Last summer, when my twin sister was having a hard time, I gave her a Buddhist statue of Jizo, who is said to be a protector of women and children. It’s small (you can hold it in your hand), yet its weight makes it feel strong and substantial. Although I’m not at all religious, I somehow felt so moved by this statue.
Two years before, Kate Suddes, who had written a heartbreaking essay for Cup of Jo about having a stillborn baby, sent me the same statue as a thank-you for sharing her story. From then on I kept it on our bedroom dresser. Later, with sweet baby Anton, when I was hit by a wave of massive postpartum depression that threatened to drag me under (similar to what had happened with Toby, but worse), I would look at the statue and feel buoyed by his steady presence. Even just for a moment.
He made me think of all the mothers and children, now and throughout history, who have been through hard times and needed guidance or protection or, sometimes, simply a little statue to look down from their dresser and remind them they are not alone.