Hearts Out Of Orbit
By: Jennifer A. Kelly
Posted on March 13, 2018
“To have a child is to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.” Not too long after the second of my three daughters was born, I heard this quote. With a toddler and a newborn orbiting my life constantly, I had never heard more truth spoken. I was surrounded by other moms with small children then, too. We were navigating these new waters together and life was blossoming as our little “hearts” scampered all over the playground or each other’s living rooms. Now, with teenagers and almost-teenagers filling my home, this idea has only become more true. “Mom, I have a ride home- I’ll be there after pizza.” They still walk around outside of me, but their orbital paths have widened. My heart doesn’t just dance across the kitchen floor- it rides a bus to a different town for a track meet, or with friends home from softball, or stays at school late for play rehearsal.
So when one of those other moms from my daughters’ childhood lost one of her own children this week, I felt it too. We all did. A piece of her heart is no longer with her. One of the planets fell out of her atmosphere. Blessedly, she and her family were with their daughter as she left this life. They were able to sing to her and pray over her and comfort one another in their grief. While I truly cannot imagine what they went through- are still going through, will continue to go through- I know it must have been a comfort to be with her, to say goodbye.
What kind of horror do we face when our children our taken from us without the chance to say goodbye? This is what led Christine Olson to create TIFF’s Initiative. It was out of her own grief, and a heart to prevent other moms from going through what she did, that she works so faithfully to make a way for moms to know where their children are and for families to be informed immediately when a loved one has been in an accident. Read more about her story here. Share your own story on our Facebook page. What we’ve gone through and what we’ve learned shapes us, but our experiences can also be used for good, to bless others, to help one another heal, to equip us to keep moving.