It’s All About Support

I had a conversation yesterday that left me a little bit unsettled in my heart, but greatful at the same time. 

Kevin and I are lucky that we have good neighbors that live on both sides of us, (the ones a few houses down are another story) but for the most part, everyone in our neighborhood is ok.  So with this post being about neighbors I am going to try to be as specific as I can, without being too specifc. So onward I trudge….

Earlier this summer, it was raining and anyone who lived in Billings, Montana knows that it was a summer of wacky weather throughout this great state of ours. So while it’s pouring outside, Kevin sees a lady that is stumbling down the sidewalk, with bags in her hands.  We both thought, “oh tough night to be outside in the rain, but whatever.”  So we went back to doing dishes.  A minute or so later, Kevin says to me, ” Jess that lady is laying on the sidewalk.” So I tossed on my shoes, and went out to help her.  At the time, the rain was coming down so hard I didn’t realize who it was, but when I got closer I could see that it was a friend of one of our neighbors. 

I ran up to her and helped her up, and grabbed one of her bags,  it was then that I made a sudden connection.  She was incredibly drunk and wasn’t coherent.  Part of me wanted to turn around and go back in the house, but the human, mom side of me wanted to make sure she was ok.  So I helped her walk to our neighbors house, to get her inside.  While we were making our way through the rain, she was sobbing, and telling me that, “She had  a dead baby too, that her baby died, and she was all alone, and no one would help her.”  Over and over and over, she told me these few phrases.  These words were heartbreaking to me.  I honestly wanted to run and just leave her there, I didn’t want to hear anymore about this drunken lady’s dead baby. I got her to the neighbors house, and made sure she got inside.

A few minutes later, the neighbor came to our house, and apologized over and over for her behavior.  We had been hearing some pretty intense fighting coming from this house the last few weeks, but weren’t sure what part to take or whether or not to step in.  So we just kept living our lives.  Our neighbor told us that night, that she was going to be heading to a court-order alcohol treatment facility within a month or two.

So there is the history…..

Yesterday, I was outside chasing my dogs around the neigborhood, trying to get them back in the yard, and I ran into our neighbor.  I asked about his friend, and he told me that she started her treatment, and would be gone for 6-months doing an in-patient alcohol treatment.  She told him, that she hated being in the facility, and that she was just fine on her own, and that people were blowing her “addiction” out of proportion.  I told our neighbor, that I thought he was a good friend, and that sometimes being a friend means having to shut the door on a relationship for a time. 

The thing that left me so unsettled, is that I could see my face in hers the night of the rainstorm. The anger, desperation and fear in her eyes.  The way she tried to mask her pain with a substance. I could very easily see myself there in her place. I don’t know her whole story, I just know the parts, that I was forced to see, by helping her that night. But I do know from the brief encounter I had with her, that she was desperately alone during a time in her life when she needed support more than anything else.

This grief that we face, as parents who lose babies is indescribable.  It is all consuming, and it is beyond what the human mind can comprehend. I was sad when we finished our conversation last night, but at the same time I was greatful.  Greatful that I have been able to lean on an amazing support network of people and that I have a husband who was wise enough to tell me,  “Jessica, I don’t want to have alcohol in our house while we’re grieving this loss.Because I know it will be too much temptation to bury our hurts in a bottle, instead of laying them at the feet of the one who is the only one who can heal our hearts.” 

I am glad that even in the midst of his pain, he could see that our future was one that would be one of restoration and healing.  One that would keep us moving forward, and not stuck in the bottom of a pit that we would spend our lives trying to hold onto.

This post got a little windy, but it felt good to process the conversation, and to help realize that we are all responsible for the choices we make in our lives.  I choose to make mine a positive legacy for my sweet Ireland, instead of choosing to be stuck.


Look at my little “No Name Hanson”  Isn’t he cute?   He is doing well, growing, thriving, and breech… pray that he turns on his own, and for the record, if you can think of any creative and fantastic names, send them our way.  We are STUCK on what to call him!

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  1. Jess…
    Great blog…
    Names for you: Milo, Camden, Jude, or Caleb.
    That's what I got for ya.
    Thanks for writing your blog… you help a lot of people 🙂

  2. That is EXACTLY what you are doing…making a positive, God-honoring legacy of Ireland! It's INCREDIBLE to read and experience!

    Names for the baby…hmmm…Have you tried It lets you put in all the names of your current children and gives you the best “matches” according to that! Give it a try…you may find his name there!

  3. I'm glad you were able to be there for that lady if only for just a short period of time. I hope she can get the help she needs and support and start to heal

    I think you have a very good support system with your family and friends up there. I know it won't take away your grief but I think it is comforting to know there are many praying for you and there for you as you continue to grieve

    clueless on a name for your new little one, but I know you guys will come up with an awesome one for him


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