Friday, December 18, 2009

The Jacket

I bought new hoodies for Austin and Noah the other day. As I went to hang them in the front closet, I noticed the brown one with sleeves shorter than all the others.



I remember the last time Christian wore that jacket. It was on our trip to Buffalo, NY the weekend before he passed away.

(Notice his backup blankie?)



When I took his jacket out, I saw a white spot on the sleeve. At first I thought it was paint. The closer I looked, the more I realized it was toothpaste.

I couldn't help it. I just HAD to smell it.

(I know, how weirdo is that?!)

But I did it anyway.

It brought to mind thoughts and memories of Christian's last visit to the dentist the week before... how he picked out sunglasses to wear under the bright exam lights... how they said he had perfect teeth... and how excited he was to have his own silly old floss card.

As my nose got closer to that toothpastey spot, I remembered the eskimo kisses that we shared at bedtime. My nose touching his nose, followed by tickles and laughs and him always asking "Way down with me, mommy? Pweeease?"

Ack. Who could resist that combined with that grin of his?!

I always said yes. And my intentions of only lying down with him for a minute or two were always foiled! I wouldn't trade those minutes (or hours...) for anything.

Austin and Noah have outgrown all of their clothes and shoes over the past 16 months. I look at them and it is easy to imagine the kind of men they will be one day.

What is difficult for me is the realization that Christian will forever be 3 years and 9 months old in my mind.

He will always fit that jacket... the jacket that seems smaller and smaller with each passing day.

"...ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." - James 4:14

Be ready for the morrow.

27 comments:

Miss Jocelyn said...

......

tears and hugs
Jocelyn

Heidi said...

[hugs]

Lori @ Just Pure Lovely said...

Thank you, Marsha, for writing this. I wrote on Just Pure Lovely today on wishing for much but realizing I have enough. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy these endless questions and countless hours of reading to our little ones.

God bless your family this Christmas! Merry Christmas! ~ Lori Seaborg

Nancy said...

I would have smelled the jacket too.

I have one of my dad's that I keep in my closet. For years it seemed like it still smelled like him - the faint scent of his pipe, doublemint gum, and our garage. And it always reminds me of him wearing it out in our garage one day. Such a clear visual. Weird, huh?

Christine said...

I love you Marshy! His grin certainly was irresistable. He could cause trouble one second and get out of trouble the next with that beautiful, sly grin of his. :)

Deedee said...

Oh Marshie! (((HUGS))) And smelling it isn't weird at all. I still have a silky blouse of my grandma's in a chest. I got it out the other day and smelt it when I was looking for something. It was just like snuggling up to her again. (and that is ten years ago now!) - Deedee

Annemarie said...

As John gets closer to Christian's age, I feel a sharper grief. I cannot imagine the daily pain from his absence. I thank the Lord that He prompted you to be the Mommy that took the time to lay down with him. The memories filled with joyful moments.

The hurt in this life is so excruciating. I have absolutely no idea how people who do not have an assurance of life beyond this one go on. When awful things happen, it is only God's precious Word that comforts me. And creates a longing like no other to be there.

~Annemarie

KarenW said...

Hugs and prayers!

Anonymous said...

You're always in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless your family during this Christmas season.
-Stephanie Freeman

Diane said...

I have been reading your blog for months. Actually it was right after your son went to be with God. I so feel for you and your family. Your amazing courage and faith is just beyond me. I think about and pray for your family often. This is the first time I have commented about this because I don't want to intrude, especially since you don't really know me. I pray all the best things for your family.
Blessings
Diane

Shell said...

I couldn't sleep last night- I always have a hard time when my husband is out of town. So, I was reading back through your posts about your son.

And they way that you are able to lean on God and keep pressing on reminded me of what my pastor said to me: "It's not that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, because He does. But, he doesn't ever give us more than He can handle."

beckypdj said...

I took Peyton to town exactly two years ago to buy his last jacket. I told him it wasn't a Christmas present, he needed a jacket. He tried on a couple and picked one out. The only concern of his was ..........how good did it look with his cowboy hat. I carried that jacket with me to the funeral and sat at the graveside service with it covering my legs, it was so cold that day. It is hanging in his closet with a few other things. I smell it once in awhile.

To realize our lives are just a vapor, brings me comfort, to think of this earthly life as so short and eternity as, well ...........eternity. I've been thinking about blogging about that jacket; I probably will soon.

Thank you so much Marsha for sharing your day to day with us and for reading my long comment.

Hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Marsha,

I think it's amazing that you're able to share your grief with so many. And you do it in an edifying way that helps others. I'm sure seeing something like Christian's jacket made your pain all fresh again. I'm so sorry. I really cannot imagine that kind of pain and it makes me sad that you have to go through it. I would have smelled it too and enjoyed the memories it brought. I don't think that's strange at all. From one mommy's heart to another (:

Molly (:

Ali said...

It IS amazing how you can share your grief. I am amazed at every post. My heart wrenches every time. It is NOT strange that you wanted to smell the toothpaste spot! I would have done the same thing.

Ali

Courtney said...

Love you Marsha...

Ruthanne said...

Marshie ~ here's a big ((HUG)) from your friend Rufie.

Debbie said...

I love you, Marshy. The thought of this life being so short compared to eternity gives me so much encouragement, too. I can't wait to see Christian again and hug him so tight!

Karin Katherine said...

I love you. And all your beautiful memories and shared thoughts on Christian.

I just love you.

Janet said...

I am so thankful for you and your blog. You have touched my heart in a way that nothing has as of late. Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability. Thank you for helping me see Jesus just a little bit clearer! Thank you for your humor, your stories, your love, and your great pictures! You are an amazing person. I'm so glad I get to read about your life and journey. May God bring you much peace and joy this season!

Kathryn said...

Marsha, it's not weird at all that you smelled the jacket. I have the clothes that Madison was dressed in after she was born, in a memory box in my hope chest. I take them out from time to time and just sit there and smell them. I love that...

I know that these memories are hard, but also know that it must bring you much joy to remember Christian the way you do. Madison will always be a baby to me too.

I love you, and am praying for you through the holidays...

Love, Kathryn

seeking him... said...

Marsha,
Thank you so much for sharing your heart & caring so much for those around you. You always bring us who read your blog right back to Jesus. Thank you!
Merry Christmas -
chippy townsend

Emily said...

Smells are SO powerful. I smell Jim's shirts when he's gone, and don't think a thing of it. It's a powerful thing.

Keep writing. It's carthartic for you and spiritually lifting for others.

Leanne said...

I agree, keep writing about Christian....it helps us to get to know him better and to laugh, cry, and remember with you...

I do love you, Marshy. It does hurt my heart to know that you have been asked to bear this heavy, sweet weight of grief and memories.

Smell is poignant. Smell is evocative. It brings back all of those deep thoughts we love...

Lylas.

Melissa Stover said...

these posts always touch me.

SuperAngel said...

aww! {{HUGS}} to you. I'm so glad you got those hours of laying with Christian instead of minutes. Isn't God awesome to give us things when we don't know we need them yet?
LOVE YOU!

muslimahjourney said...

{hugs} I just can feel the connection......I can feel the pain, heavy hurt and yet gratitude for what you do have coming across. I just want to say as a grieving mom that my heart goes out to you~Holly

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I just can't imagine your grief and all the daily reminders such as that that you must go through every day.
I believe you WILL get to see him grow up. Just not here.
Through your grief your words always hold a note of hope and faith!