Advent - Day 3

I'm actually 2 days ahead in my memories, so I'll stop and let time catch up to me.

Today, I'm stuck on a coat and pair of shoes.

It is not normal that Edmonton should be so warm in December. I have been able to cope without a jacket. And I have been pleased. Indeed, I have refused to wear my winter jacket and kindly, mother nature has co-operated. I have not had to go to this place, until today.

Every time I think about the jacket, think about fetching it from the basement, I have this image. Me, walking out of the hospital, without my son, wearing this suede jacket and a pair of blue crocs, that my feet barely fit in.

I am remembering swirling snow and cold, and seeing that couple at the nursing station strapping their brand new baby into the car seat.

I am remembering that horrible feeling, knowing that my heart was so empty and would never be full. I remember stopping to look back at the hospital, to the basement, where I knew the morgue would be, and realizing that I had left my son, for the last time. I would never see him again. This was the final good bye.

And I have this picture in my mind's eye, this picture of a broken and defeated woman, shuffling out the car in an old jacket, worn because it accommodated my protruding belly, and a pair of blue crocs because they fit her feet, and I can see her in the snow storm, head down, knowing her heart was broken beyond all repair.

I should like to dispose of the coat. Not to give it away, but to haul out my chimena in the back yard and burn it. To throw on the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and loneliness and sorrow and terror. To brush my hands of heart break. To attempt to redeem memories.

And it is my practical, frugal side. The side that remembers this coat, purchased in my first year of University, still in good shape, worn and loved. It is my practical side that tells me to be a grown up, wear the coat.