Mum-of-four Heather Duckworth shared a story about a pesky stain on her brand new carpet, and it’s quickly gone viral for reasons you might not expect.
Content note: This post discusses the loss of a child.
“Blue ink spraying all over the carpet”
Heather, who writes at Love, Faith and Chaos, posted about a stubborn blue ink stain on Facebook recently. She explained it was a reminder that everything is not always as it seems, and that there are blessings in things that might initially seem like disasters. Her story goes something like this …
One night, after the family’s usual dinner and bedtime routine, Heather could see the finish line, when all her kids would be tucked up in bed. She said that having a little bit of time to herself was high on her agenda until…
“All of a sudden, I heard one of the boys say, ‘Uh, Oh.'” Heather wrote. “I turned just in time to see blue ink spraying all over the carpet as a pen exploded in the hand of one of my triplets. He squealed with delight as blue ink dripped from his hand and splattered his clean pajamas.”
THE BLUE STAINThe other night I was scrubbing up some slime that my daughter had let ooze through her fingers and slip…
“A thick pool of ink”
Oh dear Lord. Noooo. But things continued to go much, much further down hill (very, very fast!)
“I gasped as I saw blue splatters across the floor and a thick pool of ink sinking into our carpet – our brand new carpet.”
So began an evening of sobbing and scrubbing the carpet, trying to come to terms with the chaos that had unfolded – and not be too wild with rage.
“Tears of frustration stung my eyes. I was just so tired. And mad. Like really, really angry,” Heather says. “I wasn’t mad at my son – who was as blue as a Smurf – but upset with myself for leaving that pen out where my toddler could reach it. We had only lived in this house for 6 months and now the carpet was completely ruined.”
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“It was still there”
You know what? Despite trying everything to clean the carpet – even calling in the professionals – the stain NEVER shifted. Heather says she now feels really fortunate that it’s there, for very valid and very sad reason.
“The next month, my sweet son, the one who splattered blue ink all over our carpet was diagnosed with cancer,” Heather explained.
One of triplets, Jacob was just three-years-old was he was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma – a rare and aggressive type of cancer. Jacob underwent 28 months of chemotherapy and nine major surgeries, but tragically passed away just after he turned six.
“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.”
FIXERS & FEELERSThe other night it was well after midnight before my husband and I finally collapsed into bed. I was…
“A constant reminder”
The blue splodge is more than a reminder of her beautiful little boy, Jacob. It’s a reminder of what matters most in life, Heather says.
“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.”
“I would have a million blue ink stains on my carpet if it meant I could have one more day with my son.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief and loss, Beyond Blue has counsellors on standby. Call them on 1300 22 4636 to talk things through and connect to further support.