Most of Judson’s belongings now sit in a storage bin in our garage. It’d been a couple years since I opened the plastic tub to engage its contents. I use the word engage because the items contained therein cannot simply be browsed; they provoke, stir, and kick up memories, which can be both beautiful and painful all at once. It requires a willingness to “go there.”
On Nov. 7th, a day of remembering, I retrieved a few of Judson’s favorite things from the tote: his Silly Sally book, his white Chevy Blazer truck, and his fleece basketball blanket. I didn’t go digging through the bin, these items were sitting on top, and they were just what I needed—a couple things Judson had held, loved, and played with to ignite my memories.
I carried them with me throughout the day, reading the book a couple times, inspecting all the dirt and grime the Chevy Blazer had accumulated from life with my boy, and snuggling the blanket that had brought Jud comfort throughout his life.
The next day, I put the book and truck back in the large container…but I couldn’t part with his blanket again. I have been sleeping with Jud’s basketball fleece almost every night since—smelling it, cuddling it, and picturing the small hands that received comfort from it.
The longings in my heart for my son don’t change; they just find expression in new shape and form over time, most recently expressed in my inability to part with his blanket.