After I lost Harper, I also lost my job. I really felt like I couldn’t catch a break, although deep in my soul, I knew that losing my high stress job was a blessing from Harper. Still though, at the time, the shock of losing my job put us in a financial predicament. I had always wanted to work for myself, so I decided to go out on my own as a marketing consultant. My husband and I agreed that we would give it a year and see how it went. It went fabulously, but that’s not the point of this story.
I was about 2 months into being my own boss, when THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY came along. It was exactly what I had been doing for years, head of marketing for a start-up personalized medicine company in cancer. BOOM. I had already launched two personalized medicine businesses in the US market, and loved it.
The company was based in DC, so there I went for my interview. It was a full day of interviews, meeting with most everyone from the company, a 9am-5pm type of interview, which I was used to. What I wasn’t used to was interviewing after I had lost Harper. The question, “how many kids do you have” always comes up, and for days like this I stick to the answer “one.” I didn’t want to cry or be caught off guard, so I was prepared to protect myself just to get me through the day.
It was the very last interview, and the owner of the company and I were having an enjoyable conversation. He asked me how many children I had, and I said one, like I planned. At the end of our meeting he looked me in the eyes and said the kindest thing, “you are so driven and intelligent, don’t you want to have more children to pass on those great qualities?” I can read people well, and he wasn’t saying it to try to figure out if I was going to go out on maternity leave, he truly meant it as a compliment.
That’s when they started, the tears. Those relentless tears that could start at anytime, anywhere. They didn’t care if I was in the middle of a job interview that I not only wanted, but needed. I said, “I have a daughter, but we lost her, and as her mommy, these are the exact traits I was hoping to pass along to her.”
Having a daughter felt so different to me than having a son. I wanted to teach her to be confident and strong, and go after your dreams. I could feel her in the room with me, she was so very present. It’s not until a year later after more healing has occurred that I realized that, that’s exactly what I WAS showing her. That mommy put her “big girl pants” on, went for an interview even though she was still very raw, and didn’t let her grief stand in the way of her dreams. While Harper isn’t physically here for me to teach, she is very present spiritually and I will always try to make her proud.
Thank God he was my last interview of the day, because once those tears started, I couldn’t stop them. I cried the entire car ride to Union Station and all the way home on the train back to Philly.
Despite the tears, despite the grief, despite the honesty, despite the emotion, I got the job.