It’s just a shirt.
A shirt that has hung untouched in my closet for over four years.
A shirt that is pointed out as my three year old’s favorite even though he has never seen me wear it.
I hopped out of my car with a spring in my step
It was the day to hear the fast paced muffled thumps
There was a sister and a mom and a chubby faced toddler inside waiting on us
“Man, I have to pee”
“Sit still, buddy, it’s almost our turn”
Their steps followed
His hand half of mine
Weight and blood pressure
“Did you leave a sample?”
Our minds thinking of ice cream and what a great day it was outside, what we will do tomorrow, and how silly Wyatt can be
We laughed and joked
Smiled from our conversations and the energy of a child
The before so much different than the after
Introductions and greetings
More smiles and light conversation
Then the waiting and the not finding and the lack of concern
“We’re going to go with the sonogram because I’m having a hard time finding it”
“Are you sure you are right on your dates?”
I’ll never forget the dimly lit room. It was warm and the tech was so soft spoken and welcoming.
How could you be any different if you are in that position every day of your life?
That toddler beyond his tolerance level for the doctor’s office didn’t want me lying alone on the table
“It’s ok, just let him and I will tell you when to hold him completely still”
He covered my racing heart when on the screen we saw the opposite
I can still go back there; the pain, the emotion, the reaction
I can see myself lying on that table and where the screen was positioned on the wall
The outline of my angel baby and the stats next to the life I was supposed to hold
I can still see myself sitting on the couch receiving follow-up calls from the nurse and loving calls from my friends
I can still see myself shutting down and crying myself to sleep because no one JUST KNEW what to do or say
On that table with the tech to one side, the women in my life on another, and my dream come true hugging my neck
I covered my face and cried.
There was no ice cream
There was no celebration
There was not a care in the world about what kind of day it felt like outside
It was all I could do to get to my car
Empty isn’t even a strong enough word
I cried the entire 30 miles home
A cry I never knew I could cry
A pain and lack of understanding I never thought I could feel
I let myself go and sobbed
The shirt hung there as I couldn’t ever put it in the giveaway pile
I could never box it up with the others to donate
I could never wear it for the reminder it holds
For years I have hated this shirt
For years I would see it from the corner of my eye and feel like glaring at it in spite of the day I heard that news
Right there in the center of my closet it just hung there smashed between the long sleeves and the sleeveless
A color I never wear anyway
Monday the day comes that affects so many women I love and unfortunately they know the exact pain I know. I pray for each of you in your journey of acceptance and honoring the ones we didn’t get to hold or the ones we held that left way too soon. I can't think about my journey without remembering yours. Today I’m wearing the shirt. For some odd reason I woke up this morning and that shirt is what I knew I was wearing. I’m not sure why and I almost changed several times, but I marched forward and allowed myself to be strong. It’s not only a shirt. In a way it’s like my badge.