I have something to admit. Remember a few weeks ago when I said I had gained the courage to take Hayes’ crib down finally? Well, I have a confession, I just moved his crib to the opposite side of the room. I couldn’t bare to take it down so I just moved it in front of Heath’s closet. I literally had to shove it out of the way every time I needed to get clothes for Heath. So at least twice a day. But, I just couldn’t do it. The thought of taking it down felt like letting go of my baby. The guilt has been overwhelming.
Yesterday, as I pushed his crib away from the double doors of Heath’s closet, I finally realized it was time. So I got out my tools and started taking apart his crib. I immediately broke down. I cried as my fingers brushed over the milk stained wood. The wood that had droplets of his chemo ridden spit up. The wood that had bite marks from Hayes’ days of teething. The wood railings that had marks from the bottles of breast milk that I would pour into his G-Tube while he slept. The crib that Heath would climb into to be closer to Hayes when I left the room during their nap time. As the tears fell, I realized that this is grief. Losing him was heartbreaking but missing him every day for the rest of my life is a million times worse.
I unscrewed the last bolt and Wes came walking into the room. I wiped away the tears and looked up to see that he was shocked. He was borderline horrified! His eyes filled with tears and his voice cracked as he asked, “Wait! You’re taking down Hayesey’s crib?!” I had expected it to be hard for me, but never in a million years had I expected tears and heartbreak from my six year old.
I immediately began the reassurance. I told him of the big plans I had for that crib. All of the ideas you all had shared came flooding into my mind. I started listing off all of the possibilities. When I said we could have it made into a bench or a porch swing, his eyes lit up. That is exactly what he wanted to hear. That Hayes wasn’t being put away, never could we ever put him away. He is just being moved to a more prominent spot. A place where we can all be reminded of our Hayesey boy every time we need him.
So, while his crib sits in a pile in the hallway, I am figuring out exactly what to do next. I think I found someone that I can trust to give his crib the love it deserves. I will keep you informed as we move forward with plans.
I realize more and more every day that life moves forward. It doesn’t stop or slow down for grief. The clock keeps ticking forward. I just have learned to carry him with me through those moments. He will come with us as we adjust to the changes that inevitably come. One thing is for certain, Hayes will never be left behind. Because Hayes isn’t in the objects. He is inside of me. Every memory is etched on my heart. How could I ever leave this laugh behind?