People say and do the most thoughtless things. Not necessarily mean things, or even things that hurt me or others. Just short sighted or meaningless. Here is my list of things I have learned and the events that inspired them.
1) Always gauge what you say.
My husband was visiting Perry to light a candle. Someone from a funeral home was there working and struck up a conversation.
"Is that your son?" he asked. I think by this time people are getting used to us being regular visitors.
"Yes, Perry is my 5 month old son".
"Are you in your 30's?"
"Well my son is your age and back when he was a baby they talked about crib death. And I always told my Wife that was just foolish nonsense (safety precautions)..."
My husband just walked away.
2) The internet will outlast your intelligence and attention span, striking out when least expected.
Looking up infant death or Angel Care Monitor (at one point we had had this on Emily's registry) on babycenter, I was trying to find information. A thread from the July 2011 birthclub popped up. The title looked interesting and I think it started with a woman asking for advice from other Moms. The answer from the majority... "Don't worry. SIDS or accidental infant death doesn't really happen, it is really the result of parents who murder their infants". What the ?!!! The sad thing is that there is another Mommy whose blog I follow who had an infant die that was on that particular birthclub. These women probably make multiple safety mistakes everyday and they are just the lucky ones. We all do, we try and there are still things we do not forsee. You do the best you can with the resources at the moment, try to gauge risk/benefit and you can still come up short. And how about the poor women that do EVERYTHING 'right' only to find their infants are no longer with them in the morning? Even in cases where SIDS or infant death has struck twice in the same family, in 87% of the cases (after intensive investigations) the parents are innocent.
At first I was about to post back, but then I thought, "These women are so naive, they have no clue... May they always be as insensitive because nothing short of something happening to their child will change their minds."
3) If something happens that you will not remember or it will not matter in 5 or 10 years, it is a minor thing. You can recover. I hear so many young ladies crying at the scene of accidents because they have crumpled the car. You lose a job, you can find another one. Your house burns down and everyone is out, small potatos.
4) You can not be island. Everyone everywhere needs people, they also need something bigger than themselves. If you avoid people because of the pain, you miss out on the richest blessings of life. If you avoid trying again because you have had one loss, you will miss out on blessings you cannot imagine, sometimes given to you in ways you never expected.
5) If you have an oppurtunity to react in anger, step back and consider patience. The other day at the Y, I waited for 30 minutes for a weight machine. I eventually got on and when I rested inbetween sets my mind would wander. I didn't waste too much time, from my perspective, but I do not know. I do not always function on all cylinders, putting foot in front of foot is a victory. I overheard a man talking to his wife, saying "she's taking too much time, just sitting there". Now the urge was there to explode but I backed off. They had no idea. Whenever you get impatient, realize that you never know what is going on in that person's life. They did not know I had lost my son. The people I passed on the interstate 'that day' after pulling over into the other lane to let them through just minutes before, were probably confused at the aggressive driver. They did not know that my life had changed sometime in the night or early morning and in betwen the time they passed me and I passed them, I had just found it out. If you still cannot restrain your tongue, tell yourself to stop and look at their face. If they look upset, don't add to whatever is there, use your tongue to ask if they need help.
6) Always kiss your children goodnight and tell them you love them.