Today is the first Sunday of the month. It’s the day before Labor Day, so we weren’t sure it if was the best time to try to have the Helping Parents Heal meeting. IANDS moved their monthly meeting to next week. But, Tywana and I decide to just leave it as it is and see how it goes. No one showed up last month. There is nowhere to go but up.
A couple of people have told us they would be here this month including a woman I have not met that found us through a mutual Facebook friend. So, we’re hopeful we will have at least two people. We gather up our stuff, set our expectations knowing we might be coming right back home and we’re off to the meeting.
A few minutes till seven, I hear someone come into the room next to us where the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is. I hear her ask “Is this the meeting?” and I hear the response of “Yes, come on in.”. Then I hear her name as she introduces herself. It’s an unusual name, so I immediately know this is the person coming to our meeting, so I’m off to retrieve our first member.
We do introductions. It’s a few minutes till 7 o’clock. At 7, I start. I tell her what the group is about. By ten after it looks like no one else is going to show up. So, we begin sharing the stories of our kids. Just then our second person walks in. We redo introductions and I retell the story of Shayna, quick version. Then we go around the table and complete the storytelling. We have two mothers. One’s grown son transitioned two years ago. The other’s teenage daughter passed 32 years ago. She is here to help those of us who are recent- well, there’s no word for what we are. Wives whose husbands have transitioned are called widows. Children whose parents have gone on are called orphans. The horror of losing a child is so bad there is no word for it. But, she is here to help us, us parents still walking around in a fog. I’ve had many parents tell me the first year or two you’re numb, on autopilot, barely functioning.
What happens in the meeting stays in the meeting so I will not share any stories or any information that could be used to identify any individuals. But, as the meeting goes on, I’m thinking “We’re scheduled to be here until 9 o’clock. There are only four of us. We’ve just met. We’ll be out of here by 8 o’clock. I have no formal agenda. We don’t know each other. When the conversation lulls, I’ll call it. 8 o’clock rolls around, 8:30, 8:45. Finally, at 8:55 I tell them we’re going to have to start winding down the conversation.
During the meeting, I read an introduction by Sheri Perl Migdol that summarizes what HPH believes about the continuance of our children’s lives, what we are to do while we are here and the eternal beings that we are all. My intent is to read it at the beginning of every meeting just to get everyone on the same page. But, it was totally unnecessary with the two women who showed up. We share stories of signs we have gotten from our kids before they passed and prescient dreams before. We talk about reincarnation. All of us had been to psychics or mediums or both and gotten amazing incontrovertible evidence that there is something very real about their abilities.
It’s not the number of people in the room that count. If we can help even one parent, we have done what we set out to do. And the meetings help us. In spite of the signs Tywana and I have gotten, the evidence we’ve found through our research, every story helps. Every person who confirms we’re not crazy, it’s not just wishful thinking bolsters our hope and gives us the strength to carry one. Tonight, it’s mission accomplished.
p.s.- I almost forgot… One of the things we talked about was finding dimes. Pennies from Heaven is a common phrase, people attributing finding pennies to their Risen loved ones. Well, we decided we wanted dimes because finding a penny is too common. I told my Put-In-Bay dime story. When we get home, on the bedroom floor is a single dime.