Monday, March 31, 2014

A Yellow Shirt

I sat on the floor of the fairly empty room, staring alternately at the yellow shirt and the magazine cover. I was home alone. Feeling melancholy. Feeling borderline hopeless.

I'd brought the shirt without trying it on, as was typical (I hate dressing rooms). And when I got home and did try it on, it didn't fit right. A bit loose in the bust. Too long, or too wide, or too boxy, or just too something. But I'd known that it would fit right once I finally got pregnant. The extra length, or width, whichever it was, would nicely accommodate the cute little pregnant belly I knew I'd have.

The magazine, well, it was some parenting magazine that I'd gotten a subscription for because it would be useful for work (I was doing home visits with new parents at the time). But right on the cover, there was a profile of a woman and a baby. And, I swear to you, that woman was my doppelganger.  And she was wearing a yellow shirt. Looking at that cover was somehow proof that motherhood was coming. Sometime, I didn't know when, but it was coming. That magazine cover was a picture of my future, a promise of what was to come.

The shirt sat in my bedroom for more than a year, never worn, because it didn't fit right, not yet. And then it was too painful to come across (you know, those times when I actually cleaned well in there and it was uncovered). So it got moved to what we'd decided would be the nursery. First, just sitting on a dresser. Easily accessible. Because, surely I'd need it soon. Later, into the closet, out of constant sight. Because, obviously, it was going to be awhile.

I'd pulled them both out that day for some reason. Probably because sometimes I just needed a reminder. Sometimes I just needed to feel some hope.

But that day, the shirt just made me more sad. Because I knew, or at least was pretty damn sure, that that shirt wasn't ever going to look right on me.

And the magazine, well, if the shirt wasn't  going to happen, then maybe that picture of motherhood wasn't either. (I never claimed that any of this was rational, mind you.)

With tears in my eyes, I put them back in the closet. This time in a dark, far back corner. They no longer made me feel hopeful in the least. 

It was the last time I remember seeing either if them. Not too long afterwards we made the decision to pursue adoption. 

Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to that shirt, that magazine. Clearly, I never needed that shirt. And that mother, with her fair-skinned blonde headed babe, she was not me. I suppose I threw them in the Goodwill pile at some point. Funny, though, that I don't remember doing so. Funny, also, that I still think of them both. 

Today's Lesson: Yellow really isn't my color anyway. 


Kerri Baunach said...

This is such a beautiful and powerful reminder of how grief stays with us. No matter what happiness you have received since, some things just always stay with us. Infertility is definitely one of those things. Prayers!

Mandi Rahla said...

It stays with us forever and we block out some things that affect us the most. It's amazing,what,our brains do to peotect us. Beautifully written.

Thrift Store Mama said...

I'm so sorry friend. It's a sad, sad thing.