~by Nancy Murphy Brink
I always knew that I wanted a Donna Reed life.
I had it, too. My husband, Michael, went to the office each morning in
his suit and tie, carrying his brief case, making calls on his cell phone,
meeting important people for lunch. He called during the day to see
how we were doing - our baby Emma and I. We would go to play groups
and La Leche League meetings and the grocery store. He came home each
night to our suburban house, where I wouldsometimes have dinner on the
table. We were looking forward to having morekids and taking them to
Disney and hanging their art work on the refrigerator.
And then it was September 9th. Not September 11th. September 9,
2001. That is the day Michael was killed in a car accident. And
I was a suddenly single Mom. Emma was not yet five months old. I
was 25 and had been married less than 4 years. I had no idea what to
I did not how to live. I couldn't eat or sleep or carry on
conversations. So, I nursed Emma. That was the only thing that I
could figure out. Emma needed me and I needed her -- my living piece
of my husband. I got a very clear message from Michael two days after
he died. I was not eating and he told me that I needed to eat so that
I could sustain Emma. So, I ate and ate and wept and wept and held her
and nursed her.
I believe that breastfeeding kept me (somewhat) sane. Because I was
nursing Emma, I had to take care of myself. I couldn't shut everyone
out. I had to
-- at the very least -- hold my baby. And holding my baby reminded me
that life is eternal. Life is passed from one person to the next.
Life always is. Holding our Sweet Emma, I was holding my husband.
And when she looked up at me, I was making eye contact with him.
So, now I am a single Mom. Who would have imagined it? Certainly
not I. I am lucky enough to be able to continue to stay home with
Emma. There are
days that I am still shocked that this is my new, odd life. It has
been five months - Emma has lived half of her life without her Daddy.
As much as I hate the thought, I am starting to get used to doing this on my
My family has been a wonderful help. They love us and they show it
every day. Someone takes Emma for a few minutes almost every day so
that I can
breathe deeply enough to have the strength to be her Mom.
And Michael is still with us. I often find Emma sitting alone laughing
and talking and looking at someone I don't see. But I know who it is.
What Daddy would want to miss out on this wonderful time? She is ten
months old and starting to walk and play patty cake. This is the time
that Michael was really looking forward to with her. I know that he is
Sometimes I think of how unfair all of this is. But, then, I remember
how blessed we are. I received more love in the five years we were
Emma in the five months she had with her father than most women and
daughters ever know. That love is enough to last the rest of our
I am sobbing now as I finish writing this. I am still amazed that I
became a widow at the age of 25. My daughter will not dance with her
father at her
wedding. I will not sit next to him at her preschool recital.
But he will be there. I am a single Mom, but I am not a solitary Mom.
We are not alone.
Nancy Murphy Brink
Dear Mother Dear
of our newsletter
Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother
for more information on the waterbirth video!
Click here to read:
The Farmer and the Obstetrician
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