Defining Moments

Have you seen that Prudential commercial? Here’s a link to watch.

The narration on the commercial says that the past is mostly a mix of half good and half bad items. The blue and the yellow were just about equal. But the future – it was bright. Mostly, people named something good that could happen in their future and placed a yellow magnet on the wall.

I think those colored magnets represent defining moments in our lives. Blue, the bad moments, come to mind very quickly. When I first watched this commercial, the first thought I had about something that happened in my recent past was “Joanna died.” Clearly, her death was a sad, horrible event that forever changed us. It defined us as “bereaved parents.” I live daily with this “blue magnet moment” and wish so much that things were different.

I also think of my recent “yellow magnet moments” – I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees and then got my master’s, I got married, found a job I find meaningful and fulfilling, became a puppy mom and an aunt, went on fun vacations, bought my first new car and my first house. Yet none of those came to mind initially.

I think this is because, of all the defining moments of my life to date, Joanna’s life has had the biggest impact on me. Her life, not her death. Her death serves as a reminder that she is gone, but ultimately it does not take away from her life with me, with us. Those perfect fingers and toes, so tiny and precious, her pretty face, so perfectly formed. The morning sickness and the flutters that turned to kicks. The 6.5 months we shared with her were the best of my life.

So, I want to change my magnet. I will put up a yellow magnet, to honor her life. A yellow magnet to define me, simply, as “mother”. And for the future, another yellow magnet, for the possibility of her longed-for baby sibling(s).


4 thoughts on “Defining Moments

  1. Mom says:

    Of all your posts to date, I find this the most positive. Life for us does go on. Like it out not. A positive outlook does wonders for healing. Love you all.

  2. Anonymous says:


    You are right, in addition to feeling sad, we should celebrate our kids’ lives. Also, yesterday while walking in Georgetown we saw 2 rainbows. Made me think about you and also the thought came to my mind that Lentil and Joanna are playing together…
    Thinking of you,

  3. everydayspirit1 says:

    This really made me think about having choices and how that leads to having hope. Rather than live in a random and cruel world, you changed your magnet to one of faith and love. This post really moved me because right within it, you change your magnet. You choose to put the life of Joanna in the hopeful column. Our children change us radically by their absence. Nothing is ever the same again, but within our new, beat up, stretched out, seemingly broken selves, comes a surprising capacity to see more, to open more, to feel more, to hope more, to have faith more, and even to love more. Hugs to you.

  4. Laura says:

    I like this idea. Putting up a positive, yellow magnet. Reminds you of the joy of Joanna and all the good things yet to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s