It seems like October is full of all sorts of significance.
It is. Tangible representations of season change. Anticipation of upcoming events, whether they are holidays or birthdays or deathdays.
What an ugly word. Deathday.
Anyway--tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. People all over the country and even world will be lighting candles, releasing balloons or lanterns, taking care packages to hospitals...all sorts of stuff to remember and honor the sweet little lives of babies who never made it home, or who made it home, but didn't get to stay here on earth.
I will light a candle beside my one of my favorite pictures of Matthew, and I will remember with gratitude and love the blessing he was. I will remember the children of far too many women I know and don't...who are no longer on this earth and who are so sorely missed by their families.
I will remember that the only guarantee I've ever had in my entire life was that God loved me enough to send His only son and because of that, I'll see my first-born son again. I admit, that's hard to hold onto sometimes, but even if I do so out of desperation some days, I cling to it.
Of course, October serves as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It seems like everyone and their uncle knows about that. It was 'designated' as such in 1985 by the makers of a few of the breast cancer treatment therapies and picked up steam and adoption by several worthy, worthy, WORTHY organizations. While it does not have the national recognition that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month has in the national proclamation by President Reagan and congressional backing in 1988, it certainly has not lacked in support and it seems that Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness has been overshadowed.
And I don't know really where I stand on that since I am not only a surviving mother to an infant son who died, I am the surviving daughter of a mother lost to breast cancer. Oh, and the surviving sister of a stillborn baby girl. Which is more important to sponsor, support or tout? They both hold such significance to me. Now more than ever.
So, I'm not picking. I've supported and will continue to support things that are close to my heart. October just holds several of those issues in one month. There are obviously tons and tons of sites that honor and remember these 'causes' and many more, but here are a few...
If you read this blog and are not aware of the I Am The Face campaign, please go here: I am Face #118 and have donated to help fund and support resources for women so they know they are never alone in their grief. For Matthew's birthday, I am ordering postcards to deliver to area hospitals for women who lose their babies. It's a sad but wonderful campaign.
Kelly at Sufficient Grace Ministries has committed to pray for each family that leaves their information here. The prayers of others have really sustained us this year.
If you are local, a friend who lost her precious little girl Faith has done amazing things with her grief and has organized a Remembrance Walk that will be held on October 22. Proceeds from that will go to helping local women who have lost babies continue to receive the support and resources that I've found St. Mary's and surrounding counties to do an already excellent job with--but resources run out and there's always more that can be done, so this walk is more than worthy. To register or help, please go here.
This weekend is also the Avon Walk For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. It's going to be in New York and I am just honored to know a few wonderful women who participated last year and will again participate this weekend. It's not too late to support them, and honestly, though my mother died of breast cancer, I can only imagine how the research done with the funds raised by these women may one day save MY life. The link is here.
Whether you choose to donate to any of these organizations or just pray for them, it is all appreciated, I'm sure.
If by no one else, certainly by me.