Odd title, huh? Well you will soon understand the meaning behind this title. After we lost Jude, friends and family put Jude’s things away before we got home. Toys, car seat, high chair, baby bottles…..pretty much all that would remind us of Jude when we would walk through the doors of our home. I don’t know if this was the right thing for them to do or not, but I do know they were trying to ease our hurt and all they did came out of love. Over the last 3.5 years, I have slowly gone through his things and dispersed them to others. The pain that comes along with going through you dead baby’s belongings is beyond the expression of words. Each step of this journey in child loss has been so hard, gut wrenching, and heart breaking. I had one last thing I had not dealt with and dreaded even looking at it……THE HIGH CHAIR!! It was put up in our attic, by I do not know who and there it has stayed to collect dust. That high chair was the last place Jude sat in this house, a happy, “healthy”, normal baby boy. That damn high chair is what set off the string of events that led to his death. I accidentally pinched his finger with that highchair, and that is the moment our life took a jackknife, out of control turn. We had know idea how sick our baby boy was, until he had his little finger pinched and he took in a deep breath to cry out in pain and quit breathing. His PVS and Pulmonary Hypertension were so bad that he did not have any reserve in his little lungs to handle a cry like the one he tried to have, after his finger was pinched. So this high chair that I had in my attic, looming over my head, has often haunted my thoughts many times over the years. Over the weekend, I decided it was time to face my fear of that highchair and the emotions I knew would come with it. Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to continue down this awful journey called child loss. I took that high chair down from the attic and tears welled up in my eyes the moment I saw it. The memory flood gates opened of that terrible day, as I knew they would…I was ready and I had given myself a pep talk. I allowed myself to go down memory lane and I cried A LOT!! I then began to remember all the good times Jude had in that highchair, that is where he learned to eat and where he would sit and watch his crazy big brothers run around. He would also get pushed around the house by his brothers, while in the high chair (it had wheels). He watched many Mickey Mouse episodes in that highchair.
I began to clean the high chair up so we could pass it along. It still had food in the seat….stale cheerios, smashed blueberries (i think), and so many crumbs. These were some of the last foods Jude ate in our home and in this high chair. I know all of this talk may sound odd to some of you, but those that have lost a child will relate!! As I wiped the chair down and washed the seat cover, I cried…..I could barely see through my tears. The boys came through the family room and saw the chair and saw me crying. They both came and gave me a hug and sat on the floor and watched. They did not know we still had the highchair. They were so sweet to ask questions and just sit with me while I cleaned it…..they knew mamma was sad and hurting. All this to say, THE HIGH CHAIR is no longer in our home….it is sad but it is also a relief to have faced it and dealt with that part of this journey. It was the last of Jude’s things and it was hard to let go of but it was necessary for this mamma. Here is a picture of the high chair and Jude in it: