I hate to dust. It’s never been one of the wifely duties I have cared to do or like to do. I am perfectly fine if the dust bunnies roll past me in the house.
We had our son cremated when he passed away .Exactly 11 months and 16 days ago. When we went to pick up his ashes it was a beautiful, sunny , warm day. I remember staring out of the car window wishing it was raining. I thought, somehow ,it would make me feel better if God was crying that day too.
We went in empty handed. The lady handed us our son. We thanked her. ( That’s what your SUPPOSED to do when someone hands you your sons’ ashes, right?) When we walked out all we had was a container no bigger than a baby bottle. We didn’t buy an urn at the funeral home. None of them seemed adequate or perfect enough to hold our son. I kept it together until I reached the car. As I sat down and placed my son in my lap I completely fell apart. Sobbed all the way home. I can only imagine what people on the highway must have thought.
And so he came home in this “Made in Taiwan” crappy plastic, white box. I guess I just figured they would be decent enough to put him in something…..better. Anything would have been better than this shitty plastic box . How could this…tiny…plastic container hold our son? How could this tiny little container hold our hearts? Our dreams? Our hopes? How could one little box possibly hold what our arms and hearts longed and ached for. The drive home was long…felt like forever. I craddled that little box. Held onto my sons ashes and rocked as if I were simply rocking him to sleep for the night.
My husband and I walked in the door. There was just sadness. And this awful,” What do we do now?” feeling. What DO you do with your babies ashes? Do you put them on the kitchen counter with the bills and the hamburger buns? Do you set them down as if he were a bag from Target? Do you put them in your room where he will be all alone? All I knew was that I wanted him out of that crappy…piece of shit plastic box. And so I said to my husband,” I want him out of this box!! I don’t care what we put him in but he cannot be in THIS..THING.!!” I was absolutely frantic. I stood in the hallway sobbing. And then! I knew exactly where I wanted him. As I walked towards our bedroom my husband came out holding it. The small, cherry wood box that had held both of our wedding rings on that beautiful beach in Maui. My heart swelled for my husband! Just when I thought he had no idea how I felt or what I needed? He came out holding that precious little box. It was the perfect place for him. And so…my husband and I delicately lifted our sons ashes out of the “Made in Taiwan” box and placed him in our cherry wood wedding ring box.
For the first few weeks I carried our sons cherry wood box around with me. I never left him in a room alone. If I vacumed he went with me. If I was folding laundry he went with me. I know it sounds ridiculous but I just…couldn’t leave him alone. I hated to leave the house because I didn’t want him to be alone. I slept with his cherry wood box tucked safely on my pillow. All I could think was….I’m his mom! I can’t leave him all alone!
And then eventually I had to leave the house. People were asking questions. They were probably starting to think that my husband had me locked in a closet or basement somewhere.
And so my husband made a shelf and placed it on my side of the bed. Ethan’s shelf. It still feels so unreal…so wrong. I will be going about the dusting that I SO hate to do. First the livingroom..The diningroom …and then our room. Every. Single.Time. I find myself thinking ….I am not supposed to be DUSTING my son!! He is not supposed to be on this shelf in this tiny cherry wood box. It’s just not right. Somebody pinch me and tell me this was all just a dream.