My almost 4-year-old Grayson and 10-month-old Gavin are my rainbow and golden babies. They interject a certain kinetic energy into our home and breathe life, joy, love, and excitement daily. As a stay at home mom, I get the pleasure of witnessing these beautiful boys learn, grow, imagine, dream, and defy limitations as they navigate the world through their child-like prisms and exemplify #blackboyjoy. I wish I could bottle up their delight because I know this stage of innocence, exploration, and wonder will not last forever.
I also know the flip side of this joy infused life. It is one of heartbreak, hurt, confusion, anger, isolation, and more. Prior to experiencing this newfound level of contentment as a boy-mom, I experienced the tragic loss of my firstborn son DJ.
He is my angel baby who was born still at 28-weeks’ gestation five years ago, on January 18, 2016. I made a promise to DJ before I said my forever goodbyes that I would honor his legacy in all that I do. I’ve used my voice, my platform, and my community outreach to spread his name high and wide. In the midst of sharing DJ’s story with the masses, I’ve found ways to cope with my own grief so I could move forward in my healing. Although I’ve done the work (i.e. through mindset shifts, prayer, devotionals, seeking wise counsel from a therapist, building a support system around me, and facing the vast emotions of grief head-on), I still think about DJ constantly and imagine what life would be like if he were present physically.
Like many parents who’ve had to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after loss, and who’ve gone on to have rainbow babies, I find myself being overly protective of my two living children because as a mother of loss I know the alternative. I would be remiss if I didn’t add, although my rainbow and golden babies bring me joy they can never replace DJ. Rainbow/[golden] babies are not replacement babies. They do not erase the fractures of a broken heart but they can help to restore it.
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