My thoughts raced through wondering how and why I had even gone into labor. After all, it was 6.5 weeks early. My body should not have gone into labor. Violet “should” have died in utero. But she didn’t. She came out and lived for 28 hours to say “hi” to so many people.
Chalise came today to visit and we walked in the terrible, scorching Memphis heat and she listened while I ran through the garble in my head. It helps so much to talk and sort out the mess, the confusion in my brain and my heart. When we got back to the house there was a box on the porch – labeled “Fragile.” We inspected it and saw it was addressed to the Yeouze Family from LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. My heart sank into my toes. Chalise offered to open it with me. She carefully carried the box into the house and began pulling at the tape. I gingerly took the envelope off the top of the packing peanuts, opened it, and read, “… Your deep love for your daughters and your family touched many people during Violet’s short stay at LeBonheur …” Maybe Child Life Specialists write that to every family who loses a loved one. Or perhaps God was using Violet - even then.
I dug into the box and found the carefully bubble wrapped mold of Violet’s hand and foot. Once I saw the molds, I disintegrated into tears. They were perfect little representations of the hands and feet I got to see for too short a time – that I would never get to see again. All this little lines and creases – detail I hadn’t had the time to trace with my mind – captured in this white plaster. For a moment, Violet was right there. I could touch her.
Chalise pointed out that the mold was a little bit of the closure from the hospital I so desperately longed for.
“We are the hands and feet of Jesus” is a phrase one of my graduate school professors often said. The hands and feet of Jesus – no one ever said how big they had to be, nor how long they had to be here.