Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The last 3 days I have been going through the house, digging out stuff I have shoved places this past year. I am a notorious "saver". I don't want to throw out cards someone sent me. Or cards someone sent Claudia or Craig. I gathered all of the things we have done or were sent this past year in Curtis' memory and put them in his memory box. I filed all our paper work from this past year and so forth.

I also tackled Claudia's photo album. I had it completed through October but needed the last month of her first year done.

It is a red and white album that I just love. It says "Watch me grow" on the front of it. It has openings for photos on the cover that looks like leaves and a little caterpillar on it. It is one of those albums that holds both vertical and horizontal photos on the same page.

I didn't buy it for her. I bought it for Curtis.

It was one of those purchases I was SO excited about it. I got it the week before he was born at Target and was so proud of it. In fact, I frickin' took a picture of it and posted it to an online message board I was on during my pregnancy with him. I couldn't wait to fill it up. Even after his death I showed it to my mom. "Look, isn't this cute?" She just looked at me strangely.

It was one of the things, after his death, that drove me nuts. I would flip through that empty photo album and look at the mocking "Watch me grow!" on the front of it and wanted to light it on fire.

After I had Claudia, I searched in vain for another photo album I loved as much as that one. I couldn't find one. I wanted one to last her her entire first year (which, let's face it, is a TON of pictures). I wanted horizontal and vertical album...

I had this huge debate with myself for weeks. Use it or don't use it. I loved the album. But I bought it for him. But I also bought the crib and bookshelf and dresser for him and was using it for her. But I would reuse those things for the next child anyway. I wouldn't reuse a photo album.

There is a difference. He isn't alive. He never used the album to begin with so it isn't second hand like furniture would be, which is normal. The album wasn't technically used....

Ugh. In the end, the love of the photo album won out.

What a stupid thing I worried about for weeks. How stupid to even have a blog post about a photo album.

But this is my life. Focusing on stupid little things like a photo album that was bought for him but became hers. This is my life. That album has 300 photos of her first year of life. Every time I look at it, I know it was meant for him. Though, I love flipping through the pages and "watching her grow."

I just wish stupid things didn't haunt me. It is just a photo album! But it is tied to him.

In the end, I am glad I used it.


Hope's Mama said...

I don't think it is stupid at all. I started a pregnancy album during my maternity leave, before we lost Hope. It was one of those online ones for digital photos that you get printed as a hard cover photo book. I have them for my wedding and overseas holiday, I wanted one for the pregnancy. I had completed up to the point of putting a few photos of me in labour in it, in those early stages before we found out. I left the last few pages blank as I was going to include her first pics in hospital, grandparents, aunties, uncles holding her - etc. The first few weeks after we lost her, I could not stand the thought of finishing the album. But eventually I did. We got so many lovely shots of her in hospital, we needed to get them printed. I needed to finish the book. I call it the torture book now, as everyone who has looked at it bawls their eyes out. Sort of like they can't believe our story ended the way it did. There is photos of my pregnant at 5 weddings, a bridesmaid in one, 3 interstate holidays, parties, baby showers - you name it, it is in the book. I'm so glad to have it now though, and four months on, I can look at it without bawling myself now.
Even though I'm not preg again yet, I struggle in knowing what to do with all her stuff. We didn't know she was a girl, so all our stuff is gender neutral. I bought a lot of things with Lions on them, as she was a Leo. I wont be having another Leo baby, at least not next time (unless it takes me a reeeeeeeeeally long time to conceive) so do I put those things in her memory box, or do I use them. I just have no idea.
You are such a wonderful mum to both your kids xo

His Mom said...

Hope's Mama-Ugh! I am crying just thinking about it. We did an online "baby"page where a lot of our friends followed the pregnancy. I did journal enteries, pictures, and so forth. It is the most bizarre thing because it is all this preperation for a baby and the last entry says "Our son was born still. Thank you for your prayers" or something. It is the weirdest thing because, like your book, it is the worst ending ever!What a rude slap in the face! It is still up as I can't bear to take it down... all the comments from excited friends and family... ugh. It breaks my heart to look at it.

Mrs. Spit said...

It's not stupid, because it's not about the photo album, it's about hope and normalcy and tragedy and sorrow. It's about our expectations of being pregnant, and what happens when tragedy strikes and your baby dies.

No, it's not abnormal to struggle over an album.

Kristi said...

I think that makes it all the more special.

ms. G said...

I understand this perfectly. I too can obsess over "trivial" things like that. I hate it, I hate that my life isn't more "normal". I would look at and think of Curtis as well. But, like another poster said, it does make it special. You can tell Claudia her brother let her use his photo album. :)

gitz said...

To me, it feels a little like Curtis is watching over her... watching her grow. You can flip through it and see photos of her while knowing it belong to Curtis and he is with her too.

I don't know if that works for you, but it's how I felt when I read it...

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