This is the door that leads to the bonus storage room in our house. The room is full of totes containing clothes my girls have outgrown, stuff we never use, and my husbands ever growing “empty” box collection.😉 There is also another very special tote in that room. It is the one that holds the belongings of our angel Aj.
I’ve been in that room over a dozen times since Aj was born. Usually I walk in and immediately turn to the left so that I can avoid looking at AJ’s stuff. A couple of months ago I opened his tote quickly and grabbed some little washcloths out, but didn’t take the time to look through it at all. Truth is, I was just too afraid to face all of the things inside of the tote. I was scared that once I opened it, and took a closer look, the heartbreak and disappointment would overwhelm me.
Over the 32 weeks Aj was with us, we had accumulated quite a bit of stuff. Being the great bargain shopper that I am, I had purchased a bunch of newborn to 3 month clothes. We had found a crib set that we loved, and a car seat for an awesome deal. I even started a nice collection of cloth diapers for Aj. We were so excited to be buying and planning for our first little boy.
On Sunday, I finally built up enough courage to face my fear. I took a deep breath and stepped into the storage room. I first peeked into the big Graco box at the little bucket seat that was to hold our freshly born son. Then I opened the tote and pulled out the bags of clothes. I took the time to look at each little outfit and bib. I ran my hand across the soft blankets and snapped and unsnapped each cloth diaper. I allowed myself to take it all in, and boy did it hurt. I cried as I imagined how things might have been if he was here with us. I never would have thought that my dreams or these things were to end up unused and packed away.
I put everything back into the tote, except for two special things we had bought for AJ’s room, the letters of his initials. Those I decided to display on a bookshelf in our upstairs hallway.
Facing my fear of seeing and touching AJ’s stuff is just a small milestone in this journey. I know that with God’s help I will continue to find courage and healing.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.