Do you ever look back at your choices, decisions and analyze the impact they had on your life? I’m sure everyone has at one point or another. What about how your choices impacted and shaped the lives of someone else? If you’re a parent (and if you’re reading here you probably are already or plan to be one day) you may have hung on a few of those thoughts from time to time. I mean, as a parent, every move you make has an impact – good, bad or indifferent – you’ll see your actions and choices reflected in your children.
But that’s not what I mean.
Do you ever look at the choices you made and the impact on a stranger? A random act of kindness. A smile. A kind word.
Addison was born in December of 2006. I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I took the class, read up on it and thought it would be cake. I was so wrong. I wasn’t making enough milk, she wouldn’t nurse, I was trying to pump and bottle feed… it was a nightmare. I was on a 2 hour revolving schedule which gave me about a 10-20 minute break through each cycle. With the help of a lactation consultant and support from my friends, I struggled through. I ended up on Fenugreek and three weeks later had no problem keeping up with Addison’s demands, though she still wouldn’t nurse. So, for the next 8 months, I continued to pump and bottle feed. It became obvious that I was now making far more milk than Addison would ever need and someone suggested I look into donating my extra stash to a milk bank. I was eager to do it, but found that the fact I had taken Tylenol and couldn’t identify what milk may have had the Tylenol in it was enough to keep me from donating to a milk bank.
A few weeks later, I was at a memorial service for a man I worked with when I was a teenager. He was a Sheriff’s Deputy and had worked off-duty security at my after-school job, and he had lost his life to cancer. It was at this memorial service that I met a woman named Angie.
I was at the service alone, standing in line to view the body, and started catching bits and pieces of a conversation happening between a few ladies in the line near me. Angie was talking about her daughter Stephanie, a beautiful – but very sick – little girl. She was just about 2 at the time. My daughter still hadn’t had her first birthday. Angie was talking about Stephanie’s digestion issues and how they were giving her donor breastmilk, as it seemed to be the only thing her little system would tolerate. I jumped in, chatted a bit, got Angie’s contact info and went on my way….