Two “Little Strangers” came into my life with both the most extraordinary happiness, and the most grievous sadness, imaginable.
They are James and Jake, two little identical baby-angels who came into this world, and who left this world, on February 26, 2008.
And though I never saw them with my eyes, or kissed their tiny hands, James and Jake will live with me forever.
My journey with these baby-angels began with an email from James and Jake’s mom, Beth. In her email, Beth’s entry into our Virtual Baby Shower at Pinks & Blues, Beth’s words flowed with warmth and love for the identical twin boys she was carrying… and for her two older children, her husband, her mom and her family. I could feel the tapestry of their lives. I could see the colors and feel the beauty and delight. Words do that. Words are indeed lamps that light our paths… and Beth’s words were beacons of adventure and excitement and happiness for her young family and their little baby boys to come.
It used to be that women could sit on a front stoop and exchange words of some exciting news, ask advice, laugh at things that only women find amusing, or perhaps even commiserate about the vegetables that didn’t come up as good as expected, or exchange secrets that were guaranteed to be safe. Well, most of the time.
And there was a time when women spent hours on the phone talking about, oh, the same things I mentioned above.
But these women knew each other. They were friends, neighbors, sisters. Their conversations were both the laboratory and the workshop, working out things and ideas and sentiments that gently eased their days into nights, the days and nights into months and years. There was great comfort and camaraderie in these conversations.
Today, the stoop and the telephone have been replaced with the world wide web. Women still chat and exchange, but now with virtual strangers on things called “mommy blogs.” On these blogs, women exchange exciting news, laugh, commiserate and tell secrets. And I will emphasize, “laugh.” Women are funny. Women are fun. Women take the familiar of life and transform it to the remarkable. It’s what we do!
Friends are born on these blogs. And these friendships multiply joys. And this joy is what my daughters Audrey, Jane and I experience every day. Women being women sharing life with women. Just like our grandmothers on the stoop.
Virtual strangers whose words expand our own little universes while circling around us at the same time. So when I received the tragic news that Beth had lost her baby boys, my heart broke into a million pieces. I cried for Beth. I cried for the two little angel-babies who I knew only from the words of love from an extraordinary mommy.
So many of us cried.
Thousands of words of comfort and condolence and solace and prayer have flowed to Beth, her family, and her beautiful little boys.
Strangers in solidarity. Virtual friendships that hope to divide griefs.
James and Jake. Two Virtual Little Strangers who will live me, and with all of us, forever.
Two angel-babies who have changed our lives. Just the very reason I know them so well represents the infinite possibilities that life has to offer all of us.
I will think of James and Jake every day.
God bless them and their family.