Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bittersweet Momentoes

I was visiting Sharon at Rose of Sharon and saw that among her recent Goodwill finds that she also purchased a little blue shoe, like the one above. That got me thinking about how I came to have mine.

In 1950, my mother gave birth to her first child, my brother, David. As you can imagine, she and my father were ecstatic over their new child. She was gifted with a sweet bouquet that came in this little, blue, ceramic shoe. Unfortunately, there were problems during the birthing (David was born breech), which caused a lot of pressure to be exerted on the baby's soft head. Shortly after birth, David began to struggle. The doctors realized that he had suffered brain damage and that some of his functions were beginning to shut down. My mother was never able to take David home and, for reasons that are difficult for me as mother to completely comprehend, when my mother found out that David would die, she never visited him in the hospital. Feeling devastated, she feared becoming attached to him. He died several weeks later.

Many, many years later, when my mother could finally talk about it, she told me that she believed that the hospital did not feed him through tubes once he lost his ability to swallow, so that he wasted away. All Mama had left to remind herself of her first born was this little blue shoe... and the gift of a little silver, baby brush, below.
When Mama died, I inherited these remembrances. They are both on display in my home.

I hope when Mama died she was finally able to find some peace over David. Though she rarely spoke of him, I know that it haunted her until the end of her life.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh my, that is a sad story. People treated miscarriage and infant loss so differently back then. I'm sure your mother has found comfort now.

Alexandra said...

So sad, but what a wonderful memorial of his short life with that little shoe. He was loved dearly, and I can understand your mother's devastation and reaction, especially losing your first child.