A mum has shared the story behind a blue stain on her carpet and the heartbreaking reason it has reminded her to “not sweat the small stuff”.
US mum Heather Duckwood, who blogs on her Facebook page Love Faith & Chaos, was cleaning up after her daughter when a memory of her son “came flooding back”.
“The other night I was scrubbing up some slime that my daughter had let ooze through her fingers and slip onto the floor. My daughter had cleaned up most of it, but I was scrubbing the grout where the slime was stuck and I was starting to get slightly irritated with this mess.”
At that moment, she wrote in her post titled ‘The Blue Stain‘, she was taken back to a time 14 years ago when she was cleaning up after one of her two-year-old triplet sons.
"I was quickly putting toys away, anxious to get my crew in bed so that maybe I could have a few minutes to shower. When all of a sudden, I heard one of the boys say, 'Uh, Oh.'
"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 pyjamas."
Heather said in that moment she felt frustrated and panicked.
"I gasped as I saw blue splatters across the floor and a thick pool of ink sinking into our carpet – our brand new carpet."
"Tears of frustration stung my eyes. I was just so tired. And mad. Like really, really angry... We had only lived in this house for six months and now the carpet was completely ruined."
Heather said that despite scrubbing for an hour than night and having it treated by professional cleaners, the stain remained "bright and blue".
"And no matter what we did, that stubborn stain remained. That stain made me feel embarrassed and disappointed.
"It made me feel angry and it made me feel like such a failure for leaving out the pen where my young son could reach it. That blue stain was just a big fat negative in my life. I hated it."
Heather was soon to learn that there would be far worse things than ink stains in her life, as her son, Jacob, was given a bleak diagnosis.
"The next month, my sweet son, the one who splattered blue ink all over our carpet was diagnosed with cancer. Two years later, he passed away," Heather, who describes her self as "a wife and mother to five amazing children, four on earth and one in Heaven", wrote.
"My son was gone, but that blue ink stain? It was still there."
Heather said that now the blue ink stain acted as a "constant reminder" of her son, who died right after his sixth birthday following multiple treatments. But, she said, it was also a reminder of her frustration at "something so trivial... something so unimportant in the scheme of life".
"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.
Heather said what used to be an "eyesore" that made her cry with frustration, now makes her "thank God for these memories".
"But those messes? They come from living and loving and growing and learning. They make me feel grateful. And they are a blessing in disguise.
"And you know what? I would have a million blue ink stains on my carpet if it meant I could have one more day with my son."
You can read Heather Duckwood's beautiful story in full right here.
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