Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just don't know if I can do it

It's an empty box of tissues.

It's just an empty. Box. Of tissues.

With teddies on it.

This box of tissues was bought in the year 2000. I was six weeks pregnant. I was going to put this box of tissues in the nursery for that baby. About seven weeks later, I was shattered for the first of many times when I had to have a D&C for the missed miscarriage that had happened.

The box of tissues stayed in the top of our pantry. I didn't tell Steve about them. Just kept them there. He never needed tissues so was never going to open a box. They were safe there.

Each time, through each pregnancy, and the painful months in between when I was either recovering from miscarriage or waiting to find out if I was pregnant that month, I'd glance into the top of the pantry and in a split second, be placed back in that hospital theatre room just before they put the mask over my face. Knew that the box of tissues had always represented to me what I had lost that night.

In 2003, when I was 16 weeks' pregnant, we painted the bedroom that was to be Ella's first nursery. I took out this same box of tissues and put them on the shelf we'd put in there. This time, I thought. This time I'll have them to use in the baby's room.

After Ella died, I actually took this box out of the room that was to be hers, even though the rest of the furniture remained intact, assembled and in place, until Lolly used it as her first room two years later.

The box of tissues went back to the top of the pantry.

I almost beheaded Steve one night in 2005 (I shall unashamedly blame fertility drugs) when he - who the feck knew he used them - needed a tissue. He reached up to the pantry and brought down this box. He had no idea they'd already been there for over four years when he tried to use them.

That's when I had to tell him through embarrassed and broken tears that I had been saving the box for our baby. Any baby. He'd pierced the perforated top. He apologised profusely and rubbed my arm and then drew me in for a big hug. I sobbed. And then I laughed. And he laughed. It was so ridiculous, It's just a box of fucking tissues, I said.

And that it is. We've used them now. I ceremoniously cracked open the box, starting at the hole Steve had made with his thumb the year before, when the LGBB was no more than four weeks old. Every time I've seen the box in there, I have remembered its story. In, out, up, down out of that ruddy pantry and baby's room.

Tell me it's just a box? I actually want to reduce the clutter here, not add to it. But I'm finding it a tad hard to flippantly toss the thing. I can't actually even reduce the box down for putting in recyclying rubbish. Is that pathetic of me?

Erm, yes, and I am sentimental. Very... just in case it's not been obvious before now.

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