danced

I did it. I think I did ok. Most importantly though I really enjoyed it.  For me this was a bit of a test to see how I did with public speaking and if I did ok.. did it feel right. ..?

My goal was to hopefully make a change.

10253911_10202407294236056_1113793061562809155_nI am so grateful that the ladies that run Mamas Night Out were willing to take a chance on me and giving me the mic.  It is my sincere hope that I am awarded the opportunity to speak and share again .. in any capacity. So if you have a venue or gathering in which I could be of help… or that I could speak to share, not only our story but also the truths of pediatric cancer funding and statistics or other portions of our story..please please let me know. Tony and I are both feeling like this is the right fit for our family.

We still have a non-profit in the works… but our thoughts are that my talents can best be served by joining others in the fight versus completely trying to re-invent the wheel.

I wonder what I look like to others… especially those that haven’t read my blog and don’t know that I do not cry in public. . And that I am constantly living a double life.. broken mom of 4/surviving mom of 3 .

I spoke. It was an obviously emotionally charged topic.. . there were some tears shed.. just not by me.  And then I was done.

It wasn’t that I didnt feel the emotion. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe every word I spoke.. I just didn’t cry. I just don’t cry in these situations. I am not even sure why . I am so open and vulnerable here .. sharing what is in truth my own personal journal. And in speaking.. I share my daughter, my husband and our living children interwoven with personal moments and memories we have together.

Its just the outward/physical  show of emotion stays too personal to be exposed.

I sometimes feel bad for my husband, my kids and my sister who are pretty much the only witnesses to my tears. Tonight at dinner Jonathan said tomorrow is Mothers Day. . and the emotions came flooding out. He did what he always does. He shares about his sadness and listens to me share about mine.

and then he hugs me.

long and strong one tonight. He shared that he missed his sissy today and wanted to go cry in his bed.. but wrestled with Daddy instead. I shared how mothers day makes me sad since I am missing  one of the little beings that called me mommy… and I shared how very thankful I am to him and his little brother and sister for being my children.

These tears I cannot control.

After I spoke there was a piece of me that wanted to run to my sister. Fall apart in her arms. Go to a corner .. lay down.. and cry. All of those things that 6 months ago I would have said that’s what I would do if I lost one of my kids.

But what would I have missed.. ??

Taking some really ridiculous pictures with my family members that were able to be there to support me..

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Drinking some champagne.. and then having some more. (and I am not a drinker)

 

Dancing with my friends.. a opportunity rarely given once you are in your 30s and a mom of 4.. a time that I thought I would never have again after the sorrow of losing one of those babies. Mostly because I have been so scared I would lose all those friends. 10363577_10202407299556189_3144827827835361652_n

A time for people to see a part of me that I don’t share in my writings.. because in these evening meetings with myself I don’t need to let the Libby that does the “running man” in the middle of a dance circle out. .. Before I became known for the mom who lost her daughter.. the one who shares the stories of her days and the gritty of her nights. .. I was known for being the life of the party.

So last night I turned the no’s of this new me into the yes’s of the old me. I danced and I laughed and I made other people laugh too.

It was hard. I felt so vulnerable and exposed.

scared.

Would I be judged for not being in a corner… for not drowning in my pain.. the way everybody thinks they would.. and the way.. in the depths of me I am . .

Would people think what I share isn’t the truth?

Was I perpetuating the painful notion so many bereaved moms have shared with me.. this feeling that others think they should be getting over it?

Or the opposite..that I am not missing her and grieving her the way I should be?

In this room full of mostly strangers .. that now knew my life’s biggest tragedy I became totally exposed ..Sharing our story was the start of it.. but the culmination of it was..  I was fun.

 

 

I thought of her so much. A few times I wanted to run off the dance floor.. find a place to release my missing her. I didn’t give myself that space though.

because it wouldn’t have made a difference.

It wouldn’t have changed anything other than the loss of those moments…

So I pushed myself.. I embraced the gifts of memories to be made,with family, friends and strangers, that I was presented with. ..

Less than 3 months gone and I am dancing. But I do. All of it I do. Thats the reality of a grieving mom..I am never not thinking about her. But I have to keep going and trying to rebuild .Although my family sees the pain more than anybody else I cannot let it swallow me day after day..its not fair to them.

.. .so I dance.. a little everyday for them.. in all kinds of ways. Because thats what a mom does.  I am getting good at my dances. My hope is that one day it wont just be something I am working at. .. something I am trying to do.. I hope that it will be a piece of me.. again.

Those moments I started to feel overwhelmed with the reason I was actually there.. When I felt like I didnt have it in me anymore to keep trying.. I rubbed my necklace  or I threw glitter in the air

and I thanked her.

For the gift she gave me by being the biggest cheerleader of this blog. She didn’t understand it .. she didn’t grasp what it was about.. but she knew we made business cards and she was the one who pushed me to hand them out.  Because of her willingness to have

her life..

her death .. .exposed.

I got to speak at the event.

and I danced.

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41 Responses to “danced”

  1. I couldn’t sleep as my brain is still just churning with what else I can do. I am sitting here with tears running down my face that won’t stop.
    Even if we only raised one hundred dollars last night, the fact that I had a small part in bringing out that beatuiful smile and the “Libby that does the running man” is a success in my book. You danced and you cried and you laughed and you shared and you empowered and inspired.
    I am so glad that I went out of my comfort zone the in reaching out to you.
    I am pretty sure that not only does glitter never go away, but it also seems to be multiplying.

  2. Dear Libby, you have all the right to do whatever and however you want, if you need to dance and have a glass, then please just do it and don’t think about others, what other people might think or how they might judge you. Nobody knows what you feel inside, only you yourself.
    I am happy you made your first public speech successful and I was sure other people would listen. You have the talent and power to make a difference in this world and therefore you should never sit in a corner. Well done! xxx

  3. Libby, I was there last night, and never once did I wonder if you were thinking of Jennifer. Instead, I was so proud of you for dancing…for enjoying…for living….and if it were just for one night ….

  4. In everything that you are doing I see you as I always have, since you were a girl: as one of the bravest and strongest people I have ever known.

  5. The pictures posted of you and Jennifer dancing melted my heart. Her beautiful smile and those cheeks! Love and strength being sent your way.

  6. This blog made me smile…. Baby steps turn into leaps! My mom was taking today about feeling like your on a teeter totter and trying to keep the balance, but feeling like you could go either way at any given moment… I’m glad you went the “happy” way, if only for part of the night.

  7. I know I don’t know you but I am so very proud of you. Libby. I am awestruck of everything that you are. I know you don’t feel like it but you are amazing.

  8. ♡♥♡♥♡♥ happy you enjoyed your night. I hope, too, that some day you can enjoy yourself while missing her and not have the sadness be the overwhelming emotion.

  9. Libby, the glitter has spread! I was so honored to be a part of MNO. You continue to inspire me and I know Jennifer is proud of you!

  10. Libby, I keep reading all the amazing comments on the MNO page about the incredible speech you gave.. …I’m not surprised. You have a way with words. You will keep spreading the glitter and reaching so many. Thanks for continuing to share and inspire!
    XO

  11. Happy Mothers Day Libby!! We made you something special for mothers day. Please let me know the best way to get it to you.. Big hugs and Angel kisses

  12. Keep dancing, Libby! You are being prompted by her spirit! Yay! Throw glitter….Jennifer is always remembered and lived as you and your family are, too! Happy Mother’s Day to you, an exceptional woman and mother of 4!

  13. Beautiful words as always. Keep dancing and smiling because Jennifer would want it that way . . . Blessings to you all

  14. “It wouldn’t have changed anything other than the loss of those moments”. This spoke to me as I too have a child no longer in my life. Mine is alive but lost to addiction. I had to learn to enjoy life again, and yes, some judge me for being “happy”. My loss is different than yours but I can relate in so many ways.

  15. Libby, you were an amazing speaker! I stated the night there with 3 friends and that’s all any of us could talk about. I saw you afterwards at a little restaurant that will remain nameless. I wanted to reach out and tell you how you touched me, but I was embarrassed of my late night craving AND you looked sssoooo happy! I didn’t want to interrupt you and your friends. I’m so glad you got that moment. I’m so grateful I heard you speak. Happy you were able to let loose and be the life of the party again. You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers but mostly, I cannot stop thinking about your words and what I could do to spread the glitter.

  16. I so admire you for not letting this swallow you whole like I know it’s tempting to do. You are such a fighter and an inspiration. You are what it means to be a mother, to fight for your child even when that child isn’t here. I can picture you dancing, with Jennifer there dancing with you, telling you to stay on the dance floor. You are a mom of four, you always will be a mom of four. I’m sending all my prayers and love to you Libby. Today and always.

  17. I just wanted to share with you – I recently lost my father to cancer. (in Feb) – It is not the same as losing a child for sure – but I really struggled with crying in public. I just didn’t do it. I felt so guilty. People would ask me how I am doing and they would cry for me… but I still didn’t cry. I had my moments in private but it is weird the guilt you feel for not acting sad about the loss. I am sad – but I guess I have a hard time showing it. Anyway – I commend you for all you are doing. I wanted to go to the Mammas night out event, but I couldn’t. I had a lot of friends that did though and I really hope it raised a good amount of money. xxoo

  18. Libby, telling our children’s stories is the most powerful weapon we have against childhood cancer. Hearing our children’s stories is the kick in the ass that will wake people up to the reality that cancer is killing kids and that for now the government and the pharmeceutical companies are doing nothing about it. I told our story recently too for the fist time publicly. I am a crier, but I paused and gathered myself and I went on. I also question whether I am grieving “right” or being judged for appearing to have it together. Am I not sad enough? We have been working with the idea of forming our own non profit, but I wonder how we will differentiate ourselves? Would more progress be made if we were to instead continue to support an existing foundation?

  19. You asked us to dance to say goodbye to her and every time I dance I think of her. Your dancing and laughing is a testament to her, to that love, to who YOU are. I wasn’t there, but the little birdies that were said you were amazing!

    Thinking of you this morning and always.

    Ann

  20. Libby, You and Jennifer are the reason, I attended Moma’s night out. Your speech was so motivating. It was a perfect blend of personal memories, sobering facts. You were inspiring to get out there and fight for change. It did my heart good to see you on the dance floor. You are a wonderful mother. I wish you a beautiful day.

  21. You didn’t just “do OK,” Libby. You. We’re. Incredible. Jennifer was right there with you, every moment, as you shared her story with that room. This is your calling. I’m heartbroken that this is what it took for you to find it, but you’ve found it.
    I am honored to be your friend. XOXO

  22. Happy Mother’s Day Libby!! I truly admire you as a Mother and the wonderful woman you are!! Thank you for sharing and being so honest you have helped me be a better Mother and I thank you!!

  23. I am so glad you speech went well, and from the comments it went very well. you danced, that is so good, sometimes you need to “dance in the rain” Happy Mothers Day from me to you, you are so inspiring as you have the ability to put into words your gut emotions. Thank you, you enable us to better help others going through such imaginable grief.

  24. Last night… You lived. Again. It looked joyous. And … YOU deserved that! I feel in my heart when you are feeling or living joy, that is the best gift you can give Jennifer. Giving. Living. Feeling. Joy.

  25. Effin’ AWESOME in every way! Happy Mother’s Day to the “running woman”….wish I’d seen that…I need a raincheck. You continue to astonish and impress and inspire.

  26. I am so happy your speech went well and that you let yourself dance! She will always be in your heart and your thoughts, but she would want you to share her story and dance. I’m proud of you and how you have been brave enough to share your story with all of is.

    Hugs,

    Vanessa

  27. Way to go! Wish I had been there. Just returned yesterday from Disneyland taking my two girls for the first time. I thought of how you guys were there just a few months ago with your girls. Each time my daughter chose the pink teacup, the pink Dumbo, etc I thought, “I bet Jennifer sat here.” Hope you have some more fun nights out. Much love.

  28. It was a privilege to hear you speak at the MNO event and a joy to see you dancing with your friends. You really are making such an impact on those you have touched and your passionate activism in honor of JLK is inspiring.

  29. I would love to dance with you! And did you notice her hair, in the last picture? It looks like angel wings-her wings on earth, preparing for flight. She was dancing with you last night, that’s why it felt so right, I’m sure!

  30. So happy you found your calling! Glad you got to dance and be happy and all in the name of JLK! So proud of you!

  31. So glad it went well. I was thinking of you that night. And those pictures…of you and Jennifer…dancing…just amazing. The pictures you post of you and Jennifer…are just breathtaking. I’m amazed at how many you have. I feel guilty because I have so very few of myself with my children…

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