When Lucia first died, I felt like the only woman in the world who lost a child in this way. Then I reconnected with my friend Mimmy, whose son Alex was born on Mother's Day of 2004, almost three months premature. We worked together at the time. I was single and oblivious, but we all grieved with Mimmy. Alex died three days later. As the weeks went further from Lucia's death, Mimmy and I emailed, and I began connecting with more women via forums, then blogs. And the feeling of being alone, while sometimes still there, felt manageable. We were alone, together. That felt okay. It made me stronger. Other women, grieving and hurting, helped me in their worst moments. And so, this year, feeling stronger myself, less acute in my grief, I became a HOPE Mentor for the MISS Foundation. HOPE stands for Helping Other Parents Endure. And that is what other parents did for me, and what I hope I do for other parents--helped me endure. I became a HOPE Mentor because one of the women that soothed me, helped me, gave me a voice and language to speak is Mother Henna, a.k.a. Kara L.C. Jones. She is a major force of love and light at the MISS Foundation, and throughout every project she touches. She gifted me art and creative expression and an entirely new life full of fearless energy and love in the wake of terrible tragedy and life-altering grief.
A few weeks ago, the MISS Foundation executive director emailed me to let me know that the MISS Foundation chose Philadelphia to have a walk. A WALK?!? For babies?!? HERE! That is the kind of thing I craved when Lucia first died. A place to go to remember, to talk of her, to gather with the others like me. I was very excited at the possibility of connecting with women and other families grieving, and of showing that we are present here in Philly. Finally, it has all come to fruition.
So, please check out my fundraising page for Team Lucia and if you can spare it, please consider donating to our team. Any little thing helps. It all goes to the MISS Foundation. Better, if you can join us at Ridley Creek State Park, 9am, October 15th, for the MISS Foundation Kindness Walk, please consider starting your own team to walk in your child's name, or join Team Lucia. We would love to have you.