Friday, June 3, 2011

The Furniture

I grew up with a set of furniture.  This furniture I vividly remember as a little girl and into my adolescent and adulthood. Over the years, I grew attached to this set of furniture.  It is a white wash, with a polish finished, with etching around the doors and simple daisy like flowers accenting the edges.  At one point pink paint was applied to the etching and making the furniture even more feminine.  A few years back my mother had made mention of selling the set or getting rid of it.  I asked her not to; I wanted to keep it in the event one day I had a little girl.  I wanted her to have this furniture.Well, as we well know, I had my little girl.  Unfortunately the furniture remains in the basement as storage for random sheets, and winter apparel. 

I haven't really thought about the furniture until today.  Lately, Dominic and Thad like to play downstairs in that room and watch movies.  Thad set up a DVD player down there, so even though there is no cable down there, he can relax in the notoriously comfortable, fluffy bed.  This morning, I brought Dominic down there for a change of pace.  He loved it.  He played, helped me with laundry and eventually I popped in the movie Monsters Inc., his favorite. We both crawled into the comfy bed and laid back and watched.  He ate his freeze dried apples and giggled at his favorite parts of the movie.  It amazes me how a 19 month old, can know how to giggle, and determine when a movie is funny, unprovoked.  After making a mess with the apple chips, he settled in even more and cozied up next to me.  He molded himself into me and the pillows I set up to support us.  Oh what a feeling! Amazing! I have waited for this moment for so long, my whole life really.  To snuggle with a small child, but, not any small child, MY child!  It was the best feeling in the whole world.  It was a notable moment. At times like this in my life, I take moment to take a mental and emotional snapshot, breathe in the moment and the feelings. I burn it into my brain and soul. With an exhale, my body and mind relaxed in the moment, sinking deeper into the pillows.  While I was making my mental note in my mind to never forget this moment, I noticed the furniture.

I was not bothered by the furniture after losing Gabriella.  I was not sad to see it, or that I had held on to it all these years.  I was only sad that my little girl would not be able to enjoy it.  That her childhood memories would not bring her back to her room, where that furniture would be the anchor.  Remembering the stuffed animals and collectibles she would place on it, and how over the years the stuffed animals would give way to teenage mementos and pictures.  I realized my daughter would not have such memories.  But, even more significant, I realized I wouldn't have those memories either.  If the furniture were to have feelings, I would imagine it would feel sad and lonely not to be able to fulfill its destiny.  For a brief moment, I thought, maybe I will have another daughter and she will enjoy the furniture.  But, to be honest, I don't think that will be the case.  I don't think I will ever have another daughter.  I have a daughter, one who will never leave my side. 

So, I thought, what is to become of this furniture? Maybe Dominic could use it.  Then quickly I realized the pink and flowers.  I pressed the thought and considered painting it blue.  But, no, it isn't right.  That is not what this furniture was meant for.  Maybe my sister will have a daughter and she can use it. I don't know.  I just know in one of my greatest moments of joy, the sharpness of my loss is there. It seems to loom at every turn.  I now realize I will never forget that moment.  I will always remember my little boy snuggling, pressed against me and the peace I felt.  I will also remember my daughter in that moment.  While furniture was a physical reminder of what I lost, on the other side of the coin my daughter was there.  She presents herself in the most subtle of ways.  But, she is there.  While in the moment I recognized the sadness, I now realize as I sit here and write, that she was there, with us in the moment, enjoying it.  The furniture, which has been down in that room all this time, never spoke to me before.  Why today, why now? Because this was the time I needed to see it and remember Gabriella.  This was my moment to enjoy my children.

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