Laundry Piles of Life
These days I do a lot of my deep thinking over my piles of laundry. As I fold each family member's article of clothing, making each their own neat little pile, I think about them: their mood for the day, the things they did today to make me mad or glad, I wonder why they don't unfold their socks before they throw them in the wash...
After Colin died, I remember folding the first load of laundry that had his clothes in it. It's hard to describe that final, empty feeling of pulling his shirt out of the laundry basket knowing he would never again wear it. I would inhale deeply over the shirt, begging for a hint of his odor, then scold myself for washing it in the first place because that took the last hint of him away. I would picture him in the shirt, saying to myself that I'd do just about anything to go back in time and see him in it again. I'd ask myself what I could've done differently knowing now it was too late to matter.
Eventually the loads of laundry contained none of his clothes. I think the feeling that that left me with was even more haunting. It slammed me with the truth that he really was gone, no longer wearing daily clothes to dirty so I could launder them. Who could imagine that even the laundry could feel lonely? Instead of 4 piles of clothing, now there were 3.
So yesterday I was folding a mountain of laundry that mostly contained Henry's little sleepers and onesies. I was laughing as I thought of all the body fluids that come out of a human so tiny. I don't think I've ever been so happy doing the laundry. I had 4 piles again...blessings are taken from you, blessings are given to you.
Henry will never "replace" Colin (Lord knows, I'd give anything to have 5 piles). However, Henry has helped to heal me a little in a special way. He has awakened a part of me that I had shoved away to protect from being hurt again. He's made laundry fun again. And to think, he's done all this before he can even utter a word.