Recently, I had my intentions questioned in a semi-public way. Of course it hurt. I didn’t hurt too much though, because there’s an easy test for my true motivations. Every night when I lay my head down on the pillow, I think about my work in Cora’s name. I do a mental check in to make sure my intentions are good. I always sleep soundly, on that front. I’ve never questioned myself.
This week as I poured my heart into a new project, November 30: Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day, I became bewildered that anyone could ever get the impression there could be any other intentions for this work.
I cried many tears while making the site. All of the beautiful babies on the site were born with heart defects that weren’t detected until they were either extremely sick, or dead. All of their stories affected me so much.
I’ve been clear about my intentions. Cora delivered to me my life’s purpose.
I think most grieving moms have similar motivations after their child dies.
Mothers with live children want nothing more than for their child to be healthy and happy.
Mothers with ill children want their children to get better, and to live as full lives as possible.
Mothers with dead children want their children to be remembered. If the world remembers their child, part of their child remains alive forever. They want their child’s death not to be in vain.
When I do this work, the purpose delivered from Cora, I want her to be remembered. I’ve never, ever claimed I don’t. I want every mother to know her name, and to know that she’s protecting new babies.
I truly want other children to be remembered as well. I try my hardest to include all of the stories, sometimes so overwhelming in my work.
I want Cora’s life and death to mean something. I want them to mean something legitimate. I’m not searching for a cause. I found something that would have directly helped her. Something simple.
Most of all, I don’t want any other mother to find out about her child’s heart defect from the coroner. I want to do my absolute best and work with everything I have to make sure that doesn’t happen. Through pulse ox screening, yes, but so much more needs to be done too. Better prenatal detection. Better education so mothers and doctors know that with treatment those babies detected early can thrive. Better education so moms know the signs of a CHD. Better research so one day there’s a foul proof detection method, or even better yet, one day, babies aren’t formed with broken hearts at all.
Those are my motivations today, tomorrow and forever.