There I was, on an early Sunday morning, locked in and focused and riding my heart out on my relatively new Peloton bike. We had made the purchase in late February as an alternative to the treadmill. I LOVE my treadmill, but I was looking to mix things up and maybe add a little more rigor to my workouts. Thank you, Toni and Lauren, for the incredible sales pitch that led me to take the Peloton plunge. Now don’t get the wrong picture in your head. I wasn’t standing up and pedaling like the finish of the Tour de France was just ahead of me and victory was in sight. No, I was on the much better suited to me beginner ride, because goodness knows I believe in baby steps when it comes to starting a new routine, and my instructor Hannah was assuring me that no matter what my speed, I should give myself a high five because I had climbed on the bike today. Go, Patty!
So as my thirty-minute ride came to an end, and I was riding the high that comes from doing something good for yourself, the cool down song came streaming into my air pods and into my ears. It was the song “Unimaginable” from the musical Hamilton. For the instructor Hannah, and the majority of the riders on at this time, it was simply a song with a somber beat. Something to slow down the heartbeat. The lyric, “Can you imagine?” a harmless reference to the thought of living a life after you lose a child. But for me? I had watched the Hamilton musical and my soul had been ripped out by this poignant moment in the play. The loss of a child, the tearing apart of a family, it all rang true and gripped me in familiar feelings of heartache and despair.
There I was on the bike… one moment feeling the exhilaration of working out and the next, bent over the handlebars sobbing and missing my son with every molecule of my being. Because for me, it isn’t unimaginable… it IS a suffering too terrible to believe… It is my life…. every damn day….
So, here’s what I need you to know: My beautiful mommas, on this day dedicated to those of us who have lost children, I can’t sugarcoat it. We are every parent’s worst nightmare; we are burdened with the task of living each day without one of our kids and for this there must surely be a mighty reward on the other side of the stars. For now, go gently, give yourself grace, and know you are a goddamn warrior. You are living with the Unimaginable and for that… you are everything. You have my love, momma. Rivers and Roads Xxx