I was packing my bag for a trip.
Before I could pack, I had to unpack my backpack.
I haven't really used it since my last trip to the hospital.
It was my hospital backpack.
I emptied out:
a change of clothes for Sammy
a chapter book we were reading together
a piece of paper with his lab results from a November 26 (boy, his WBC was high and his liver levels were terrible)
two sheets of tegaderm, a sticky clear film we used for PICC and CVL dressing repairs
a "be brave" robot-tile that Sam really liked
It's still so hard to fathom that he's just...gone.
I rub my finger over the bridge of my nose.
There's a bump there, a reminder of the first day of Sam's transplant hospital stay.
The day I passed out, fell, and broke my nose.
There's a bump that you can't see, but I can feel.
I run my finger over that bump.
An artifact of the life that was....
Slowly, there are less physical reminders.
I repacked my bag for the trip.
I left out the change of clothes and the book.
I carefully refolded the lab results and tucked them, along with the tegaderm and the brave robot, back into the front pocket of my backpack.
Like the bump on my nose, I know they are there. I run my hand over them.
Like a talisman, imbued with some kind of magical powers....a touchstone, a reminder, a tangible element that I can take out and touch, feel, hold....
I will never stop missing him.