Allison was a friend I hadn't seen or even spoken to in years, but we had kept up through out the years over facebook. Allison was the kind of girl that was the definition of kindness or confidence. She was so smart, passionately loved Jesus, athletic, a strong leader....the kind of person you'd be proud to call your friend or daughter or sister. She was our school's SCA president when we were seniors, and she went on to be a part of ROTC at Clemson University, and then became an elementary school teacher. All of her friends on facebook have commented on how they will never forget her smile or laugh, and I too would agree with that one hundred precent. She was always so happy.
At a football game during our senior year
If you know a mom with a new baby (really, any mom who has had a baby in the last year!), check in with her. Ask how she is feeling. And then listen. Show her you care. Take her a meal, stop by with coffee for her, offer to watch her kids for just an hour so she can go out for a pedicure or a run by herself. If you're far away, set aside time to talk with her on the phone. Send her a card. Order delivery pizza for her. There is a fear of being stigmatized for saying we are struggling, or that we're not as happy as we "should" be with a beautiful and healthy baby at home. If you have a friend who does reach out to you, LISTEN to her and offer hope and help. Many women show the typical signs of PPD, but not everyone does and some suffer alone. If you are a new mom and something just seems "off,"please talk to your loved ones or your doctor. Just tell someone. There is power in our words. Allison is remembered by so many as one exuded joy. If PPD can effect someone like her, it can change the live of anyone.
We love you Allison. The world was a better place because of you.