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A Mother’s Worry, A Mother’s Love

Samantha Ripley reflects on raising a child with a rare disorder, GRIN2B deletion


While Mother's Day is a celebration of mothers, for the mothers themselves, it is a day of memories. They remember the moment when they discovered they were expecting and the moment the expectation became the reality that changed them.

It is not until a mother holds her newborn for the first time that she discovers just how much she can love someone. Her capacity to love increases a hundredfold.
However, the love and hopes and dreams a mother has for her children are tempered by the worrying a mother cannot avoid, worrying about how to safeguard her children from the dangers in the world, worrying about the hurdles that cannot be vanquished but only lived through.

Samantha Ripley knows a little about motherhood. More often called Sam than Samantha, Ripley has five children.

A passerby at Atchley Park on a sunny April day where Ripley pushes her youngest child, Hattie, in a swing probably would not guess that she knows more than some mothers about worrying about her children.

Three years ago when her daughter Dallys was eight, she started the truck she was waiting in. It was impossible to stop and hit a stump. The impact threw Dallys out of the truck.

"It ran over her from her toes to the top of her head. Had it not rained that week, they said she wouldn't be with us today," Ripley said.

She had to be revived in the ambulance before they arrived at the airport for a Life Flight to Columbia where the doctors said Dallys had a 35 percent chance of living.

For more on this story see Saturday's LCR.


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