Wednesday, September 28, 2011
One of the things that I miss most about Joshua is his smell.
Because of his heart as well as the many drugs he was on throughout his life, he was a sweaty little baby.
His forehead was always beaded with sweat, his hair was always greasy, his face was always covered in a thin and wax like layer of yuck. And he smelled like it- in a baby sort of way.
He never got to experience a real bath in a tub of warm water, but he did get to experience having his hair put under the the faucet and scrubbed with soap. He loved that.
Any chance I got, I stuck his head under the sink and scrubbed and scrubbed away. He would just look around and coo, loving the sensation of the water, loving being held close, and then loving the snuggles that came after getting clean.
His "baths" were one small thing that made our situation in the NICU feel normal. I was doing a normal "mom" thing- washing away the dirt and grime, taking in the scent of a clean and snugly baby.
I have only one outfit that smelled like Joshua. The night before he died, I did all of his laundry (he was in desperate need of some clean clothes). The only item that I have is the outfit he died it. It has blood on the inside of it from when they performed chest compressions the morning he died- ripping his incision in his chest open. The blood on the inside of that outfit is the last physical reminder that Joshua was alive. His scent left that outfit a long time ago.
Over the past few days, I have been smelling his sweaty headed scent. On the couch, at the grocery store, sitting outside on the patio. His scent has come to me, and for a brief moment, I'm taken back to when he was alive and in my arms. I breathe it in deep, knowing that it will be gone in the next second. And it always is.
I am not one to look for signs of him in the wind, in a hummingbird, or a rainbow. I am not one for cutesy sayings like "he's smiling down on us right now" or "He's flying high with the angels."
But there is something about this smell and the peculiar and random times that it comes. It's as if God is reaching down and reminding me that I have a son named Joshua who is not here, but in Heaven with Him. I have a baby who loves me, and a God who loves me more. It's as if He is reminding me that He knows my pain, and He cares enough to send me little reminders that Joshua is healed and alive.