Stamford Editor’s Letter: A Mother’s Day with Heart

Compared to my peers I became a parent later than most. On my wedding day in June 2014, which also happened to be my 40th birthday, I became stepmom to Bella, then 9, and Sophie, then 7. Leading up to it, I read books about divorce, blended families, and their impact on kids. I spent sessions in a psychologist’s office trying to make sure “I get it right.”

A little less than nine months later I gave birth to a son, Anderson (his first name is my last name.) My inner voice nagged me about how ancient I might feel at Anderson’s future milestones. To ward it off I told myself I had some advantage in facing the challenges of motherhood because of the years I spent really getting to know myself and maturing, being fully ready for it.

I sense and acknowledge your collective eye rolls at the hubris-tinged “fully ready for it.” Because, as we all know, there is no amount of arming oneself with information or having the “right amount” of life experience that fully prepares us for all that parenthood brings.

We are reminded of that truth in Beth Cooney Fitzpatrick’s stirring feature “With Full Hearts.” In it, we learn the stories of three families whose worlds forever shifted in just a heartbeat. We see how they have dedicated themselves to preventing sudden cardiac arrest in Fairfield County through training and advocacy.

I write this with a certain tingling in my own heart at the heaviness of it all. At how vulnerable I feel when I think of, well, when I simply think of my kids.

As a direct result of this piece, I am returning to my old coping mechanism—I’m boning up on knowledge and I’m getting prepared. On Saturday May 4, as a Mother’s Day present to myself, I’ll be getting trained in CPR at the Italian Center. Please join me. Register at

Melinda Anderson

Photographs: Portrait by John Moore; group photo by Kyle Norton

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