Saturday, September 6, 2008

8 weeks



These past few weeks I have been on a mission…to find the perfect gift to donate in Will’s memory using the generous donations we have received.

And I finally found it.

Spoke with lots of people at the hospital on their thoughts, needs, etc. One nurse commented on Will’s blanket. Really, I wanted something bigger than that…or that’s what I thought. But I soon realized that this would be perfect. That blanket had done so much...

It was wrapped around Will as we held him for the first and last time.
It held him close and kept him warm as he peacefully passed away.
That night it soaked up a million of our tears.
And it was the only thing between his little body and our shaking arms.

That blanket was worthy of holding our son.

It was lovingly made by a teacher friend of mine (I called Alyssa soon after his death to tell her just what had happened and how much that blanket had meant), and at the time it was given to me, none of this story had even taken place. When I packed it away to make the journey from California to here, I had no idea how this blanket would come to play such a large role in the short time we had with our baby. Since we had been given a poor prognosis from the doctors well in advance, I made sure to have something special with us just in case. Some blankets had been provided to us from volunteers at the hospital…but no offense to anyone, they looked like some knitting disaster from the early 70’s. And if this was going to be the only thing my baby would ever be wrapped in for his entire life…

Then I wanted Will to have the best, because this was all he was ever going to get. There would be no more occasions to spoil him...

And if a baby only gets one thing wrapped around them in this life…
And if the parents only get one thing to cry into and to hold onto instead of their child…
Then, it had better be first class.

So in honor of Will’s life, we are donating a total of 52 suede/Sherpa baby blankets. One blanket for every hour of his life. These are the kind of blankets that normally a parent would scoff at because it is way too much to pay for something that is going to get dirty and be thrown up on...but in our case, they are absolutely perfect for the huge job they will be doing. It is my prayer that each of these blankets can provide even an ounce of comfort to each family it comes to. I can’t help but think of the many parents that have no idea what is about to happen. They have no warning…no early prognosis…and no such thing even on their minds.

And in realizing what this blanket had meant to us and what it was going to hopefully provide to future families, I had too find the perfect blanket... And I was really picky. In my head, I specific criteria I was looking for: it had to be super soft, plain (without prints), not have any cutesy tags or embroidery like “This is my little blankie…etc”, and most importantly I wanted it to have one side that was a soft white.

That is what had made Will’s blanket even more special. It was also used as a backdrop for his pictures. I believe that is largely why his pictures turned out so beautiful. In addition to having a talented and caring photographer, having the soft white background allowed his photos to become completely amazing. It removed everything from the background.

So the only thing we see…is Will.

Really, 8 weeks ago, we had to live an entire lifetime with Will in just 6 hours. And all we have left of our baby…Are memories, some pictures, plaster moldings of his hands and feet, his little bracelet…

And his blanket.

3 comments:

marion said...

The blanket is an absolutely perfect idea...it carries so many memories.

Megan Smith said...

It would be fantastic if you would write ONE entry that didn't make me bawl! ;) I'm so proud of you Julie - not in a parent or teacher way, but in I - I'm proud to have this amazing, faithful, thoughtful, STRONG woman as my friend. What a beautiful tribute to Will and a way to continue to use his life to touch others. I'll say it again lady...you are incredible!

Beth Read said...

What a selfless act, Julie, to donate so many beautiful blankets in honor of Will. I am so proud to be your friend....you show such amazing strength, honesty, and transparency in your journey. Your experience has touched so many of us and reminds us every day of how precious life is....