Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marching for Babies


 This was kind of an emotional day. As you’ve probably seen from the button on the side of my blog, I’ve been raising money for this year’s March of Dimes walk. The walk was today. This morning I woke up crying. Not sobbing- not gut wrenching pain. Just tears spilling over slowly, a silent, aching grief. A few months ago I wrote a blog about a friend’s baby who had passed away at 6 days old. We marched in baby Caris AnnaBelle’s memory today. She would have been 3 months old yesterday.

 The weather was perfect- not too hot, not too cold. The trail we lapped was beautiful, peaceful, quiet. Even when we found out that the trail was 1.5 miles around, not 1 mile like we had thought, which resulted in us walking a mile more than we were supposed to before we figured out why we were the ONLY team still out there (we just figured everyone else were slackers). The extra mile was worth it, figuratively and literally (incidentally, we ended up walking 6 miles: one mile for each day of Caris' life).

I was more than honored to be there- I was humbled. Humbled to be surrounded by so many strong families, people who had suffered tragedy, crippling fear, worried, sleepless nights and grief, and survived. People who have forged ahead and declared that their children’s premature births, illnesses, disabilities, and lives weren’t, and never will be, in vain. It was truly inspiring.

I hope people don’t misunderstand me when I say that, although I was proud to be there, overjoyed to be able to honor Caris and support her family, I wish that it had never been necessary. I was ecstatic that our team raised more than 6 times our goal, setting a record in our area for a first time team, but I wish that there was no record to set. That’s where the tears and grief came from. Not just for Caris’ sake- for every baby’s sake.

This won’t be my last March for Babies. I will continue marching, every year, in memory of Caris. And in the hope that one day, the need to march will no longer be there.

Caris' parents, Chris and Maggie

No comments:

Post a Comment