If you’ve ever attended HFA’s Symposium, you probably know that the mom’s rap session is usually one of the most popular sessions and quite often has the most profound conversations.
If you haven’t been – a mom’s rap session is just that – a chance for moms to sit around the room and talk about whatever they want. What better place to put out there what you’re thinking, feeling and dealing with? There’s usually at least one person that has been through what you’re going through to offer some guidance and advice. More than that, there’s a room full of mothers to listen and offer support. Not to mention that it’s a completely judgement-free zone. It’s an hour filled with some laughing, some crying and a lot of strength and encouragement.
Two years ago, at HFA in Cleveland, I was facilitating the mom’s rap session and I saw a woman that I thought raised her hand to speak. I basically forced her to talk and her story was moving. Afterward, she thanked me and told me she really wasn’t asking to speak but she was glad I made her. Well then, I felt terrible! After I apologized, we sat down and talked for about 30 minutes and that was the beginning of an amazing relationship.
She and I are complete opposites on basically everything – our age, our race, where we live. And yet the connection we have with each other is like no other I’ve ever had. While I sat and talked with her, I didn’t see the age difference or the race difference but rather I felt the warmness that just seemed to wrap its arms around me and comfort me.
For the longest time, I really didn’t share this story with anyone. Not because of any negative reason, but rather I think I felt as though no words I had could do this story justice. I’m not eloquent enough to portray the depth of this connection we had.
Throughout the course of the next year, we exchanged notes and sent each other cards – good old-fashioned communication. She told me she didn’t text/email a lot and I have to be honest – my first thought was “how are we supposed to talk then?” The letters we have exchanged with each other have become some of my most treasured possessions.
Just my luck, this year’s symposium was in California – my dear friend’s home state – so I was fortunate enough to see her again and spend some time with her. We attended the same mom’s rap session that we met in the year before. In my note to her after symposium, I told her my overwhelming thought while sitting there was how fortunate I am to have this person in my life. And how I wished that everyone else in that room could be so lucky.
Today I came home to the most beautiful card waiting for me. I giggled when I realized I felt like a little kid getting a note from her pen pal. I didn’t even open it right away because I wanted to do it when I had a few minutes of quiet (which is rare) so I could give it my full attention. I am guilty of getting wrapped up in the day to day stresses and letting it wear me down. To put it in simple terms, I get really spun up! It was as though my sweet friend knew at this particular moment, I needed to hear those calming, comforting words.
Over the years, I’ve struggled with having something positive to say about hemophilia. I would get rid of it for my son in a second, if I could. Over the years, I have caught myself saying so many times “this wasn’t in the plan.” It’s taken me a long time to realize – it was in THE plan, it just wasn’t in what I thought was in MY plan. For someone that likes to be in control over everything, this can be a difficult pill to swallow. But I like to think that we’re given some little tidbits as a reward.
I think we’re so often overwhelmed with negativity – whether it be the news, people around us or even in our own heads. I choose today to focus on the positive. To be thankful for the woman that fell into my life that doesn’t care how old I am, what I look like or where I live. What we care about is the bond that we have – all because of hemophilia. And for that – I am thankful beyond words.
In a world where you can be anything – be kind.
Tracy, her husband, Lance, and son, Nick, live in Virginia.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.Â
Word From Washington