We did some major spring cleaning this past weekend. Our porch was filled Monday morning with four trash bags full of clothes and five boxes of toys labeled for the Vietnam Vets.
It felt good to purge so many items that were taking up space and not being used. It got me thinking about some other stuff that I need to let go.
Underneath our staircase, behind a coat closet, carefully tucked away are all the items used by our angel in Heaven. I only have briefly seen glimpses of them during Christmas the last three years since his loss, when I have to crawl under there to pull out lights, and stockings, and boxes of ornaments.
There’s a crib mattress, barely used, since so many of his nights were spent in the hospital, and the others he was tucked cozy in a little rocker where he was always more comfortable. The lounging chair where he sat to get his g-tube feeds is carefully wrapped in plastic. My breast pump, used only for seven months while he was in NICU and still too little to breast feed, is packed with bottles and pacifiers. And many other large and small items used to care for my sweet boy during his three short years on this Earth fit like puzzle pieces in the tightly packed space.
I have recently accepted the fact I will parent no more infants and there is no need to keep these things any longer. As my angel carefully orchestrates all magical encounters, I found out last week that the sweet girl who cuts my hair is expecting, due this November. So it is the perfect time to pass these items on to a willing and needy recipient.
But the idea, the thought, of saying goodbye, again, is somehow overwhelming. It’s just stuff. I keep telling myself, it’s just stuff. But it’s his stuff. And when it’s gone, it’s just another little piece of him that’s gone, too.
But there comes a time in every mother’s life when she has to be ok with being done. Done with having, or welcoming, any more children into her family.
And there comes a time when we all have to acknowledge that things are just things. Our memories are where our loved ones live, not in the stuff that they used. And passing on a little piece of something my little man used just might make his memory a little greater and a little more powerful here on this Earth.