05 May 2011

A Box In The Ground

Four years ago today hubby and I drove to the funeral home to say goodbye to our daughter's perfect little body. We were led down a hall and into a small room with a couch and side table. Across from the couch was a rectangular table against the wall with the tiniest of coffins on it. Our daughter's body was laying inside. She was a little over half way bigger than that tiny coffin. Yet there she was, ten fingers, ten toes, button nose, knees, elbows, Daddy's feet and Momma's legs. Somewhere behind those closed eyelids there was the color blue. My daughter that had grown in my belly for six months or so. My daughter that was so much wanted by her daddy and myself. My daughter that I planned so much for, that had a full nursery waiting for her with pink clothes and towels and sheets and stuffed animals and blankets. There lay my daughter who I wanted to show the world and who I wanted to show the world to. No one would ever see her but us. Not in this life. There lay all my hopes and dreams of becoming a mother to a bouncing baby girl. Dead were the possibilities of potty training, pre-school, first day of kindergarten, Girl Scouts, scraped knees, first love, college graduation, wedding, her children. All gone. And it happened so quickly. Just seven days, one week, earlier we were expecting all these things. Instead we held her, cried over her, sang to her, spent one-on-one time with her, made sure her clothes were perfect, enclosed a tiny teddy bear, and a picture of us with her, wrapped her in one of the blankets from her nursery, kissed her goodbye, and sealed the lid.
Hubby carried her to the funeral home car. I sat beside him with that box in his lap. That box that held all his hopes and dreams. That box that we would have to put in a deep, dark, cold hole in the ground. That tiny box that held so much. He carried her to the grave site. After the grave-side service I couldn't leave. I couldn't leave my baby laying out there in the open unprotected by momma's arms. Doug could not pull me away. The fellow from the funeral home asked the cemetery workers to bypass protocol and bury her with us watching. A man came and lowered my daughter into that hole. Then came a machine with a scoop of dirt. She got covered and I felt she was safe. The man arranged the flowers on top of the tiny mound of dirt and was gone. The fellow from the funeral home waited a ways away in silence. It took a few minutes, many, many tears, and a slight nudge from hubby, but I was finally able to leave. Only to return hundreds of times later.

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