Day 2 & 3: On Sacred Ground

As October approached this year, I found myself anticipating #AdamsActs and thinking, “Ya know, I really miss just… grieving.” That is certainly not to say that I don’t absolutely love spreading Adam’s legacy of kindness with all of you, because of course I do. Very much. Still, I often feel pressure build as October draws near and sometimes it feels like a lot. Last year, I was very sick and did not realize how serious it was. I had been putting myself on the back burner and ignoring symptoms for about two years, when last October was a breaking point for my body, which I officially ran into the ground. I mean that literally. My kids found me passed out on the actual living room floor. Not a cute look. This means that I am almost one year cancer-free, and it also means that mama is back on the priority list. SO, this year… I am committed to staying healthy and alive, and also to having SO MUCH FUN.

While the grieving part of October isn’t exactly a good time, it’s also not just contained to October. We all know that grief comes in waves at the most unexpected times. On birthdays and anniversaries, sure… but it also comes when you’re at the dentist office and you see a sailboat wallpaper border that looks just like the one in your brother’s childhood bedroom. Grief happens all year long. But #AdamsActs is only here for 31 days, and I intend to enjoy every last one of them. This means that I’m going to do things a bit differently. I will blog, podcast, post photos, stories and videos to Facebook and Instagram. Basically, I’m gonna be all over the place and we will all find out at the same time what I’m going to do next because I ALSO don’t know what on earth I am going to do. (This month - or in life.)

I want to utilize these different platforms so that I can reach a varied audience, but more than that… because it’s super fun, easy and sustainable. And sustainable keeps me off that living room floor.

My first few days of kindness have really been about creating momentum with #AdamsActs and sharing my story, my self with others. I spoke at two different college events - at RIT and MCC - and there I talked about grief and redemption, and how kindness has been a vehicle through which God has brought healing into my life. I did a few small things - I made a smoothie for my daughter, Marlie, who was home sick from school, and spent time painting her nails and talking with her when I really needed to do a million other things. I didn’t burn any of my 6 year-old son’s Pokemon trading cards even though just typing that sentence makes me want to put these nerd badges right down the garbage disposal… because they are everywhere. And they are so dumb. But I didn’t, and I think that’s the part we should all focus on.

Finally, I overcame a big fear and I shared a photo and a piece of my story that I have kept very private. My friend Siobhan is not only an incredibly talented photographer, but she is a voice of grace in my life these days. So when she invited me to participate in a photo campaign to raise awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I decided to step outside of myself in hopes that my experience could help someone else. Siobhan asked all her subjects to share what they wish they’d known when they lost their baby. She captured my quote in photo form in a way that I find magical.

"Name them. Our lost babies - no matter how small they were, no matter the circumstances of their life, or death - our babies deserve a name. And we, as mothers, deserve the freedom to say that name out loud. If we have nothing to hold in our hands to remember them by, at least we know they’ve been given a name."

"Name them. Our lost babies - no matter how small they were, no matter the circumstances of their life, or death - our babies deserve a name. And we, as mothers, deserve the freedom to say that name out loud. If we have nothing to hold in our hands to remember them by, at least we know they’ve been given a name."

I thought it may be a bit of a stretch to consider this an act of kindness, but that’s only because I was unprepared for the response. Mother after mother saying their baby’s names. Women finally giving their baby a name after 30 years of grieving for their little ones. It was beautiful. My friend Therese described the post and comments as “sacred ground.” That is truly how it feels to hear a mother utter her late child’s name, in some cases for the first time.

So, this post and these first 3 days of #AdamsActs are dedicated to the following beautiful angel babies, whose names are so powerful they make this sacred ground:

Sydney

Chance

Brandon

Steven Ross

Alexander James

Ezra

Evelyn Grace

Jesse, Taylor & Callie

Penelope

Zoe Grace

Caleb

Jersey Sue

Emma Lee

Shae Kristine

Poppyseed & Zoey

Naarya Celeste

Rhuhamah

Faith Ellen

Grace Elayne

Brooke Hope

Tuck & Ted

Jessie

Sunshine

Maylee

Annalyse Hope

Jonathan

Ava Leah, Luca Benedict & Jacob Leonard

Rylie

Quinn James

Justin Caden

Emma Rose

Peanut & Laia Marie

Levi Joshua

Joseph Levias

Shiloh

Julian & Cameron

Tobias Joseph

Laila & Leo

Jordan & Riley

Tinkerbell, Benjamin, Armando & Marisol

Zion Glory

Melva Lucinda

Taidgh

Two tiny boys named Josiah - one was my mother’s, and would have been my brother.

And one was my own, and would have been my son.