Chewing Off My Gag Order

I'm under a publication ban right now.

It's really cramping my style.

This week has been one of the toughest weeks my family has ever faced since the unexpected death of my son Shale and I can't write about it.

I want desperately to share the tribulations my family has endured but I more desperately want to remain out of the clink and avoid wearing a prison jumpsuit. My husband insists there is no money in our budget for bail. He's a bit scrooge-ish like that.

So I can't tell you about the tears and triumphs of this past week. Not yet. I will. When the gag order is lifted and emotions have settled.

But I can tell you how proud I am of my child, for standing up for truth and justice and fighting demons while I sat helpless beside my husband and relived the horror they had to face.

As a parent, it is our job to protect our children from all the monsters under the bed, to clean the boogeymen out of the closet and to cast light in the darkest shadows.

More than once now, in this gig of parenthood, the batteries in my flashlight have run dry and I've failed to chase the demons away. I will carry this guilt and pain with me until the day I die.

But somehow, despite my fumbles and failures, my children are growing into amazingly strong people. At this moment, they can't be getting their strength from me, because honestly, I am tapped out. I have no more strength. I feel like a hollow shell and as though the slightest breeze will shatter me at any moment.

But my children, they shine like the brightest beacons on a foggy night off a rocky shoreline.

I have never been more proud to call these small humans my own.

Their grace and strength amaze me and I am completely awestruck that somehow, through all my fumbling and errors, these children are growing into the type of people I wish I could be.

I don't say that enough on my blog, but the world needs to know that these children have each walked through hell and survived, brighter and more beautiful than I could have ever possibly imagined.

They continually humble me and they are the reason I will try harder, aim higher, and reach further with every breath I take.

No publication ban in the world will prevent me from telling you that.

For my kids, I'll happily wear stripes.