In loving memory of my two sons: Mark and Matthew Morgan
Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience to realize how precious the gift of life is. I was always a gracious person, thankful to God for my blessings. I never doubted that I could achieve whatever I set my mind to do- great things seemed to happen to me and I was appreciative of those things. I’m not saying that I never endured trying moments, but overall, I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted, which wasn’t much. As a teenager, I earned money by braiding hair to purchase extra things I desired outside of what my mother could provide. Sometimes my sister and I would swap clothes to beef up our wardrobe. Life was good!
Circumstances forced me to take on adult responsibilities faster than I would want for my children. I was leasing my own apartment at the age of 20, and by the age of 25, I was an entrepreneur, homeowner, a wife and a mother. Life was moving fast and I was going with the flow! It seemed as though things were just falling into place without much effort. Looking back now, although I enjoyed how things were going, I didn’t feel like I had full control of the direction of my life, more like I was going through the motions of how I thought my life was supposed to be based on my perception of the “American Dream”. After dating my first serious boyfriend for 3 years, I assumed that an engagement and marriage should follow. I worked in a salon, so the next step should be to open one of my own. I was married for a couple years so hey, let’s a baby! These things came to pass without toil or struggle. As I stated, I enjoyed being on the receiving end of God’s favor, yet I hadn’t put much forethought into my life.
Five years into my marriage, I was slapped in the face with a huge dose of “life ain’t peachy all the time”. Our relationship, similar to most, had it’s challenges and I pretty much rolled with the punches or grinned and beared it because that’s what I thought was expected of me. Consequently, this particular situation being the humdinger that it was, shook my world and changed my whole outlook on my life’s direction. I became pregnant with monoamionic twins which is very rare and usually a deadly condition for the unborn fetus. There were numerous anomalies that occurred and I was faced with having to prematurely induce labor. During the next few weeks, I surrendered tearful prayers for divine intervention, but inevitably I delivered Mark and Matthew, on June 5, 2002. Leading up to that moment and for days after, I felt myself sinking into an abyss of guilt and depression. With the support of my friends, family and my love for my then 2 year old daughter, I didn’t stay consumed with sadness.
I made a promise to myself and to God that if I could regain my sanity that I would live and appreciate life not only for myself, but for Mark and Matthew who would never see the light of day, the stars in the night, hear the ocean crash against the shore or even sing a melody or dance to a song. I decided that I would live for them as well as myself, with purpose and passion. Every glorious moment, the warmth of the sun, a tight hug, a scenic car ride, salty tears, belly aching laughter- I appreciate because there are so many who never had the opportunity to experience them. I gained courage to leave a marriage that was not emotionally fulfilling, instead it had grown to be mentally draining. I’ve found joy in travel and simple peace of mind in my own space. I became acquainted with myself, my likes, dislikes, fears and motivations. So when I say that I made a promise to live, I mean it not only in its literal sense in regards to how my sons never breathed air nor saw the light of day , but also for those who are afraid to break free from a circumstance that may be hindering them from encountering and acknowledging the joys of life defined by them and not by others…. C’est la vie (this is life), live it!
Please donate to the March of Dimes, they work to prevent premature births, end birth defects and promote healthy pregnancies and babies through research and programs.
twins in God’s hands photo credit: Abdul