I met today's co-author in mothering, Jessica Lindberg, during my pregnancy with Griffin. Back then her foundation had a different name, but today it's known as the Ethan Lindberg Foundation, named in memory of her son, Ethan, who died of congenital heart disease. Jess was a mentor when we entered the scary world of pediatric cardiology - a place no parent wants to find themselves. She led with love and showed me and many other heart moms what it looks like to walk this path.
I learned most from Jess during the last months of Ethan's life. She wrote often during that time and took her readers on the journey of what it is to walk to the end of the earth for your child. I often talk about taking a flashlight to the dark, unknown places in life and Jess did this beautifully. My heart broke open for her. It was the first time I had been close to the intense mother's struggle for a child's life and what comes after for the survivors. What a gift this was to allow me and others into her journey.
Jess is one of those people in my life who I feel I was destined to meet. We have other connections too, that have to do with her youngest son, Bodey. There are too many commonalities for our friendship to have been a fluke.
Though I've known Jess for many years it was not until 2018 when we finally met in person. This picture is from that weekend. I can't imagine going through life and not connecting with Jess - and I never would have met her if Griffin had a normal heart. Another example that life-giving connection can come from the darkest places.