First, I want to thank my mother for these bulging blue pipelines coursing through my body. Like mother like daughter. They may not be much to look at, but when you’re getting bloodwork or an IV, they’re so money. I don’t like to brag, but when I had my foot surgery two weeks ago, they told me I had great veins. Ironically, the reason I had foot surgery is that I also inherited my mom’s bunions.
Next, I want to talk about my really cool lime green wristband.
Just a couple of days ago in Healing After Loss, I read, “Remember how it is when you meet someone who has had a loss similar to yours? The instant bond, the acknowledgment in the other’s face – I know you. I know what you’re going through. And your own feeling, which is almost a physical lightening of the burden, that there is someone who understands.”
That’s how I felt the first time I sat down face to face with Monica a few months ago. Her little boy Jordan (Jojo) passed away last year from mitochondrial disease.
Today is Jojo’s birthday. As soon as I woke up, I began praying for Monica and Jojo’s dad and brothers. My heart is especially heavy for Monica. We share a common pain. It is not deeper or worse than any other. It is simply a specifically mom-shaped pain.
To remember Jojo today, many of us wore our #livelikejojo wristbands or t-shirts and did things that were very Jojo-like….eating Cheetos, watching American Ninja Warrior, using eyedrops, or having a dance party. My personal pick today, since I won’t be dancing for a few more weeks, was eyedrops.
As I carried Jojo’s family in my heart today, I was reminded that in God’s great compassion and love, He has prompted others to carry the Espinozas in their hearts. Folks we know and folks we don’t.
In the worst of times, I have found these words to be true:
When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance, and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy, their understanding. Helen Keller