Last week I had the household of sick little boys with fevers. It started with my little one, whose 19 months old, and by Tuesday afternoon my eldest whose 4 ½ was struck with the same. This was pretty darn discouraging considering they both were still on antibiotics for the sinus infections from the week before. There was a lot of snot in our house, that’s all I’m going to say. In an effort to keep Brynn and her family healthy, I kept my boys in the car while I went to drop off something at her house Friday afternoon. I was not worried about them because Rowyn’s Uncle Braiden was washing his car right next to them. As I approached her house this time, something was different. I do not know if it was the glare of the hot sun or maybe just my mood, but I felt very tearful and anxious walking up to her house. I looked at the spot in the driveway where Rowyn lay that day and it was almost as if a shadow was there. I quickly walked up the steps and barged in Brynn’s home announcing my arrival to get my mind clear again. We chatted for a minute downstairs, her cute little belly growing each week right before our eyes. Eventually, I needed to get some shirts for the Tears Foundation Walk this Saturday. All of our Raise for Rowyn merchandise and décor are currently being stored in her bedroom. So, we walked up the steps and into Rowyn’s room just as we had done several times before.
Again, I felt something different this time. I brushed it off as we stifled through shirt boxes looking for the right sizes. One thing that I think about often lately, that many people may not know, is that I had only seen Rowyn’s room one time before the accident, and that was before Rowyn was even born. Now spending time in her room is quite common. Its bright teal walls painted like a Tiffany’s box, with the words, “Rowyn & Co.” painted below the bow. She has a coral colored crib with sparkly hinges and a refurnished beautiful sparkly vanity. Not many 17 month olds get their own vanity. That was so her though, and I know she would have used it. This is where the hard parts appear for me. After we finished with the shirts, Brynn begins telling me her plans to transition the room for the new baby. I know this baby is going to be a sparkle in my eye just as she is to her whole entire family. She is a new beginning, a testament of faith, love and hope. I cannot wait to meet her. As she is telling me though, what she is going to do I glance at the nightstand that still has her purple Dr. Brown’s bottle sitting on it. I look over to her closet with an open door full of all of her things. I see the photo boxes used at her memorial, pictures on her walls and the tiny socks she wore the night before the accident sitting inside of her crib. The tears began to well up inside of me, but I stuff them down for Brynn.
When I left her house, I immediately felt the heaviness of anxiety on my chest, the racing of my heart and the realization of what I had just realized. I stuffed it even further down on that drive so that I could be a good mom to my boys and get them home. That evening, after a family movie and popcorn, I lie in my bed and let it all out. It was heartbreaking. All of things that this beautiful new little baby will bring to her family, friends, me and the world, still meant that Rowyn is gone. And….. the reason she is gone is because I ran her over. The root. It will never go away. No matter what we bring from the tragedy, in terms of Raise for Rowyn, It’ll always be that moment I wish I could turn back time.
The bedroom plans are beautiful and the room will be perfect. I know how excited Brynn is to meet her, because I feel just as excited. In fact, I’ve already began buying her stuff. I’ll go in the room over and over and over again to face this fear and realization. Something that hits you on the back of the head when you least expect it. Knocks the wind out of your sails. I’d been in that room a dozen times at least since the accident, getting easier and easier for me each time. Now, I am back to seeing it as I first did after the accident. All of the things she will not use, the things she used to use and wear, and then the things that this new little babycake will inherit. I guess I have learned it’s painful to see what results from something you’re part of in situations like this, even if it is the most precious beautiful gift on earth, LIFE.
*For those interested the Tears Rock and Walk is this Saturday at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. We have a team called Raise for Rowyn you can register under, and we are selling our T-shirts to team members for $20. The $10 profit on the shirts will be donated to the Tears Foundation. A foundation that helps families with expenses following the loss of a baby. You can find their link on our Website under events. We welcome anyone and everyone to walk with Team Rowyn. Private message us on FB if you will be there and we can meet you with a shirt. Please help us support this foundation in their mission.