Kathleen has a shelf. Just a shelf. A shelf tugged away in our office. Nothing pretty. Just a 29 dollar book shelf from Walmart.
She has a single shelf. I wish she had a whole room. A room filled with pretty furniture, dolls, teddy bears and cute pink clothes. I wish that each day she would make a mess in her room like any child does, and that each night I would get the privilege of telling her to clean up. I know she has all she will ever need, could hope or dream for in Heaven. Yet I wish she was here with us. I wish I could buy her the whole world. Instead her clothes is packed away in a small suitcase and her belongings and memoirs sit on a shelf.
A brown bear that laid on her casket, two white teddy bears, and a little lamb that came with a poem.
The Shepherds Hand
Taken swiftly as the purest dove
into the the Shepherds open arms of love,
straight from this world of harm,
your beautiful face so full of calm.
One day in Heavens glory we will meet,
O for that day will be so sweet,
but until that time my dearest little lamb,
rest in the Shepherds loving hand.
On the shelf sits a pink stone heart. I wish I could remember who gave it to us.. Some memories seem to be lost in the blur, others are branded into my mind.
Like I remember clear as day leaving the hospital without a baby and instead with a memory box. No words can describe such devastation. The emptiness, the pain. This was not the way it was supposed to be, this was not right. I should be going home with a baby, not a box. A box that now sits on this shelf. Inside of it is a stack of cards. I wish they were cards congratulating us on a new little baby girl. Instead they are cards with titles such as "in deepest sympathy" and words such as: "We are given many precious gifts as we go through life. Some we are allowed to enjoy for a long time... others only briefly. But each gift has the power to change and enrich us, to make us better human beings". I know her brief life was a gift and I know many good things have come from it - yet I wish God would have used other ways to make me a better person and that she was still here. But as another card reads: "Nothing beautiful in this world is ever really lost... those we cherish will always live on in memory". So I look through the box and I remember my baby. I look at the pictures, the hand and footprints, the hospital bracelet, her certificate of birth, a card that says she was born on March 27th 2008 at 0259 weighing 210 grams and measuring 22 centimeters. I hold the little fleece blanket she was wrapped in and hope somehow it will smell like her, but any scent is far gone.. I don't need these things to remember her, yet they do make her more real. I look at these things and I know I didn't make her up, that she was not a figment of my imagination.
I look at the velvet bag that sits on top of the memory box. It contains a small urn with her ashes. We thought about spreading it out over the ocean not knowing where in the world we may end up, but God never allowed it to happen. So her remains are still with us and probably always will be. Wherever we go, she goes.. Her remains that is, because Kathleen's home is in now in Heaven. One day that too shall be our home and we shall see her again, but until then I cherish the few things we have, the memories of her.
Memories on a shelf.