The flashbacks happen less frequently now then they used to. My new mom brain must block out that part of me for most of the day as I try my damnedest to be the best mother I can be to Finnegan. But in the nighttime, when the house is quiet and my little rainbow is tucked snuggly into his bed sometimes those monsters come creeping back.
Tonight, just now, I was stood at the sink washing bottles from the day when one hit. The scent of flowers.
When Everlee died we received so many beautiful arrangements. Though we only waked our little girl for one afternoon the room was filled with dozens of beautiful (mostly baby pink) bouquets. After the funeral was over the manager of the funeral home asked us what we would like done with them. Apparently most families are kind enough to donate the flowers to seniors homes in the area, or to sick patients at the hospital.
I made my family load each and every last arrangement into their cars to bring them home to my house. They were Everlee’s flowers and I would be damned if I was going to give them all away.
For what seemed like an eternity every flat surface in my house, on both levels in every room there was a flower arrangement sitting in a lovely glass vase. At first they were comforting. A bit of colour in my sombre grey world. But slowly, as the days passed they started to wilt, and fade and die. It was morbid, and it was gross and it was depressing. But I held on to each and every one of them. It felt like I was watching what was happening to my heart and soul play out in the withering petals.
One by one I had to watch them go. Every day I was saying goodbye to another arrangement and watching them get thrown in the trash and in the end I was left with just an empty glass vase, delicate but with little purpose. Empty. Exactly how I felt.
But I held on to them because they were hers. And they are one of the few tangible memories I have to hold on to. Each and every vase now sits displayed on the top of my kitchen cabinets. No one has ever asked about them, but that’s what they are. Memories that I can hold in my hands.
It’s thoughts like these that have lead me to be somewhat of a packrat when it comes to Finnegan’s things. He has outgrown some clothes and toys now. Things I could probably pass on to others who would enjoy them like he did. But I can’t. It seems silly after all of the anxiety of a high risk pregnancy has passed, I still find myself cautious that no tomorrow is promised to me as his mother. I want to hang on to each and every thing that he has worn and touched in case it may one day be the only memories I have of him. I have a beautiful, healthy, happy little boy, and my biggest fear in the world is that some day he’ll die too like his sister. It’s depressing to think about in context, but in reality it makes me enjoy each and every moment that I am in. Being his mother has been my greatest joy, even if I am a little nuts.