This poem, "Mamas, We're in This Together" is written by Morgan Turpin, whose son was born with a life-threatening illness called Dravet Syndrome. The disease causes frequent seizures beginning in infancy and cannot be cured. Turpin's poem is an expression of the fear, frustration, and ultimately, hope that she feels as a mother of a child with a complex medical condition.

"Mamas, We're in This Together"


This world we live in can feel so lonely

But I’m here to tell you that you aren’t the only

Mama who feels this way, you see,

For I am you, and you are me

In that awful moment when you got the news

I’ve been there too, I’ve walked in your shoes

As you wondered and feared what their life would be

But they told you only in time will you see

When the online searches paint a picture so grim

I’ve read those words, I’ve felt them sink in

When all you want to do is scream

Or somehow wake up from this awful dream

When you can’t sleep with all the words that you’ve read

Swirling on repeat inside of your head

As you think “no this can’t possibly be”

“Not my baby, this can’t happen to me”

Time seems to stand still, like everything has changed

The world feels so different with this news you have gained

The dreams and the hopes that you had, gone away

Consumed with feelings of mourning, all night and all day …

And then when you somehow muster the strength

To put up a fight, to go to any length

“Things will be different for him”, you pray

He will beat the odds, we will find a way

That hope is the force that is guiding you through

This I know, you see, ’cause I’ve felt it too

And I have also felt that hope crumble and fall

With each failed treatment, each time you get “the call”

The monster shows up, and says “I’m still here”

And once again, you sink back into fear

I have lived through those highs, I have lived through those lows

I know how this roller coaster goes …

Sometimes tears fall with joy from a new milestone

Or sometimes from pain, feeling so alone

Feeling like your life is passing you by

Watching him suffer, not understanding why

Feeling like every thing is a fight,

But vowing to advocate with all of your might

They will not win, I’ll make them see

Just how important this child is to me

You push for services, to help them grow

You don’t take it for an answer, when they tell you “no”

You summon a strength you didn’t know existed,

Eventually you’ll win, because you persisted

Then you rally for the next battle to be won,

Because, you see, your work is never done

Each night when you finally lay down in bed,

A million thoughts are going through your head

Those feelings of guilt that live within you,

“Am I doing enough?” I live with them too

Wanting the best life can offer for this little boy

Hoping he feels love, hoping he has joy

And those feelings most don’t talk about, when you want to give up

When you have lost your fight, when you throw your hands up

When you say “there’s not much more I can take,I feel as if my heart might actually break”

But then, you gaze into your child’s eyes

And all of a sudden you realize

That they are the strongest person you’ve ever met

And you will spend your life fighting for them, you aren’t done yet

Those feelings you feel, I’ve felt them too

You are me, and I am you

We are both in this together, you see

Our tribe of moms is as strong as can be

I want to leave some advice for you,

You are stronger than you know, this is true

You will never be alone in this world, you see

For I am you, and you are me.

This piece originally appeared on The Mighty and is reprinted here with permission.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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