There is a box in my closet that holds a piece of my heart. I cannot open it for it fills me with dread whenever it happens to catch my eye, yet it is cherished and I will never let it go. This one small box contains all the earthly artifacts I have of the twins. Photos that I can’t bear to look at, yet are seared into my heart and brain.There are hospital bracelets, birth certificates, death certificates, and the guest book from their funeral. Tiny foot prints on index cards, rattles that were never held, prayer cards. . . doll-sized clothes that were given to them by the hospital. I hate those clothes, they are stiff and itchy to the touch, reminding me of how unbearably fragile and soft they were. The box is full of the ephemera of heartache, pain, sorrow, grief, joy, hope, and love. Someday, I hope to be able to open this box again, to be able to look at these precious bits without staining them with tears. Today is not the day.
Five years now have gone by. I still visit that bench, but not as often. Your brother tears me away, holding my hand and dragging me into the frenzy of life with an almost 4 year old. But please know, Mary and Christopher, you are still bright, shining stars that guide my way. Mommy loves you.