Saturday, November 21, 2015

Traces of Charlie

We had just come home from the hospital, leaving our lifeless Charlie behind.  Just the 5 of us now.  Charlie was gone.

I went upstairs to my bathroom searching for signs of Charlie.  I glanced down and noticed that my white bathmat was stained with yellow pee on the edge.  I chuckled thinking about a couple days prior when Charlie was standing diaperless by the tub waiting for the water to heat for his bath, and he peed on my mat.  He always got a kick out of watching himself pee.  I sat there looking at the pee.  Tears began to flow.  That spot was merely a remnant of his living, breathing, functioning body.  That would never happen again.  Sadness overcame me as I knelt down on the mat.  As crazy as it sounds, I pressed my nose to that dry, yellow stain and took in the smell of him.  I just needed something, ANYTHING, that would help me remember his scent.

My parents followed us home from the hospital that day.  Immediately they went into working gear.  They tackled piles upon piles of laundry.  Washing and folding for hours.  I was so grateful.  Later that night I walked into my room to see the piles of laundry they folded and I panicked!  What had I done?  They washed every piece of Charlie's clothes.  Not a scent of him remained.  I had no yogurt, booger, dirt-smeared shirt to snuggle and smell.  I was crushed.

As the days go slowly by, the traces of Charlie begin to fade.

We've already wiped the downstairs bathroom vanity clean from his smears of toothpaste artwork.  Oh, how he loved that sink and vanity.  It was his canvas, and toothpaste was his medium.

I've removed his countertop booster seat and cleaned the floor beneath it that had plenty of evidence of his food-throwing hobby.  He had really turned food rejection into a talent.  His mess used to be confined to the area directly below his chair, but as his abilities to chuck food increased, his damage radius grew to include the entire kitchen floor and its surrounding walls.

His favorite toys are tucked away in the garage and his carseat sits in storage collecting dust.

I know that eventually his room will change.  We will have to take the crib down.  Maybe we will sell that annoying, old, squeeky glider that all my babies were nursed in.  His clothes will get boxed up.

I'm doing my best to fill the house with pictures of him.  We see his darling grin around every corner of our house.  But nothing seems to be a good substitute for the visible traces of his living, energetic presence in our house.  I never want him to fade from our memory.