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.
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.
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.
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?