded by boys. Testosterone everywhere! They’re blowing up Dr. Pepper bottles and pretending they aren’t trying to impress girls and no matter how big they get, they don’t seem to outgrow catching frogs. But when Blondie was growing up it was the land of sugar and spice. Every year we had two slumber parties- one for the last day of school and the Birthday Bash. There were girls who waited all year long for one of these parties. There would be cake and popcorn and movies and T’shirts to make and stories to tell.
Usually as soon as we returned to school from Christmas break the girls would start asking. They’d see me in the halls or at Wal-mart and they’d say “Are we having the sleepover?” I thought by high school they would have outgrown it, but NO! When Blondie turned 18 there was still a number of girls ready to make a pallet on the floor and watch movies all night and paint their nails.
When you have friends like that surrounding your children, they become part of the family. There must be 100 kids in this town who call me “Mama”. I cry every year when the graduation edition of the newspaper comes out because there they go- off into the world….
I rejoice at news of their successes. I’m proud when I hear how college is going. I’m excited when I see engagement rings. It doesn’t matter if they’re my kids or not, they’re part of my journey, which is why today, my heart is broken.
Jasmine was one of Blondie’s best friends growing up. She was at the slumber parties. She was a Golden Girl. She even visited grandparents with Blondie.
I jumped for joy when she showed me a left hand with a beautiful ring, and then there came news of a baby!
We were so excited for her. There would be pictures to take and cakes to make and there was a beautiful name picked out. Amelia Grace.
She got here a little early, but I took for granted that she’d be just fine. She was home with her mommy, and I couldn’t wait to see her. I wanted to see Jasmine, this little girl I watched grow into a woman, as a mother! I wanted to take pictures of them and post the joyous day, and have play-dates with my grandbaby, but somehow little Amelia was only here long enough to make a mark.
I don’t know how to comfort Jasmine. I don’t know how to comfort her family. All I know is that two weeks aren’t nearly enough time to hold and love and snuggle with your baby. In two weeks you don’t get to see them learn and grow and smile and crawl. In two weeks you don’t even get to breathe in enough of their baby scent. She was planning to buy diapers and bottles and bibs but now she’s planning a funeral. This heartache is unbearable.
These are the moments when life just isn’t fair; when nothing makes sense, when tears are the only constant and prayers are all we have. You may not know Jasmine; you may not even really know me- but I’m reaching out to you. If you are in a position to help, even with $5, the cold reality is that it takes money to bury a child. That’s something a parent shouldn’t be scraping together in their first moments of motherhood. I’d like to believe that we can at least help her say goodbye to her little angel. She’s gone too soon, but Jasmine, I love you.
There is a GoFundMe page for Amelia Grace. Please give if you feel led to do so… I invite you to join me in praying for peace for this young mother. She’s going to need a village now more than ever…. (CLICK HERE TO DONATE)