Shocked / Love Story
I think we all have a feeling about our lives, our loves. There’s this far-off, fuzzy picture of walking hand in hand, experiencing life together, growing old together. (Or yelling at passersby to stay off your lawn. No? Just us?) There’s no concrete picture, because that’s kind of impossible. No way to know what will come at you.
And as a young family, there’s a wealth of anticipation and excitement. You’re starting your journey. You’ve found each other, created a home together, created a life together. So much promise, so much love, so much uncertainty. But through all of the mundane, frustrating, repetitive hours – you see the beauty together. Laugh together. Plan together.
So it’s even more shocking when a love story is abruptly cut short. When you hear the news that a dear friend lost her husband, her love, the father of her young daughter. We’re grieving deeply for the Clark family’s loss.
We weren’t lucky enough to get to know Andy – James and I met him briefly before we moved to CO. But Ruby and Michelle? As part of the Babymoon Inn family, I got to know them before James was born, and I’m so thankful.
I can’t imagine what Michelle is going through right now. But I want to tell her how much she and Ruby have meant to us, and for her to know that we are aching with love for them. How can I tell her that simply seeing Ruby’s gorgeous rolls and smiles never fail to brighten my day? That being a first-time mama, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it – how I was going to “get there”, but no matter what – every time I showed up to the birth center, she made me feel loved by just loving me.
After James was born, I went to my first mamas group at the birth center. James was 11 days old, and I was sore, tired, scared, and intimidated. What are all the other mamas going to think of me/us? What if James is fussy? What if I can’t figure any of this out? Michelle and Ruby were right there, so excited to see us, and so so welcoming. Encouraging us to pick out a spot to sit. Drawing us into conversation. Introducing us around the circle. Helping us break through our insecurities to laugh at the silliness of babies, the wonder and magic of motherhood, and the value of friendship from women who get it. From the beginning, I’ve looked up to her and wanted to internalize some of her brilliance, and remind myself to stay grounded and remember what is important.
Today, I’m reminded to hold my loved ones dear. To find that extra bit of patience for Alan and James (and myself). To make sure there can be no doubt how much I love them. To see the beauty, joy and grace in every day. This is our story, and it’s amazing – even if it doesn’t look the way I thought it would.
Michelle, thank you for helping me see the strength I carry within me. Thank you for your laughter and warmth and generosity and friendship.
I hate that I can’t figure out the right words… all of this is close, but not quite right. I hope that’s okay.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Support for the Clark family:
These prints are available to support the Clark family. The text is inspired by the life sentiment of Andy Clark, a man whose journey in our world was cut far too short.
All profits will be donated to his amazing wife, Michelle, and their 16 month-old daughter, Ruby, to help support them as they begin their new journey.