in 2011, i had the honor of meeting a few other BLMs when i made my way up to MN. it was an incredible trip - therapeutic, emotional, relaxing, necessary. i had time to meet some the women who had become part my biggest support system since losing Julius.
last weekend, i got a chance to make another similar trip. my rainbow and i made our way to IL to meet several other BLMs and their rainbows. and it was...awesome! i think in total 14 moms (a few dads) and 14 rainbows were in attendence in person (plus our babies that we carried with us in our hearts - the ones that brought us together). and while i didn't know all of the BLMs that were there before the trip, it was still great to just meet them and their rainbows.
it was inspirational to see so many women who have survived the unimaginable. it was wonderful to be able to share my son with people and not fear that i was making them feel uncomfortable. and when i cried (because of course there was crying done by me), no one tried to get me to stop, or spouted out some useless platitude. they let me cry, they brought me tissues, they cried with me.
and those rainbows!!! wow. how those babies were loved and adored by all this weekend! the amount of love that was in that house...well, i'm surprised the house didn't implode in on itself. everyone was just so wonderful with my rainbow, and showed her so much love and affection. it warmed my heart. she usually has to warm up to strangers, but i think even she realized that these women weren't "strangers". i think she knew that these women knew me/my heart, and that they have helped me survive. seriously, i'm not sure how i would have managed the last 2.5 years without their comments, emails, messages, cards, etc.
i'm thankful. i wish i never had to meet those women the way that we did. i wish we all had our babies in our arms. but i appreciate every single one of them that made it last weekend. i appreciate their rainbows because they have brought some happiness into, not only their parents' lives again, but also mine. i appreciate their babies that were not able to be there with us in person, because they led me to their mommas. and i appreciate those BLMs/people who weren't able to be there, for whatever reason, but have shown me support, love, and comfort in the days since losing Julius. living without Julius is the hardest thing i am currently doing, but i'm thankful i have this community walking with me.