It was amazing. At one point, I just stood there and watched all the people. Hundreds and hundreds. All walked for a different reason, but all were walking to benefit education, research and family support for the American Heart Association. I was dumbfounded by electricity of it all.
(I know it's blurry, we were walking inside at Busch Stadium and it was packed!)
Linton, Makiah and I walked. I pushed Samuel and Daniel in big double (term lovingly given to the double stroller), Fiona and Cara also walked with us (THANKS). Linton is behind the camera and I do my best to stay off camera.
We passed people in red shirts, green shirts, yellow shirts, purple shirts, blue and white shirts. Teams were everywhere. Hospital teams, company teams, teams walking in memory of someone or in honor of a survivor. I think the purple shirts are the ones that stick out the most in my mind. All of them, and there must have been 25-30, wore a laminated sheet with a picture of a small child attached to the back of their shirt, all the kiddos had a stroke in utero. Survivors, before they were even born. I had never considered a baby having a stroke in utero.
I thought of all the mommies and daddies walking in honor of a child that had survived, or one that hadn't. Even though I didn't know them or them me, we knew each other. At one point a lady bumped into me, which wasn't hard to do and she looked up to apologize I read her shirt. There was a picture of a little boy with her and on it was written my baby and the dates of his life. As we met eyes to apologize there it was--the pain I recognized as my own. A pain that is carefully layered behind life moving on. She smiled and apologized and I could tell that she could see the same thing I saw. We both moved on--both in the walk and everyday.
Some don't understand why I walked, and that's okay. They don't need to understand. It is a productive way to honor my baby. Nathaniel will always be a part of me, of us. I will never stop missing him and all the milestones never achieved. But I can honestly say, I'm still walkin'.