This week has been bittersweet. I can’t think of a better word.
On our first day back at work, Baby Loco received an amazing gift. My coworker’s Mother-in-Law is an amazing quilter. I am not using the word amazing lightly here. She is spectacular…..I am honored to have items she made in my house. AMAZINGLY SPECTACULARLY AWESOME. She took several of Mr Loco’s dress shirts and turned them into two of the most amazing stuffed dinosaurs you have ever seen. They are stunning. She also made a toddler sized quilt that will be perfect for Baby Loco to throw picnics and tea parties for her stuffed animals for years to come. She is already in love with her new friends. Last night I spent an hour watching Baby Loco hug and kiss her new dinosaurs. She had me kiss them. She sat on them. She snuggled them. She rode them. It was entertaining to watch and it was great to see how much she already loved them. I already treasure them. I am sure as Baby Loco learns the story behind these fabulous dinosaurs, she will come to cherish them even more. My friend Joy named one of them Doug. We will see if the name sticks or what Baby Loco will name them. I cannot say thank you enough. It is one of those things that I appreciate so much. It also makes me think about those shirts and times when Mr Loco wore them. He looked so great in blue. My mind wanders to what if scenarios or I would rather situations. I LOVE the dinosaurs. They are awesome but I would rather have Mr Loco here wearing those shirts. Thus my feeling bittersweet all week.
On our second day back to work, I received an amazing gift. Another coworker’s mother created a painting from several pressed flowers I saved from the memorial. Photos don’t do the painting justice. It is gorgeous. I can’t imagine how many hours go into composition and layering for the complete project. It is so lovely. I am just amazed at the beauty. I already have the perfect spot for it to hang on our wall of art. I will always treasure it. Of course I would have rather never have received any flowers. I would rather Mr Loco be here to send me flowers or better yet, save his money and for us to enjoy the flowers in bloom outside.
On my third day back to work, I stopped by the mailbox on the way to work. There was an envelope from the Donor Network of Arizona. I recently sent back some information about wanting to share Mr Loco’s story with the people who received his organs. I assumed it was the instructions to begin that process. They told me that at around the year mark communication may begin. Inside this envelope was another envelope labeled “Please read cover letter before opening”. There I sat on the side of the road on a HOT day speed reading. It sort of turned my day sideways. Inside the envelope was a card from M. M received one of Mr Loco’s kidneys. I burst into tears at the sight of her handwriting. Just from that, I knew she was older. I knew I would be torn hearing from recipients. I had to lose the love of my life for these connections to be made. I had to lose my husband for this amazing gift to be given. We have to go without in order for all of these families to get a new lease on life. Bittersweet indeed.
Along with the card, there was a typed letter. M waited 8 years for a kidney. She was afraid she would not live much longer and would not receive this gift. She has five grown children and three grandchildren that she can now watch grow. She sounds absolutely lovely. Now I have the opportunity to write back and share a little about Mr Loco, a bittersweet task.
The week isn’t over yet. I know a few other items will be arriving in the mail in a few days. In the early days I had almost a desperate feeling of needing to find ways to remember Mr Loco. I was looking for tangible items to surround Baby Loco. I researched. People offered to help.I don’t feel ready to get rid of any of his clothes but I am all for upcycling his clothes into things we can use. Things arrived in the mail. There was a lull. Things are starting to arrive again and I can honestly say these items are soothing. We were never really “stuff” people but I have found memorial items to be very comforting. I love seeing Mr Loco’s picture. I love that Baby Loco shouts “Dada” when she sees his picture. She has me read her “dada book” to her often. There are many things that can spark a conversation for Baby Loco. I want it to be easy to share stories and ask questions. It is incredibly hard right now to get through those stories without crying but I do my best to muddle through.
I am always open to new ideas. I will post more items as they arrive or as I take pictures of what we have come up with. Etsy is a great place to poke around for ideas, as is Pinterest.
Be excellent to each other,