“My baby, where’s my baby?” Listening to the speaker share his experience about helping a distraught mom immediately after a car accident, the words he shared were familiar to me. Thirteen years ago after having my first baby and oldest child, my husband, baby and I were headed to see family in town that we had not seen for a period of time. The weather was decent, nothing too alarming, then as we hit Parley’s Canyon (a canyon that heads to Park City, UT), the weather changed quickly and we entered sleet and new wet snow. We hit black ice, gaining control of our vehicle once, the second time, we were not able to gain control of our vehicle and headed for the metal guard rail. Right beside it was a cement wall. This was the last imagine in my mind. I passed out. Upon awaking we had hit the cement wall, just inches from the guard rail, that could have easily been taken down with the force and speed of the car, leading directly to a mountain side with a significant drop. “My baby!” were the first words that came to mind, scared to find if he was okay. Frightened of what might be. Looking to the back seat, I could see that he was safe in his car seat.
He is nearly thirteen now, headed for the teenage years and has encountered some new perplexing times with peers as well as everyday challenges that are a part of life. Recently a couple of rough days has caused concern–partly as a result of my insecurities as a parent, unfamiliar with these new teenage times. He began talking, I listened (not easy to do sometimes). As the conversation progressed, I explained the necessity for communication, boundaries, freedom and respect. A poor mood still invaded, we, he and I, along with his brother and sisters headed out for a ride. When a less than stellar mood intrudes, one of the favorites is to head out for a ride–to one of the Utah canyons. Something about nature and the majestic mountains, they ignite the mind and spirit.
Driving, I continued to notice the depletion my son held. Wishing I knew the words to say and how to help. A last attempt, humor–nothing–okay–silence that will do. At least we are together.
Our drive continued and the words of the speaker returned to my mind. Recounting the events, to my son, of the day I used similar words the speaker had used in his example. I expressed the gratitude I have for his life and the reminder that each of our lives have a purpose. Expressing my hope that he knows how much purpose his life has and confirming that I know that his life has a purpose. Even through harsh words of his peers (though not correct), challenging health issues along with the everyday experiences of life, his life has a purpose. He looked at me–a connection had been made. The impact, I am not sure. My hope is that is one of a positive nature and that it will stay with him through his life and be a guidance in those difficult times, current and those to come.
In light of many school shootings, suicides, tv programs like 13 Reasons Why, negativity and life challenges-my hope is to leave a message to my son and to each person that you have a purpose. Each person is unique to themselves, the world around them and those they interact with. Each life has great meaning and a purpose.