There are days that we hear the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason,” and the only thing we want to do is shut the person up who said it. And it’s usually when we are going through a tough situation, a loss, or some sort of heartache. When we are feeling such pain, we don’t ever want to accept that there is actually a reason for it. And in fact, we typically don’t see things as getting better anytime soon so acknowledging there is a reason for the hurt just doesn’t make anything better.
This week, I had one of those moments that literally makes you rethink everything you think about pain and how you perceive it. And I learned it from someone who right now knows a pain so new and so strong, and one that will change your entire world forever.
It was a casual Monday, nothing out of the ordinary(–oh wait, I take that back, I got up and worked out at a Crossfit gym at 6 am with some co-workers. So it was actually a very out of the ordinary Monday now that I think of it.)
I was at work later in the day, bouncing around and moving through my day. A friend I used to teach with stopped by the store I work and I was so excited to see her since the last time she was in she had a big belly and was having a baby. So of course, I immediately and excitedly asked her about the baby. There was a pause and a soft smile and I knew her answer was not the answer I was anticipating. She told me that she had had the baby, and that he lived for a week.
It’s one of those situations you never want to be in, not because you don’t know what to say, but because you never want to hear those words come out of any parent’s mouth, anyone. You want to hear about all of the firsts, all of the special details of their lives now, the lack of sleep, all of the things that should happen after a baby is born. You never want to hear that this perfect bundle of joy is gone. Their light, their everything, why.
I was the very first person whom she had shared this with outside of family and very close friends. This was the first occasion in public that she had said these words and shared that her perfect son had been with them and now he is not. And my stomach twisted and turned and my skin lifted into goosebumps and I just couldn’t imagine.
We hugged and we talked and she told me all about the beautiful celebration of life and the letters her students wrote to her little one. And I shared some of my own story and we connected on the things that will come up, like when someone asks if you have children and how your answer may vary from day to day. And that you may one day find yourself crying to a total stranger in Kroger and that is okay. Everything stopped and we were two mothers without our babies, and here we were, together. Her pain so new and raw and mine in a place that I thought I should be over this by now, but I am not, nor will I ever be.
If there is one thing that I learned on that Monday, it’s that things, even the worst of things, can actually fall into place for a reason, and while it is sometimes so very hard to see, there are little glimpses of light that come through. This baby boy we spoke of arrived 6 weeks early. Due to complications a C-section was required. After he was born, the doctors noted that the baby would not have survived a natural birth due to his condition (which no one was aware of prior to birth). And this mother, just two weeks after her loss, said to me that had these complications not occurred, and had he not been 6 weeks early, they would never have gotten to spend the week with him as they did. That everything happened the way it needed to happen so that they could spend that time, those 7 days as a family.
Here she is. A mother in mourning. Standing there with me without the baby she carried for almost 9 months. And she tells me the beauty of her story, her week with her perfect gift, would never have been given to her had things not gone exactly the way they had—each little piece falling into place so that she could have just one week, 7 days, the best of her life versus none at all.
Sometimes in times of pain, we don’t want to see the little bits and pieces that come together to create a bigger picture. And sometimes it’s okay not to look at it that way. But when you see someone who has been through the storm and yet they still can tell you about the ray of sunshine, it makes you think a second time about where the sunshine may be hiding in your storm. And maybe it’s not hiding, maybe you’re just not seeing it yet. Perhaps today, in the midst of your storm, you can find the sunshine too.
God bless you sweet angel, JP.
Sometimes adding a recipe to the end of a really strong piece of food for thought seems odd, but I like to keep to the title of the blog. Be Whole. Be You. Technically, the Be You part is usually what I start with and then we get into taking care of Being Whole through whole food, clean eating. It’s a balancing act. We take care of our whole selves, and we be true to who we are, right? So today, I will continue the tradition and bring to you a super easy, rich and creamy double chocolatey fudgesicle.
After some research, I saw that a few things could really help make fudgesicles creamy and rich. One, make them over the stove. And two, add a little bit of corn starch. Corn starch doesn’t really add much nutritional value to foods and can be added to a lot of processed foods so it gets a bad rap. I use it every now and then and I make sure it is nonGMO. Most corn starches come from GMO corn so that’s what you really want to avoid.
These Double Chocolate Sea Salt Fudgesicles are rich and creamy and without dairy as well. I used coconut milk and there was barely any coconut flavor. You could use another milk or cream, but maybe add more corn starch to thicken a bit. These fudgesicles are going to be your new favorite summer treat so enjoy!
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 T dark chocolate chips dairy free if avoiding dairy
- 3 T cacao powder
- 1 T corn starch
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- In a pan combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat.
- While warming, whisk ingredients together thoroughly until all chocolate chips have melted and cacao is completely absorbed so the mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Pour into popsicle molds (mine made 5 in my molds).
- Freeze for at least about 4 hours.