Over the weekend, Jonah and I went into his room to search for a toy he’s been missing since December. We were digging everywhere. I reached my hand up into our hanging diaper organizer and it came back out holding Liam’s hospital hat. He was wearing this hat when I first got to hold him in my arms in post-op. He was wearing this hat when his brother came to meet him. And he wore this hat pretty consistently for the first few weeks of his life. It helped him sleep when he seemed a little too chilly.
When my hand came down with this hat, I lost my breath. I stared at it in shock. Everything else was already sorted through. Everything was set aside to save or was given away. I had forgotten the hat. I don’t know how long I stayed staring at it like that before Jonah said, “Baby brother??….. Brother’s hat! Brother, where aaaare you?” I sank down onto the floor. I pressed the hat to my face. It still smelled like him. When I smelled that sweet new baby smell, that’s when I lost it. The shock wore and the memories flooded. I just sat on the floor and cried. Jonah sat on my lap and asked me, “Mama..okay?” He snuggled my neck. He asked for his brother again. I had to remind him. Brother got sick. Brother couldn’t stay. We miss brother so very much. He touched the tears on my face and we got up off the floor. I zipped that hat and that new baby smell into a little ziploc bag and set it on the shelf next to the few items we have to remember Liam by. I hate that the smell will one day fade. We miss you, Liam. In every moment of every day. We miss you so much. And we love you even more so.