This mother faced the worst kind of loss imaginable, and years later still has moments when she is reminded of a time before she realized how bad the pain could be.
Heather Duckworth was once a mother of a 4-year-old son and 2-year-old triplets. Things weren't easy, and she was more often than not exhausted and irritable, but happy nonetheless with her busy, full home.
14 years later, she was cleaning up a mess her daughter had made with some slime that had gone everywhere. She was annoyed by the mess, but was suddenly struck by a memory from a moment many years ago.
Duckworth had had another tiring day, and her boys were almost ready for bed. She had taken her sons into the playroom to do some last minute cleaning, when she suddenly heard one of the triplets say "uh oh."
When she looked up, there was blue ink spraying everywhere from a pen the little boy was holding.
Blue ink was dripping from his hand, but the dark ink was dripping all over the brand new tan carpet. She took him off to the bathroom to clean him up, and yelled for her husband to start sorting out the stain on the carpet.
But try as they might, that stain refused to come out of the carpet, even after being treated multiple times by professionals.
While Duckworth was upset, it wasn't at her sweet son, but herself for leaving the pen within his reach.
Every single time she looked at that stain, she was reminded of that night, and annoyed all over again.
Just a month after the ink incident, that same little boy was diagnosed with cancer. And two years later he was taken from her.
"My son was gone, but that blue ink stain? It was still there . . . and now . . . it was a constant reminder of my son. It was a constant reminder of my frustration over something so trivial . . . something so unimportant in the scheme of life," she wrote on Facebook. "That blue stain was a constant reminder that life is messy, but that’s what makes it worth living. A constant reminder to not sweat the small stuff. A constant reminder that “things” aren’t important, but people are. A constant reminder that accidents happen. A constant reminder to let go of the little things and hang on tight to what is important."
Years later, when her daughter had watched the slime drip from her fingers, Duckworth couldn't bring herself to be angry at her daughter.
Instead, she found the "bless in the mess," grateful that she had a child healthy enough to be making that mess.