"Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day."
President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Encounter with her name...

A month or so ago I volunteered at a School book fair for my children. I was excited to start volunteering again, and I jumped at the opportunity because I enjoy the book fair so much. I was doing fine the first day. I even left excited for the next day, and then the next day came.

I went to the book fair like normal. Sat down, and got ready to ring the orders for the children. The other volunteer that would sit next to me...sat down, and another Mom came up to speak to her. Side note: I feel like I am out of the loop, rarely getting a change to speak to other Moms or even to volunteer, but I feel like I will never quite "fit" in again. A year passed by and I never went to the school...it was like the year just was sucked out of my life...Digressing......

Well this other Mom asks my helper, "So how is Amberly doing this year?".
Did she just say that?
Panic struck...and I couldn't breathe. I am lucky...I chose a very unique name for Amberlee...and until now I have NEVER run into it. I was stopped dead in my tracks when this Mom said this to my helper. I instantly began to cry...and shake...I didn't know how to escape in the chair I was in...I had nowhere to go.

Shortly after the helper was done with her conversation and she immediately looked at me...she introduced herself...but unfortunately I am certain I will NEVER remember her name because I was in shock. I put one finger up and gestured that I needed her to hold on while I got myself together, and then I apologized. I said "I am sorry but do you have a daughter named Amberly?"...she smiled and she said yes...as if that was not enough...she gestured to Amberly and had her come over to me as she introduced her.

This beautiful 10 year old girl had no idea why I appeared afraid of her. I was grateful to see her short and very blonde hair and blue eyes (opposite of my Amberlee). I was also grateful when she showed me the spelling of her name. But I sat there with a flood of emotion and flashbacks that I try to suppress on my best days.

I explained to the Mom, so she wouldn't think I was absolutely Crazy, just slightly. I said my daughter's name was Amberlee and she passed away. She then said..."All my friends called me to warn me, I wanted to meet you." She apologized for my loss, and wanted to listen to the story. I was a little upset...I am not happy that people are talking about me and our situation...but I guess it is common place. I just wish they would talk to me. It seems like people at the school don't even realize something happened.

I guess some things I just can't prepare for. I never know when something will trigger an emotion...and I cannot prepare for the worst of emotions that I am experiencing. I wish this were different...it would be much easier to deal when I have time. Meeting Amberly was a blessing and a curse. The event of meeting her was horrible, but now I look at her when she walks by at the school and I can smile. I remember my baby...and I think...Wow...one day, in another life I might get to see her grow to be just as beautiful as this girl.

I am always grateful to find hope despite the sorrow I feel.


MK said...

We too chose an uncommon name in Loren. I have yet to hear it for another boy, but at the same time I do watch the kids that are his age/grade and wonder what the future will bring as well. It is also difficult that he is one of 4 boy cousins born within 7 months in my family.

Thinking of you and your strength,

Leesh said...

Wow! Your experience really affected me. When you wrote describing your feelings it is almost as if I was feeling it too. I am so proud of your being willing to share these moments. Stay strong.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Wow, indeed, Beth. I imagine the holidays are bringing many emotions for you and your family. Please know we hold you in our hearts.