I have to admit that the couple of months leading up to March for Babies are hard for me. I take it all too personally. When I share about March for Babies on Facebook and hardly anybody "likes" the post and there aren't any comments, I get really discouraged. When I share about it and people do like/comment, but no one signs up to walk or donates I again get really discouraged.
March for Babies is such a big deal to me. It's the biggest physical, tangible thing I can do for Marcellus as his mother. And I take it seriously. But I always feel like I'm failing him. Every year I feel like I didn't do enough to raise money. Every year I feel like I could have done more. Every year it's just not enough. Part of it I think has to do with the major success we had the first year. I just reread the post I wrote after the first walk and we had raised $13,500 and had over 20 people walking for Marcellus. The last couple of years our team has been so much smaller and raised around $3000 or so. Nothing compared to that first year.
The first year the walk occurred on Marcellus's half birthday. People were still grieving with us. This walk, 4 years later, other people don't feel the grief for us like they did then. And honestly, 4 years later, we don't feel the grief like we did then. But that doesn't mean we aren't still grieving. Very much still grieving. Our grief has just evolved. It's more internal. It isn't so intense on a day to day level, but it very much can still be quite intense.
But I still need to know that people think of him, that they haven't forgotten. I still need reminders that he has touched and continues to touch other people's lives. My sweet boy, his twelve days on earth and the 4 years 3 months and 1 week we've been without him. I need to know that when they think of my family that people think of three boys. That they see him in his brothers. His littlest brother looks so much like him. So damn much like him.
I wish people could hear Marcellus's 3yo brother talk about him. The things he says so matter of fact, "one of our children is dead," and "I wish Marcellus was not died," and "I miss Marcellus. He's in my heart." This is our reality, including the reality of our living children. To have a brother they will never know. And so his two little brothers will walk with us and we will tell them why it is so important for us to walk: 1) To keep their brother's memory alive and share his legacy with the world, 2) to raise money and awareness so that other families do not need to have this reality, so that other families may be complete.
Here's a quote from the blog post I wrote that first year (note: it was a post written to Marcellus),
One of my biggest fears is people will forget about you, or stop talking about you. But knowing that all these people were walking for you and supporting us in this walk shows me that they will never forget about you. Lots of people were even already talking about our team for next year! How awesome is that? Every year we will have a team just for you.That is still one of my biggest fears. And this walk is still one of the ways I can be shown that will never be true. So, please, if you think of Marcellus, if he has touched your life in any way at all consider donating or joining us on April 30th. Every little bit helps, every little bit means more to me than I can express. Please, help me keep my son's legacy going, help me to mother him in the only way I can. There's so much more that needs to be done to prevent premature birth, to help babies in the NICU, and to support their parents.
"The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality."
All babies deserve the best start in life. Two of my boys didn't get that. Marcellus spent all 12 of his days fighting in the NICU. We spent all 12 of his days fighting with him in the NICU. Ethan spent his first 10 weeks in the NICU. We want to do all we can to prevent other families having to endure what we have.
And seriously, the biggest thank you to everyone that has supported our March for Babies team in anyway in the past and this year. I really don't have words to tell you how big of a deal this is to me. I am so appreciative of every single penny that is raised in Marcellus's name. The rational side of me tells me this year will be no different. Everyone will out pour their love and support. We will reach our goal...there are still over 2 months to go. But the grieving side of me panics and doubts. Grief is nowhere near rational, so I struggle.
Link to my fundraising page: www.marchforbabies.org/teamMarcellus
Marcellus, as we come up on another March for Babies season, Momma struggles. I struggle with how to best get our team going. I struggle with how I'm going to fundraise and if it's going to be enough. I want to make you proud. I want people to know how proud I am to be your mommy. Will we raise enough money this year? Do we ever raise enough money? We could raise all the money in the world and it wouldn't be enough. Nothing is enough, because nothing can change the fact that you are not here. But I'll try, Baby Boy, I will try. My goal is to get a route sign again this year. That means raising $2000 as a team to get a sign along the walk route with your beautiful face on it. So that everyone walking can see it. So that they can get a glimpse of my first born son as your dad, brothers and I will proudly walk for you. I love you, my little squirmy wormy. I love you so very much!!! xoxox.