"Take the sourest lemon life has to offer and

turn it into something resembling lemonade"

NOT EMPTY HANDED

May 16, 2012

First I just want to say that as I go on- I hope- for I do not really know how I am going to be on a day-to-day basis grieving and loss in can do that to you- but it’s not always going to be depressing.. There have been many light moments in this shade of darkness I have come to live in– and everyday gets brighter… It just takes another moment where I stop and think… “that was him, he is here”.. and it makes my world become brighter and more meaningful… 

As I was sitting in the hospital room- after baby Leo’s Nana and papaw, Grandma and Pop Pop, Aunt Woo, Uncle Tim, Aunt Jen, Aunt Kelly, and Aunt Gina left (to go help with the impossible-plans of burying a baby) Leo and I were re-visited by Marvin. You see Marvin was a man in his 80’s, who graciously baptised Leo Blue. He came in the room like an angel.. and left making me feel even more like I was holding one. He assured us that “with love anything is possible”.. I know he meant that that’s all Leo and I needed to get through this. He also said “Your baby is in heaven, make no mistake”.. I just held him tighter.. tears rolling down my face. Many times, including this time Marvin looked right at me and commanded my attention and said “Whatever you feel and what ever you do, know there was nothing you did wrong”… I mustered up a smile and nodded.. Almost like a “yes sir”.. He must have said this 8 times, 4 times at each visit. But that didn’t stop me from blaming myself… but I did beat myself up a little less… 

He blessed our sweet Leo, using a shell that Shannon, my nurse went and got for him. He made sure that we kept it. I am thankful. 

Marvin would be back in Leo’s life in a beautiful way again almost a month after  baby Leo was born. 

Footprints were made with his perfect feet. I asked Shannon about 50 times.. can we put them on here? And on here?.. Oh here too? I still think I”m going to do what I never thought I would do and get them tattooed on my side- where I would feel him kick… His impression on me will last a lifetime.. 

I had his baby book I had been writing in- one that says 1 month, 2 month etc…. but there won’t be. How do you make a baby book for a baby that didn’t live in this world?… I will find the answer… 

Woo (my sis) came back to show us the outfits they picked out for him to be buried in. She had Ralph Lauren for me. “Of course” I said, “this is exactly my boys wear on their birthday”. It was perfect. Her, Tim and Jennifer all went out to get something. It was perfect. I meant a lot. 

Leo’s sister Gina came back in to help us think of things for the funeral. She was getting everything ready. Without her help I’m not sure where Leo and I would have been. After Gina walked in, in came these beautiful flowers. The card read “To the mother of my babies”… I just cried. I was the mother of both of Leo’s babies… and in that room layed one of them- not breathing- gone- we weren’t taking him home.. Oh how that simple little note made me realize that Leo knew that I was a mother of two… and that meant everything. 

No one expects to leave the maternity unit empty handed. To have a stranger come and take their baby after they are gone, to a cold room wrapped up in a blanket, alone. I didn’t want a wheelchair I didn’t want someone to wheel me away from my baby. I wanted to take my own steps… It was symbolic of how I would being my healing process… Not that I didn’t need anyone to help- but I need to take the steps on my own and figure it out.. my life was going to change, and it has, and it started right there… 

Leo and I said our goodbyes. I asked him that we get a picture of each of us saying goodbye to the baby we just said hello to. I wanted proof that we kissed him goodnight. I wish I would have done more. I wish I would have taken more pictures.. there are so many wishes but what it truly comes down to is I wish he were here with me, but he’s not. We got our stuff together. 

It was a foggy feeling. Like every step you took maybe you were stepping towards a blur… going down, and down, and down.. but I caught myself. I stopped and said “Stacey, he’s ok… and you will be too”… 

I was terrified of walking out of the birthing center having birthed my baby just 8 hours prior…empty handed- but in my hands were the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen- from the man that knew I was the mother of his two babies.. his two sons.. and he was here with me, walking beside me.. I knew he would never leave me empty handed.. not even on a day like today… and that certainly counted for something….. 

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