At first glance, a smiling, pregnant Autumn Safley looks positively glowing in what appears to be a happy photo.
But Courtney Mixon knew there was more to it than meets the eye when she took the picture, Little Things reports.
Mixon was just a stranger to Safley when she spotted the mother-to-be at Hobby Lobby wearing a rainbow shirt with the words, “You’re looking at a rainbow!”
When she saw the symbol, her own heart broke in empathy for the stranger in the store.
Rainbow babies refer to children born after a miscarriage, something Mixon went through.
“In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better,” Urban Dictionary states, explaining the term’s origin. “The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”
Until relatively recently, most parents kept such miscarriages secret. Now, more are talking about it and sharing their experiences.
“As she passed me I had to speak up. I said I love your shirt!” Mixon wrote on Facebook. “She replied that her husband was hesitant for her to wear it (because people wouldn’t know what it meant).”
“I then told her it’s so taboo to talk about miscarriages and I was proud of her for wearing it,” she added. “I told her my story and she told me hers. We hugged and said we would keep each other in our prayers! Me for her baby’s continuing good health, and her for me to conceive.”
Mixon ended the post saying the mother had given her hope and warmed her heart.
“She’s such a beautiful woman and mommy!!!” she wrote. “A complete stranger… Thank you Autumn for making me and my husband’s day! Please share this so maybe she can see how much she touched our hearts.”
Sources: Little Things, Urban Dictionary, Courtney Mixon/Facebook / Photo credit: Autumn Tolliver Safley/Facebook, Courtney Mixon/Facebook, Rainbow Babies/Facebook