I am sure you're wondering what does duct tape and WD-40 have to do with a baby loss charity? Well a lot more than you think. I grew up at the edge of the Mid-West in a place called Sparta, Michigan. Mid-Westerners are a special breed of folks, proud, generous, neighbourly and resilient. My grandpa could fix the car, build a house, make the best pancakes you've ever had and sew on a button or mend a hem all as easily as casting a line fishing. He was a true renaissance man. The two things he was never, EVER without were duct tape and WD-40 because there is nothing you can't patch together, sort out or fix up with duct tape and/or WD-40.
Well as you can likely tell, my grandpa was my hero. He was John Wayne, Superman, Indianna Jones and Al Kaline all roled into one. But there is one thing you can't fix with duct tape and WD-40...a shattered heart. And that is what losing your child does to you, it shatters your heart.
But my grandpa was a wise man, born of a generation that went to fight the bloodiest, horrific war our world had known, that worked hard, prayed openly and lived right. He was a man who had lost his father, his mother, buried his teenage daughter and then his young grandson, holding his family together in the process. And it started to dawn on me, of all the things my grandpa was to so many people, he was the duct tape and WD-40 in our lives. He hurt, he broke, he cried and he raged but through all of the pain, he loved us all, family, friends, neighbours and even his enemies. He held it all together, kept it moving forward and we all grew up knowing we were loved and cherished, safe with grandpa at the wheel.
I learned a lot from my grandpa, how to ride a bike and drive a car, how to catch a fish, clean it and cook it, to always measure twice and cut once and most importantly how to keep going no matter how much it hurts because someone is depending on you. I learned more than I can remember from him, and then from his daughter, my mother, and the more I thought about it the more I realised how much I've learned from my grandmothers, my father and both my grandfathers. We are Midwesterners and we come with love and grit, armed with duct tape and WD-40.
This blog is about how what we do helps families in the darkest of days to not try and see past the pain, not to try and look to a point in the future that things will get better, but how to find what they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to breathe one breath at a time. "Because sometimes, that is all a body can do." Louis Arthur Dagen