I was watching a show last night about a superhero that I had not yet heard of called the Green Arrow. Unless it is Superman, Spiderman or Batman I am pretty clueless about the comic world, so I looked up the background of the Green Arrow just to keep up. He seems to have a pretty familiar Superhero back-story; after surviving great personal tragedy he becomes a larger than life protector of all that is good in the world. We are fascinated by superheroes and our children grow up idolizing these characters in multimillion dollar movies and television shows. Yet it dawned on me how little we honor the superhero stories of real life people.
How many mothers are faced with great tragedy in their lives and still wake up every day with the mission to be the best mother, spouse, friend, sister, etc.? These women are the definition of the defenders of good in our society, yet there is no beautiful cape bestowed upon them or award winning actress picked to play their part. In fact, many of the challenges and tragedies women face today are hidden from the public eye and they have little or no support beyond their immediate family.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Pregnancy and infant loss is unfortunately a subject that many women are familiar with, yet few ever talk about it. Sometimes the loss can be so personal; no one ever knows that this tragedy, that has such a deep and lasting impact, has even occurred. There is no award for surviving these losses and often one must go back to everyday life soon after. It is these women that should be shown leaping buildings in a single bound, not the men in tights we are so familiar with.
Although I do like teaching my son about superheroes and the concept of good conquering evil, I realize I need to make more of an effort to recognize the everyday heroes that cross our path. While their tragedies may be hidden to me, I know that all mothers have a back-story that has created the woman in front of me. I can keep their unsung heroics in my mind and though I may never be able to hand out a cape to these well-deserving mothers, hopefully I can make her day a bit better.
If you are struggling with the loss of a pregnancy or an infant visit National Share for support resources.
Photo from jesserosten.com