On June 8th, 2015, I sat in my room crying most of the day like every other day in June so far. I sat in the Nash nook staring out the window at the bright blue sky and wanted to die. I knew tomorrow I would look at my Timehop and see my baby boy smiling with his five month sticker proudly displayed on his chest…the last sticker he would ever wear. A picture I took that I thought would be one of twelve. Pictures I thought would be displayed at his high school graduation party, not his funeral. I didn’t want to go to work anymore…be married anymore…be a mom. I wanted to selfishly not be anything to anyone. I wanted the world to stop asking so much of me. Everyday normal tasks, for me, were hurdles I had to get through to make it to the next horrible day. This time, the next horrible day to follow was…June 9th.
I picked up my phone and scanned through Facebook. The ninth has become so much more to me than just his birthday. People had made this day special for me again, just special in another way. The first thing that popped in my head is that it was Nash day and a tinge of excitement pierced through me! How cool is that? How cool is it that because of the kindness of others, the day has actually become something entirely different in my brain? Like I have been retaught or reprogrammed to associate the day not with sadness, as most in my situation would do, but with…happiness. Although people continue to post things on his Facebook page, it has slowed down overall, which I knew would eventually happen. It made it even more exciting now when people would post something. As I sat there thinking about everything that has been done for Todd and I, the support we have gotten, the tears began to flow. Grateful does not cover it.
We still get Nash’d on a regular basis. People still continue to honor Nash by doing random acts of kindness. It’s an everyday occurrence to see a random picture of someone on my newsfeed wearing a Nash Day t-shirt and bracelet or to drive behind a car with a Team Nash sticker. On top of that, I cannot tell you how many times I have been stopped by someone in a store, at the doctor’s office, or even just walking by, and been told how much Nash has touched his or her heart. I have received countless letters thanking me for writing about my journey and telling me how attached people feel to my boys. It’s overwhelming, and just when I think it’s going to my head and that people could not possibly be as attached as I think, someone posts a rainbow to my page or a video of their child singing the cowboy song. I think I could write all day, everyday for the rest of my life and not mention all of the amazing things that have happened since Nash has passed. I have sat down to write about the wonder of it all so many times and just stare at the computer wondering where to even start.
To give you just a glimpse into what a day can consist of for me, one day in particular stands out. Crue must have been a month old, and I took him with me to Target for the first time. As we walked in, I heard a high pitched squeal followed by a lady running at me yelling, “Is that Crue?!? Is that the rainbow baby?!?!?” It startled me, and I jumped back and instantly started smiling and laughing as I realized what was happening. To me, this is just bizarre. It amazes me that people have the reaction they do to my boys…but I tell you this, it never gets old. Once the lady had finished gazing adoringly at Crue as he looked at her all serious with his eyebrows furrowed with that puzzled look of his, I continued on through the store. I was looking at toys for my goddaughter Gia’s first birthday, and I felt a lady staring at me. We made eye contact a couple of times and we would both smile and look away. It felt as if she wanted to say something to me, but I thought I was just crazy and was probably feeling that way because of the Crue groupie I had just encountered at the front of the store. As I turned to go down another aisle, she followed and finally approached me. She reached out for my hand and asked if I was Nash’s mommy. The tears rolled as she thanked me for my blog and explained on a personal level how much it has helped her better understand her sister who lost her child. I walked out of the store staring at Crue, thinking how amazing it is that all of this has come out of Nash’s passing. As I put my purchases in the backseat and went to get in the driver’s seat, two teenage girls walked by giggling, shouting, “Have a Nash day!” I stood there like a statue with this dumb wide open mouth look on my face. I scanned the parking lot to see if I was being punk’d.
As I drove off, I couldn’t have been more proud of Nash, of us, of strangers. Now here I sit, weeks later, crying about the 9th. I knew what I had to do. I knew if anything could help, team Nash would. I posted on Facebook, telling people what a hard time I was having this month. How much it would mean to me if this one last time people would change their profile pictures to Nash and pay it forward on the 9th. I think a part of me still needed to know people were out there, that they hadn’t forgotten about Nash. I was desperate for any ounce of encouragement. Like clockwork, people started sharing my post and profile pictures were changed. It’s amazing that I can be sitting at home crying in the Nash nook, write a simple post, and within minutes I’m crying, moved by people as they continue to do anything they can to support us. The next day, my newsfeed filled with pictures of Nash and random acts of kindness. The ninth was my only saving grace the month of June. Everyday of that month leading up to it and the days that followed continued to be extremely painful and heartbreaking…but the ninth…not the ninth…NEVER the 9th…thank you for that.