Every time I walk by the dresser, now more cluttered with things that have yet to find a new home, littered with dust and socks without partners, I see his hand print, his footprint, his name engraved on the silver top of the urn with just one date underneath. That's all he got. One date. September 1, 2007. That's it. And the sadder thing for me when I see that date, is that while to others it marks the date he died, to me it doesn't. I know he died many days before, maybe even almost two weeks before. The doctors knew he died the day before. August 31. September 1, only speaks to the day he left my body and slipped right through this earth and all that was waiting for him and went on to some other place. Maybe on the other side of the rainbows. Maybe.
He deserved more than that. He deserves more than a cleared space on my desser. He is not an afterthought, or a single date. He is my son and he is gone from me forever. I do not know what he would have looked like had he lived, I can not close my eyes and see his shining eyes or hear his voice or even his cry. I know so little about this tiny boy who has forever changed me and I can give him nothing to make up for the life that was denied him.
But I want him to have a place that is just his. A place where it is his story that will be told. A place that says you were important, you mattered, you are loved.
Last night, your dad and I built you a place. It's right above my desk where I can see you when I am writing about you. That is when I feel closest to you. I don't know where you are or what happens to babies that die. I don't know if there is a place that keeps you safe and loved while you wait for your parents and family to come. I don't know if that place on the other side of the rainbow exists. I want to believe it does. I hope it does.
I put the candles we lit at our wedding on the top shelf with the card that holds a single hand and foot print, prints I took from you at the mortuary. The card has your nameplate, made by a good friend and the date. Your date. The candles are there because when we took the two candles and lit one together, you became a reality. We didn't know it then, but that promise we made gave life to you. So it seemed the right thing to have them there with you.
Your two urns, the one with your name and the one with the cherub, the truck from your brother and a red glass heart all share the lower shelf.
While we lit the candles at our wedding there was quiet music playing in the background by a string quartet. People commented to us that they recognized the songs melody but couldn't place it without the lyrics. They said the song had made them feel melancholy, almost sad but not quite. It was a familiar song that brought back feelings of days gone by. Of things that are lost but hopefully not gone forever. Of dreams and beliefs and magic.
We chose the song purposefully, for all of those reasons. And everytime I see the candles, sharing your space with you, I hear it in my head and I hope it's true.
I am putting it here for you Caleb, in your place, so you can hear it too.