Posted by: Nancy Brown | November 15, 2006

“Motherhood is more than bearing children. … It is the essence of who we are as women.” Sherri Dew

A little over a year ago I had a very preemie son. It was very traumatic. It was heart wrenching. But this isn’t about me or my “own” family but about my sister, and her family.  While I was being wheeled out of surgery my family was lined up on the walls as I went by. My little sister was there and so was my “Big” sister. She was living with my parents at the time. When they got the call that I was in labor she decided to come up with my parents despite the hardship in her life. I got transferred to a new hospital and my mom came up. She brought with her a letter. A letter from my “big” sister. A letter that I found this last week.. I can’t find it right now.. I just looked but I know what it says. And now it is my turn to return the favor.

Tonigh my sister is somewhat in my shoes. She doesn’t have a preemie but she does have a “critically ill” child. She is currently experiencing the PICU. I have been there. I have seen what she is seeing. So I get to be the “big” sister, if she will let me.

You got a wonderful gift tonight. I know you have very loving and tender feelings towards the family that lost their loved one. This is part that I don’t know about. But how proud I am to be the sister of a mother who is loving enough to understand and loving enough to be so incredibly greatful for their sacrifice.

This is the part I understand just a little about. When you go into the PICU and you watch your son struggle for every bit of life he has you will see how strong you truly are. You will want to cry. You will want to take his place. You will feel so lucky to be his mom. You will need all the help that is offered to you, you just won’t know it and will feel like you can do it all. You can’t. Don’t be afraid to not be able to do it all. 

You can cry. You will never pray more. You will never find yourself saying thank you more than you do right now. You will see everything as a huge milestone that you FINALLY get to reach. You will be so greatful to finally start doing what others have taken for granted. And when you miss a milestone there will be many people who won’t get it. They say they understand but you will feel alone.  Its okay to feel that way.

 I know that things were hurtful the last few months but honestly no one stopped caring. No one stopped wondering what was going on. No one forgot.

There is Nicky who is so much of a help. She truly is. The talk given by Sister Dew several years ago has so much of Nicky in it. Sister Dew said ” For reasons known to the Lord, some women are required to wait to have children. This delay is not easy for any righteous woman. But the Lord’s timetable for each of us does not negate our nature. Some of us, then, must simply find other ways to mother. And all around us are those who need to be loved and led.”  For some reason Kayden and her have such a bond. It is because she needs to be able to mother him. Its for the times when you just can’t be there. She can be.

As the days and weeks go on there will be less tubes and less scary days but the thought of rejection will always be there. Every day that goes on you will breathe a little deeper but wait for the other shoe to fall. I don’t know what the rejection fear is but I do know what the CP fear is. Every clean bill of health is a breathe deeper but not totally gone.  You will never stop worrying. You are a mom.

Remember who you are and what the Lord promises. Sheri Dew again gave words of wisdom that I have LOVED in the past year. She said ” Never has there been a greater need for righteous mothers—mothers who bless their children with a sense of safety, security, and confidence about the future, mothers who teach their children where to find peace and truth and that the power of Jesus Christ is always stronger than the power of the adversary. Every time we build the faith or reinforce the nobility of a young woman or man, every time we love or lead anyone even one small step along the path, we are true to our endowment and calling as mothers and in the process we build the kingdom of God. No woman who understands the gospel would ever think that any other work is more important or would ever say, “I am just a mother,” for mothers heal the souls of men.”

You are just a mother. But you are just a mother to a wonderful little boy who now carries the miracle of another mother. Nicky is the Aunt of a little boy that adores her and she would give her own life ( or kidney if needed) to continue to “mother” him. I would walk a million miles or send a million pieces of Pizza or answer a million questions or color a million pictures with Lexi or change a million Koy diapers  in order to help you  “mother”  Kayden. Chantel  would drive to Orangeville or take on 2 more kids to help “mother” Kayden. 

Now to OUR mother… As you go into surgery tomorrow know that we will never EVER reach our full potential of motherhood “without the nurturing of both the mother who bore us and the mothers who bears with us” ( Sheri Dew) ….( sorry I really like her) A small story I will never forget. This is the great example of Motherhood to me… One day in the NICU with Tyler was a horrible day. You and dad were up for the weekend ( like you were every weekend) (You might have been up for surgery I don’t remember.) I was the mom of this baby. I was suppose to be the strong one. They asked me to hold him down for them to get a stick of a needle or an IV. I was crying as Tyler was screaming from pain. You walked in and seeing my pain took over. You held him down when I couldn’t. You helped Mother my son because you lovedme. I can’t reach my full potential without you. For that I will always be greatful.


To the mom who is grieving tonight. Thank you. Thank you for saving my Nephew. Although I don’t show it enough he is a great kid with a great family. This family tonight will forever be thankful for you sacrifice of you miracle. You have done the ultimate sacrifce that a mother can do. Thank you.



  1. What a tribute.

    I hope, somewhere out there, that those parents know, what a gift they have given.

    A Miracle, is right.

    What a beautiful family.

    You’re a special Lady.

  2. Did you MEAN to make me cry!!! I have been so strong during this whole thing, not trying to think about everything that WE have to go through but the other family. And when I read that, I couldn’t control it anymore! Thank you for everything. I know we’ve had our rough times, but at times like this is when the family depends more and more on each other. We need to be there for Tammy like we all were for you. Everyone knows that NiNi will ALWAYS be there for Kayden. When he can’t have PaPa, sometimes he’d rather have NiNi. There is a special bond between me and Kayden and nobody knows why. But I also like to think that there is a special bond between me and my other nieces and nephews. Everyone knows Aunt Nicky! I was there everytime you needed me and I will be there when anyone else needs me. I am trying to be 5 people at once, and I love to give. So if I offend you if I can’t help at that time, I’m sorry. Aunt Nicky is trying. Everyone knows that Nicky tries to help as much as possible, even though it gets her into trouble. But I’d rather see my family happy then to see myself happy. My family truly makes me happy and they are there for me no matter so I will try to do whatever I possibly can to make the life of my nieces and nephews so much better. You are right, I would give up MY life (or kidney) for ANY of my family. I have lived 24 years, my nieces and nephews deserve to live that long! I love you Nancy! I am glad you wrote that blog. I couldn’t help but cry when I saw the pictures. You really are a strong person. Thank you for being there for us. We just need to be there for Tammy now. I’m not sure about changing diapers (he he) but I will be there to help any other way :).


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