Hope Chest

I try to avoid my hope chest, because that's where you're memories reside.  The pictures of your little body.  Your clothes.  Our condolence cards. Your memory boxes and anything that represents your growth within me or the loss we felt when you left, resides in that chest.  Both yours as well as your sisters.   It's a bit ironic...calling it a hope chest.  Hopes.  Dreams.  Both crushed.  And even still the other half is loaded with our wedding memories and your brothers accomplishments.  All there, among your memories.  

It's fitting that I would think to look there, in this hope chest, in the hopes to find a book for Asher's last day of DK.  It's strange that in my thought process and determination to find that book, I never even thought about your memories that lay beneath.  On the eve of your birthday even, I opened that chest...this hope chest, to only search for this book, but overwhelmingly the only thing I see after the lid raises, is your box.  

I try to stay away.  I don't like that box.  It's empty dreams.  It's shattered hopes.  The too tiny clothes that touched your skin.  Your skin that felt like velvet.  Cold velvet.  It still shocks me how every day is just a day.  A day filled with laughter and exhaustion.  Memories that have been made and laughter that has filled the house.  But then one action.   The action to find a book...to open that chest...changes everything.  

All day as I remembered you in the quiet of my mind.  Thoughts of you followed me all throughout the day. I planned your celebration that we'll have on Wednesday, I know, a day late.  I even talked to Asher about making a card to send up to you in Heaven.  There was not one heavy thought.  You are missed and I would do anything to have both you and your sister here with us, but for the most part, the heaviness has lifted.  But then the lid lifts only to reveal the shattered dreams kept silently in that hope chest, and I can't resist.  I have to visit your belongings.  I have to hold your hat and touch your gown.  I have to smooth your blanket with my hands.  I have to look at the photos I hide because most are just too hard for me to lay my eyes upon.  But I can't look away tonight.  I can't close the lid to your memory box.  I can't stop holding that tiny little hat.  

There's a part of me that wishes I never thought too look in this old chest of mine.  Yet there's another part that is so glad I did.  I hate this feeling.  I hate that you're not here and I hate that I feel pain right now.  But I'm glad I still have the searing pain of loss because it reminds me how much I love you, even with you not here.  It reminds me that you meant something, even though your time here was so brief.  And it reminds me that even though I've gone through the bowels of Hell, for the most part, I've escaped and am thriving with your amazing father by my side and your fabulous brothers running circles around me.  

Maybe there is hope in the madness of death.  Hope to breathe, when your world seems to be suffocating you.  Hope to take the next step when all you want to do is crumble.  Hope to love when all you want to do is say goodbye.  My heart aches for you baby girl.  For you and your sister.  Thank you for continuing to teach me.  You are always with us.  You are never forgotten.  Happy 7th birthday.  I can't wait to look into your eyes, breathe in your beauty, touch your warmth and wrap my arms around you in a tight embrace.  But just remember, I may never let you go again.  


SnoWhite said…
7 years.... you guys are in our thoughts and prayers often. You come into our minds at different times and we continue to pray for you. We remember your girls; their lives have certainly touched ours.

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