The laundry room is a center of sorts. It is the mediator between the living area of the house and the garage and side yard. It’s where snow clothes get dropped to dry in the winter and towels wait their turn for washing in the summer after swimming or water games. The little white cabinet in the corner holds our canning jars and jellies. My sewing machine is in this little space.
The room also houses my college diploma and ministerial credentials. The certificates, both of them, hang just above our tiny refrigerator that holds drinks for guests, both overnight and those just visiting.
It’s an irony of sorts. Both certificates at one point defined my day.
These days the clothes waiting in line for washing do.
Above the washing machine and dryer hangs a country green shelf that once upon a time hung in a former kitchen, during my country decorating phase. It’s a beautiful shelf, it really is, but my decorating style has changed a bit and now this shelf resides on the wall above the machines that clean and dry the day’s wear and tear from our wardrobe.
We have picture frames of our painted handprints on this shelf. The remind me of whose laundry I wash. They remind me of why I do what I do. The remind me that I have little lives that are quickly passing by, that time is going far too fast, and they remind me to cherish my babies.
I love these painted handprints.
I also have three little paper butterflies on this shelf that were added just a few months ago.
Two of them simply say “Baby Smallwood”.
One of them has “Lindsay Smallwood” written on it.
I didn’t realize how incomplete my shelf was until these butterflies found their way to it.
One infant death before her birth.
I shared our story of miscarriage and infant loss at a breakfast for grieving parents this May. We all had tear filled eyes as recounted our losses all over again.
Some were fresh tears, others were tears that began twenty, twenty five years ago.
On the end of our program, each family received a butterfly with his or her child’s name on it. Those who have miscarried simply had “baby” written on theirs.
The reality of life sinks in when, with each family that is called to the front to receive their butterfly one child’s name is called, but when it’s your turn time slows a bit, so three names can be called.
Fourteen years ago, after already suffering one miscarriage, Jeremy and I visited the Smokey Mountains. I didn’t know it then, but I was pregnant with twins. Just a couple of months later, at 19 1/2 weeks of pregnancy we discovered one of our twins had died and our remaining twin had little, very little chance of surviving. Within six months we had lost two babies and it didn’t look like we would see this remaining twin alive.
Life became a whirlwind.
The couch became my home.
Angst settled in my spirit.
Fastforward to September 2014.
Anna, our twin who survived against every odd the doctor gave us, wanted to visit The Smokey Mountains on our way home from Disney to PA. We hiked Clingman’s Dome, stood on the North Carolina/Tennessee border and remembered that last time we were at this spot, we were headed into a season where everyday we didn’t know what the next would hold.
Life had come full circle.
We shared our story and our selfie at findyourpark.com.