New moms have a way of finding each other and sticking together. The bond made with friends who are going through the exact same things as you are strong. No one understands how hard (and how wonderful) learning how to “mom” really is — no one except for your Mom Tribe.

I will always remember the moms who helped me when I first became a mother. They gave advice; they listened; they brought their children to playdates; they babysat; they organized crazy photo shoots; they helped research everything from medicines to schools. It is a sisterhood.

This week I lost one of my sisters. She was killed in a car accident. My heart aches for her two babies.

Amanda was a beautiful woman. She always knew how to eat healthy and about exotic things like chiropractors and yoga. She helped me and another new mom learn how to exercise. We met often with babies in strollers to walk and run. She loved lunges. I think she might be the reason I have bad knees now. But I loved her anyway.

Amanda had a wicked sense of humor. She had a way of making herself seem just like the rest of us, even though we knew she was better. She was mischievous, and we loved her for it.

As our children grew up, we drifted apart. Our friendship was as strong as ever but we each got really busy as our kids started school, and we both returned to work. That sometimes happens to moms who are friends.

But, the thing about a Mom Tribe is, no matter how much time passes, you are still bonded. We went through something big and life-changing together. Becoming a mother and learning how to do it well is not an easy thing. Somehow we learned to balance the demands of motherhood with our own well-being. We gave up our old, self-serving lifestyles, and we learned together how to put tiny people first.

I don’t know if Amanda’s children will ever read this or even if they remember all the time we spent together when they were very young. But if they do, I hope they know how much their mother loved them.

Haven and Lake, she loved you so much that she made an entire new set of friends after you were born. She learned about things like organic baby food and teething and baby proofing a house. She kept all kinds of pets to pass on her love of animals to you. She let you sleep in the bed with her for way too long because she couldn’t let you go.

She could never let you go.

I hope you know, she is with you now. She is all around you, always. She will watch over and protect you and she will give you comfort when you need it most. She never would have left this Earth with you on it if she had a choice.

Right now, you are in shock, as we all are. But soon you will grieve and question things and you might even feel angry. Please know all those feelings are OK. But also know your Momma loved you fiercely, forever and always, no matter what.

And her Mom Tribe loves you too.

Melissa Kinton is a stay-at-home mom. She is currently rearing one son, one daughter, one cat, one rabbit, one guinea pig, one hamster, seven chickens, two dogs, two goats, two horses, various fish, and one husband. She may be reached at melissagkinton@gmail.com.

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