For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

Anyone who has ever read this blog before knows that I don’t write flash fiction. In fact, I write the complete opposite of “flash fiction” I write drawn out nonfiction. I’m a story teller who tells you my stories in their entirety, even a moment can last 350 words.But when I saw the Hemingway piece, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn” again with new eyes, new experiences, they were no longer 6 words. They were like a brick thrown at my heart and the weight of those words brought me to my knees.

I’ve read these words before but I never really knew what they meant, not truly. I never knew the hole in your heart that could be left by losing someone you never got to meet; never got to hold, kiss and cuddle. Never got to hear them call out to you, “Mommy” or wrap their tiny arms around your neck. But, I think you miss them even more because you are missing the promise of something that never came to fruition. You have to cling for dear life to that one single memory, the loss.

Thankfully, I haven’t lost a lot of people who were close to me. I lost my grandparents that I never really knew and I’ve lost two uncles who I was very close to and that hurt. It hurt bad. I felt those losses and I still miss their presence in my life. I wish my daughters could have ran to them when they came to visit and known the giving hearts and comforting smiles of these men. I’d like to say it taught me to appreciate those who are alive even more. It did, for a little while, and then as some sort of a survival mechanism, I had to put that loss on a shelf, so I could continue on. I think that is how we are made; this is how we survive the pain of loss.

Not until I lost a pregnancy, my third child, did I feel the true weight of loss. It nearly killed me. There is nothing like it. The only thing that I can imagine that would come close would be losing a spouse or a parent. I know that sometime in my life I will lose my parents and that scares me. It terrifies me but not for the reasons you might suspect. Not because I won’t know how to live in the world without them but because I didn’t have enough time to know them; to really know them. The hole left by words unspoken and memories not made is an unfillable one. I know that now.

I don’t know why these words have been haunting me over the past couple days. I think it was triggered by watching my friend go through the painful loss of her dear mother and watching another friend give birth and struggle with complications and a very sick baby after losing her twin pregnancy last year. My heart is breaking for these two women. I have all of these feelings swirling around in my mind, in my heart and I I can feel my own scabs being ripped off. I can imagine how their hearts are aching with these fresh wounds. I wish I could do more than pray for these women but they need their space to process; to contain the hole that feels like it will swallow you up. It’s survival.

The pain of losing someone you have so much love for leaves a giant hole in your soul and with them they take a part of you. You don’t feel whole. You feel fractured and broken and it hurts it ways that you didn’t even know it could. It’s an indescribable, all-consuming pain.

Please pray for these two women, Alexandra Rosas and Diana Stone, that their hearts might know peace and comfort again someday soon.

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

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[…] Then, I saw something that I’ve seen before but with fresh eyes and a heart that’s survived a miscarriage. […]

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