Washed Away

Washed away

in a sea of busy-ness

Washed away

in a mountain of time


Washed away

by my salty tears

washed away

by the passing years


Washed away

from the hurt of yesterday

Washed away

fading more every day


Washed away…



Jim and I pulled the boys’ little blue outfit out of the shadow box in the early morning hours yesterday.  Jim had placed it in there almost three years ago before Jedidiah’s memorial service.  He had forgotten that he was the one who pinned it into place.  He didn’t remember that Jedidiah’s foot ID was still in the toe.  I cried; he held me.  The day began and we moved on.

Being over 37 weeks, I need to move into gear to get ready for Baby.  I have to wash the baby’s clothes.  I had wondered about the little blue outfit, if it would still smell like Jedidiah.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted it more to or not to.  It is a bit musty, but there is a faint scent of my little man on there.  I don’t know if I can put it into the washing machine; I don’t know if I can wash away the last connection of his earthly body that I have.

Yet, tradition holds that each of my boys wear the little blue outfit.  Of course, it has been through many boys and many washings and had been purchased by my sister specifically to fit within the first day or two, a preemie-sized outfit.  My biggest boy thus far only wore it for a few minutes because his legs were already too long, and since Baby is measuring bigger than that brother did, part of me wants to break with tradition.

Why does tradition matter?  What makes it compelling enough to make us move into areas of discomfort?  For me, it is the tradition that helps identify the bonds of sibling and familial connection.  We have considered naming Baby without a “J” beginning, and I am considering the removing of the little blue outfit wearing and picture.  Those things would not make my son any less my son or any less his brothers’ brother.  Yet, I remember the unique, unusual names that almost all the women of my family had, except me.  I felt left out, unimportant.  Now, as an adult, I don’t feel that way, but it is the reality of my childish feelings.  I don’t want Baby to feel left out; I want him to know he is part of an amazing family (that drives me nuts and has its daily moments of rudeness and frustration, but amazing, nonetheless).

I also want him to know that he is unique.  Finding the balance of tradition and uniqueness is not new to me since our loss of Jedidiah, yet it has new importance.  Baby must know that he is not Jedidiah’s replacement.  He must know that he is loved and cared for no matter who his older brother(s) is/are.  He must know that he holds a place in my heart and a place in this family that no one else could ever hold.

2 Comments to “Washed Away”

  1. Beautifully said. A sense of belonging is everything.

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