I went to my neglected laundry room because it has been on my to-do list for months now.
I was just about to finish when I noticed a bag at the top of the closet. I jumped up and grabbed it.
Mid-jump my heart sinks. I know what the bag is. Painting clothes. These are from three years ago. They were used to paint a beautiful nursery for a baby girl on her way.
I don't recall placing them in this bag or in this spot. I'm not sure how I knew what they were before having a chance to read the bag. But I do, and once the connection is made my world stops and everything goes silent. The pitter-patter and squeals of play from the boys are muted by my racing thoughts as I am transported back in memory. I can almost feel the paint brush in my hand, feel the weight of my large belly full of life.
I slowly open the bag while feeling as though someone has punched me in the gut, knocking the air out of my lungs. I take each article of clothing out one at time. I spot the faint pink, the deep maroon, the pure white. These were the clothes her Daddy and I used to prepare her walls and changing table for her arrival. The tears form in my eyes, blurring my vision.
The anger hits first. This is a new emotion for me in regards to her death. I haven't expressed much of it in the past three years, but quickly the grief in my gut overrides. I feel ten times heavier with it. I feel that broken feeling I know so well.
I clench the piece of clothing stained with the deep maroon paint splatters tight in my grasp and then pull it up to my face desperate to catch a hint of what her nursery smelled like. A mixture of paint and the laundry detergent that was used on her clothes that filled up multiple bins, just waiting for her arrival. But the aroma is gone. Just like how that smell left her nursery after a year of waiting for a baby to fill it's space.
I catch that scent every now and then. In someone passing by me in the store, or near a freshly painted item coated in the same brand of paint. It hits me just like finding these did. Like a sucker punch right to my heart.
I have them wrapped back up in their bag. The bag now being a time capsule of sorts, back to a time when all was right in our world. To a time her heart beat safely in my womb.
They are now awaiting to be placed with all her items. I cannot bare to toss them away. To lose anymore of her, or reminders of her life. They are another piece of proof that she was here. She was real. She was almost ours to keep.