Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

At 8:07 am, the state of Hawaii was sent a message on their phones that read:

BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

The fear that came over my husband’s face as he screamed for me to grab the kids and get into the garage closet washed over me with a flood of helplessness. I picked up my daughter, grabbed my son’s hand, and called for our German Shepherd to follow me. The garage is a mess and the closet was full. We threw strollers and totes and beach chairs out of the way and climbed into the smallest space we could.

That’s when I felt fear. I wasn’t feeling fear for myself, but as I looked into the eyes of my son who turns two next weekend and my nine month old daughter, I feared for their precious bodies we were shielding, their minds that could never understand, and the futures that could be ripped from them.

My son could perceive something was wrong and began crying so we started singing “The Wheels on the Bus” while my husband searched his phone for any sign of confirmation or false alarm. There were no sirens sounding outside so we hoped that this was somehow all a mistake. We Facetimed our parents and optimistically told them we would call them back later to let them know something.

The confirmation of that mistake came 38 minute later. They chalked it up to human error, a grave blunder that sent a panic to over a million people that thought they had mere minutes to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Now that the threat has passed, I just keep thinking about other areas in the world where fear is an every day reality – where death is always a possibility because of war and violence. 

And I don’t know how those mothers and fathers cope. 

The sheer helplessness I felt in that garage closet while I held my husband’s hand and we each held one of our children rocked me to a place of fear and sorrow I have never known and could only imagine those parents feel as war rages on around them.

I hope there isn’t a next time for us, but if there is, we will do what we did this time, which is hug and sing and hope. We hope that war will not touch our babies, but we can never guarantee that. My children and many other children in Hawaii will face fear and feelings of terror and that could become regular like it is for so many other children around the world.

And that, dear friends, is what rocks me. 

With my husband and babies and dog all huddled in our garage, I faced today just how wonderful and privileged my life has been. And I hope for us all that we face tomorrow alive, yes. But I am full of hope that we face tomorrow with love and joy that outweighs fear.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Tiffany Reiger

T.S. Reiger is a former teacher with a PhD who is now a stay at home mom to her children and German Shepherd. 

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading

My Sister and I Return To Childhood To Grieve Our Mother

In: Grief
Two women, sitting on swings, color photo

“Grief is itself a medicine,” William Cowper. Everyone processes grief differently. The day after our mother’s death, my sister and I began our grief journey and took up swinging. Not that kind of swinging, Heaven forbid! No. What we chose instead was the weightless, transformational lightness of being that only a tried and true piece of playground equipment can supply.  That morning my sister and I waited rather anxiously for hospice (blessed hospice!) to pick up that wretched hospital bed. We wanted it gone, banished from our sight forever. When the truck carrying the bed and other supplies disappeared down...

Keep Reading

She Was Just a Dog…and So Much More

In: Grief, Living
Young woman in car with dog, same woman years later with dog, color photo

She was just a dog. One of my least favorite sayings is “it’s just a dog” when people comment on how much we love our pets—be it a dog, cat, lizard, chicken, hamster, etc. They’re not wrong . . . Harley was “just” a dog. One random spring morning I asked my mom if I could get a dog of my own. She was working and sick of the phone calls. She said I just had to ask dad. Well, we already had two dogs, so I didn’t have high hopes. Cue dad. He was just about to lie down to take...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Had the Chance to Be Friends with My Mom

In: Grief, Motherhood
Portrait shot of woman, color photo

Dear Mom, I never got the chance to appreciate you as a mother. There was so much life still to do. And not just the big milestones. I’m talking about the parts when daughters grow into mothers themselves and have the chance to appreciate their moms for everything they did for them. The chance to get to know their own mother as a person instead of just a parent. You left this earth soon after I became I mother myself. And now I sit here and think back on memories of you from when I was growing up. And, oh,...

Keep Reading

The Faith and Fear of Trying for a Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Pregnant woman sitting on living room floor

When we decided to start a family we dove in head first. After having been together for five years and married for a year, we were ready. It was September when we decided to give it a go. By mid-December, I took a test. My first positive pregnancy test. I had a life growing inside me! I’ll never forget my husband’s smile when I told him. We embraced and cried together. We couldn’t believe it could be this easy. The next few weeks consisted of a wave of pregnancy symptoms and before I knew it, we were going to the...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

I Should Be Picking You up from School Today

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman sad with eyes closed

I would have cried.  I see the line of cars in the school pick-up line, and my heart is hit with grief, love, and wistfulness all at the same time.  You, sweet boy, should be there, waiting for me to pick you up.   I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone over it in my mind. Your first day of preschool. I’ve thought about your outfit—little jeans and a hoodie with a ball cap. Would you be into superheroes? What backpack would you want? I would’ve taken you school shopping, picking out all the supplies you’d need. And...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

Grieving the Baby You Never Got To Know Doesn’t Make You Weak

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Man and woman embrace outside

It seems like almost a lifetime ago that I looked down at my first positive pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe that it happened so fast. My husband and I had just passed one month of marriage, and there we were expecting a baby. I remember how elated we both were and full of gratefulness.  After we told a small group of close friends and family, the bleeding started. “No . . . this can’t be,” I thought. Not our baby. Not me. I Googled so many things and found reassurance in the fact that some women bleed through their pregnancies....

Keep Reading

Finding God in the Before and After

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman standing by ocean at sunrise

Everybody loves a good before and after. Two little photos, placed side by side, are evidence of a transformation. A significant weight loss. A sassy new hairdo. A piece of furniture resurrected from a garbage heap.  A before and after is proof that things can be changed. Anything can be brought back from a place of ruin or neglect. With a can-do attitude and a little elbow grease, your face, your home, your backside—anything, really—can be made shiny, new, and desirable. The trip from before to after is usually a long one. It might only take seconds for us to...

Keep Reading