Strength of An Egg

I got this note/poem from a friend of mine, and I thought it was too beautiful not to share.  I think many of you mothers reading this will relate.

The Strength of an Egg

Parents of terminally ill children, or really any serious condition, are often referred to or viewed as having strength “like a rock.” Although flattering, it isn’t quite true. It is more like the strength of an egg. An egg, you ask? Yes, an egg. If you think about an egg, you will see the point I make.

An egg has a polished smooth outer appearance with no cracks or weak spots …visible. It seems almost inconceivable that the inside might not be as smooth and solid as the outside. Most children, at some point in their lifetime, are shown the famous egg trick. An egg set at just the right angle can withstand enormous amounts of pressure and cannot be cracked or broken. Yet that same egg, tapped gently at an even slightly different angle will break. The contents, once so…neatly concealed inside, will come spilling out, and the no longer perfect shell will be crushed. Then the shell looks so fragile that it seems inconceivable that it ever held any strength.

That is where parents of sick children are more like eggs than rocks. A rock is solid all the way through. If you tried to break a rock, it would be almost impossible. If successful, one would find that there was nothing inside but more rock. It takes a lot more than pure hardness to hold the hand of hope. These parents are not solid all the way through. They hurt, they fear, they cry, they hope. It takes a very careful balancing act to keep the shell from being shattered.

Balancing an egg while running a household, going for doctor visits and hospital stays, keeping the family together, and holding on to the constantly unraveling ties of your sanity can be very tricky indeed. Occasionally, the angle will be off and the shell will break, shattering hope and the neatly secured appearances of a truly fragile existence. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, though, parents of kids with a serious condition will pick themselves up and put themselves back together again.


Thank you Laurie for sending this to me.  It is so beautiful and really resonates.  xoxo


  1. So poignant. You are, beyond measure, an amazing egg, Shannon. Making Sweet Wylder beam with pride from heaven. xoxoxo

  2. Cathy Johnson says:

    This is so beautifully accurate and yes, Shannon, you are truly an amazing egg! Your grace and “courage under fire” are beyond measure and your ability to let the shell crack and the contents spill out when necessary is a light in the dark to those who think they “shouldn’t”. xoxo

  3. cari gallo says:

    YOu are the most beautiful egg, Shannon, inside and out. :)

  4. that was so sweet. I love the picture of Wylder sleeping on you, it reminds me of how Trek used to lay on me. And I agree with everyone, you are the most beautiful egg. much love ,Chelsea

  5. Hello! I am the original author of that piece and it was published in Candlelighters in 1997. I lost my own daughter Kyla to a brain tumor in 1999 but have continued to fight for all children battling disease. I wish you the best and my heart goes out to you.

    Juliet Sexton (formerly Freitag)

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