First of all, if you've been reading, you know that today was a national day of remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. Whether you've lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS or other infant loss, today was a day set aside to remember those children and their families. Unfortunately, there are many of you out there. Thank you for those who have offered your support through our time.
The vigil tonight was very well done. The AG students did a great job setting it up. I feel guilty sometimes as a teacher for seeing so much of the negative side of things in school. Tonight reminded us both of why we became teachers.
As we were standing there and Lindsay was speaking (it was an AG thing, so I didn't speak) this thought occurred to me...
I've always admired the "faces of the cause" so to speak for standing up and represennting some of the tragic things in life and the fight against those things. For example, if you asked who the poster boy was for the fight against cancer and overcoming, most people would immediately think of Lance Armstrong and his LiveStrong Bands. Magic Johnson became the face of AIDS awareness back in the 90's to show that it is possible to continue on in life in the face of such a disease. There are other causes as well which have an identifiable face as well.
SIDS has no identifiable face. SIDS has become more of a statistic and tragic phenomena. For those of you who saw the newspaper, we (and the students) were of course the front page cover story. In a way, we became the face of SIDS with that article. Ayden became the face of SIDS. The thought occurred to me again, that I don't want to be the one that people look to and "admire" for my faith and perseverance through this tragedy. I don't want my son's face to any longer be in any way associated with this terrible thing. Because that would mean this never happened. I would have my son. We would do the father and son things you are supposed to do. We were told this happens to a little more than 100 babies each year in NC. As a math person, I just thought, that's only 1 per county for the whole year. The odds seem so small. It's like going to a raffle or playing the lottery...what is the real likelihood that YOUR number is the one that will be called? Yet it happened...to us...of all the babies born this year in this county, in this state, in this country...it was Ayden. We will be "that couple" that was in the paper to many people over the next week or so. Lindsay will be "that mother" with the blog in honor of our son. Ayden will be "that little boy" that was so precious. We don't want to be the face of SIDS...but above all of that, we will carry that if we can because SIDS, sadly, HAS A FACE...TOO MANY FACES...It's Ayden's face, our faces, and the faces of hundreds and thousands more.
To those who have lost a child in any way...you are not forgotten...THEY are not forgotten. Those who are loved are never lost. Forever more, I WILL create the awkward moment when you ask me about myself...the first thing is that I am a child of God, the husband of a wonderful wife, and the father of my precious baby boy Ayden. 10 years from now in a job interview, sitting in a retreat of any sort, in a seminar of any kind...that will be my description of myself. It's also our prayer that that might be followed by the father of _____ and _____ and...however many more children are to come. But it will always begin with FATHER OF AYDEN. I will not apologize for the awkward introduction or moment because I want you to know my son in whatever small way I can introduce you to him.