For Kelly Preston, husband John Travolta and their family, the past few years have been tumultuous. The unfathomable loss of son Jett, in January 2009, mixed with miraculous birth of son Benjamin on November 23, 2010, coupled together every mother's greatest fear and greatest hope. Now, in a new interview with Health magazine
, Preston is looking back with a mixture of pain and gratitude.
In the issue, the actress explains how she has managed to cope with Jett’s sudden death. She talks about Johnny being her "rock," and the role of her religious community. "To be honest, [it was] the Scientology center. I don’t know if I would have made it through without it," she says.
Of course, learning she was pregnant at age 47, and giving birth to Benjamin, also helped the family heal. "We [had been trying] for quite a few years," Preston reveals. "When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored. I’d snuck out of bed and then came back and woke Johnny up in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful."
Doubly wonderful because even from an early age, Preston felt that motherhood was her calling. "I was doing commercials for thousands of dollars, but I’d still babysit for $3 an hour just because I loved it," she recalls of her 11-year-old self.
She now enjoys a somewhat surreal family life with Travolta, baby Benjamin, and 11-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu. "I’ll be sitting there [in our Florida home] doing something really normal with the kids and then all of a sudden I hear, 'Whoosh!' and see the lights of the airplane and he’s like, 'Honey, I’m home!'"
Through it all, Preston has clung to this motherly motto: "Don’t sweat the small things. Love your kids like it could be the last moment." She is grateful for the life she has been given. "Even though it may seem like they won't, things always get better."
The complete interview appears in the September 2011 issue of Health, hitting newsstands August 19.