Little Boxes

Many times what happens around the Table has nothing at all to do with food. This post is about one of those times.

Last week my mother was at my house (helping hold the newest addition to our family…he screams a lot at the moment and my low back can only endure the “walk and bounce” maneuver for a few hours and then I must hand him off!) While she was here she helped me with the project currently sitting on my Table. Painting little boxes.

Paper mache boxes awaiting paint
Paper mache boxes awaiting paint

These boxes will be decorated and then donated to local hospitals. The boxes will then be used by Labor and Delivery nurses and given to families who must leave the hospital without their babies. Instead, they take home one of these boxes filled with photos and an itsy hat and a pair of tiny booties…sometimes a blanket and an impossibly small outfit…maybe a little stuffed animal. A box filled with the only things they will have to remember the baby they leave behind.

Freshly painted boxes, drying
Freshly painted boxes, drying

I paint these boxes because I have one of my own in the top of the closet in the nursery. It contains some of the most precious material items I possess. You know the kind – if your house was on fire, you’d go there first. I know what it’s like to leave a hospital carrying only a box of mementos instead of a baby. And as horrible as that was, I shudder to think about what it would have been like to NOT have the box.

My mother helped me paint the boxes because she does know what it is like to leave without the box. Forty years ago when her baby died, hospitals didn’t do things like this.

Some completed boxes, ready to deliver
Some completed boxes, ready to deliver

This month at two support group meetings (of the MISS Foundation) for families who have experienced the death of  a child, moms who understand how important these little boxes are will decorate them and send their blessings along to the mothers who are going to receive them someday. Some of them might be pregnant right now.  They don’t yet know that we even exist.  But when the time comes, we want them to know they are not alone.

I certainly enjoy the breakfasts, lunches and dinners that happen at my Table.  But, I really love some of the other stuff that happens in between.

What happens at your Table when there are no plates and napkins?

To read more about the MISS Foundation go here and here.  For my whole story, go here. Wanna help us?  Go here.


10 thoughts on “Little Boxes

  1. Shawna

    Hey, girl. I guess I didn’t realize you had a blog. Love reading about all your creative projects — especially the baking. I love baking and want to make more time for it. I really would like to make the Milano cookies sometime. The only problem is that I am sure I would then eat them all. Hmmm… still it might be worth it. 🙂 Hope you are doing great and getting some rest and sweet time with all your boys. Hugs, shawna

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Me, too! I certainly wish I had more time for it. There was another Daring Baker’s Challenge that just finished up and I wasn’t able to do it in time…had all the ingredients, but never found enough hours to pull it off. Oh well. We’re doing good (except for little Whit who is very fussy…colic? reflux? who knows?) Good to hear from you! Here’s to more time for baking, Jen

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      No worries Allison – there aren’t that many posts to catch up on! Thanks for reading/commenting! See you in fantasy football land.

  2. Ramona

    Terrific post, Jen. It sounds like The MISS Foundation is an awesome organization to be a part of. I love the theme of your blog. ‘Gathering round the table,’ and the way you integrate into the world of family therapy, takes the traditional ‘foodie’ blog to a whole new level. Cheers!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Thanks Ramona…it’s a fun experiment. And I figured the world had enough regular foodie blogs, right? And I love the new form of community that blogging creates. I’m so flattered that you read it…hope all is well.

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      My sympathies to you as well. Such a lousy club to belong to, no? Happy to see you have a healthy little one…while I know that the joy of one doesn’t erase the pain of missing the other. I’m glad you at least got a blanket…we see plenty of moms who didn’t get anything. So sad.

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