Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sock Monkey Pajamas

Peanut -

In the past Momma has written about the sock monkey footie pajamas that got labeled as "the saddest happy-jammies ever" after you passed away.  These were the pajamas Momma put on after your Memorial Service and lived in off-and-on for days during the subsequent snow/ice storm that hit St. Louis.  These sweet, bright red pajamas almost found their way into your memory trunk but at the last minute I said, "No."

Momma has been working to break her belief in curses and an imagined connection between the unrelated events that occurred around the day of your death.  These ridiculous pajamas have become quite symbolic in this effort.  Somehow they have taken the blame for for the grief and heartbreak - for the days when survival just didn't seem to be an option.  Momma buried them in her closet, under a pile of clothes.  But due to their color and sheer size - these are adult footie pajamas, after all - the sock monkey jammies were impossible to fully ignore.

And then the day came last week.  A frigid day filled with snow, rain and ice.  Despite bundling up throughout the afternoon, Momma was still chilled to the bone.  That evening, Momma made a decision.  Time to pull them out.  Hold them against my frame, shoulder to shoulder and challenge my beliefs.  To finally open my heart and remember why the grief was so raw when I last wore them.  To feel the Peanut love and still very fresh loss, even after three years.

At first it felt like a betrayal, to be wearing the pajamas that bring warmth and comfort, when you are no longer here.  But then I realized - the warmth and comfort are not only from their fleecy fabric but from the wonderful memories of you and your musical laughter when you saw sock monkeys.  That's why Momma bought these silly things, after all.

In some ways these pajamas are a bridge in time.  Not a bridge back to a time of intense grief, but more a bridge between my boys.  Pickle also loves sock monkeys, and now I can't wait to see his reaction when Momma shows up in this ridiculous outfit.  The anticipated giggles and need to touch the monkey faces on my feet - so similar to you, but different.

Peanut, Momma has been thinking about you a lot in the last few days.  It's almost Christmas.  This would be your 5th Christmas…Santa and his elves would be the only thing on your mind, and the anticipation of Christmas eve and Santa's eight tiny reindeer.  This season is terribly bittersweet since I can't help but wonder what it would be like with you here - which brings pangs of sadness - but I am also so thankful to have your little brother with his spunky personality and wonder over the Christmas tree.

We also have your 3rd Angel Day looming before us.  Honestly, Momma just wants to get through the next month.  Just make it to February.  It's strange how this year seems harder than previous years.  Is it the passing of time?  The fact that you should be getting so much older but never will?  I'm not sure.

What Momma knows is this.  As I type this letter I am wearing your red sock monkey jammies and I am smiling.  And crying.  Tears of love and appreciation.  A smile that is tinged with grief.  But all of it is rooted in deep, fierce Momma love.  A love I never would have known if it hadn't been for you, my precious Peanut.  I love you sweet boy, to the moon - and back.

- Momma

A soulful, serious Peanut with Santa in 2010.

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