I was getting ready for bed last night. Emily was playing in the closet behind me. She was trying on my golf shoes, which I haven't worn in 7 years. I was brushing my teeth. In the reflection of the mirror, I could see her pull out my yellow purse.
I had a baby shower a week before I had Noah. It wasn't supposed to be so close together, but we all know the story. My Mom came up from Phoenix for it. She bought us a jumperoo from her and my brother and sister. And she also bought me a huge yellow purse from Target. She thought it would make a cute diaper bag.
It became so much more than a diaper bag.
I got discharged from the hospital on a Thursday. My tiny baby had to stay behind. My husband, Emily and Ben were 100 miles from me. I had missed Emily's first day of Kindergarten that Monday. I know many people have suffered far worse, but honestly for me, it was the single worst day of my life and I was at an all time low. My dear friend Lindsay had called and wanted to drive me to what would be my home away from home, The Ronald McDonald House, for the next few weeks. I tried refusing saying they were going to provide me a taxi. She wouldn't allow it. I'm so thankful that people can see through my stubbornness and do what is best for me despite of what I say. She rescued me that day. We ate greasy tacos at Taco Bell and went to Target for essentials, try not having conditioner or a razor for a week, or rather don't try it. We cried. We laughed. And when she dropped me off at the Ronald McDonald house, I felt prepared. My spirit had been restored and I was ready to conquer my most difficult hurdle of getting my son big enough and healthy enough to go home.
David and the kids were coming to see me the very next day. The kids would get to meet their baby brother and I was going to see them for the first time in over a week. I was counting down the hours. I had a list of things for David to bring me. One of them included the big yellow bag.
Every morning, I would walk down to the community kitchen and eat my breakfast alone. I'd gather up everything I would need for the day. The yellow bag became my catch all. It would hold my Ipod, magazines, a notepad, breast milk that I collected through the night, my snacks, vitamins, my cell phone, breast milk supplements, a book. It was huge. It held everything. It held hope. Hope that I would get through this and the items in my yellow bag would help me.
I haven't used the yellow bag since. It sits in my closet on a shelf. Emily wanted to put the yellow bag in her dress up bin in her room. I told her no. She hung it up on the closet door and went back to playing with my golf shoes which she thought were ice skates.
As I was putting the bag back on the shelf, I looked in it. It was virtually empty. All I found was a dime, a butterscotch, a hair clip, a pen and Noah's armband from his hospital stay.
I didn't find hope.
I suppose that's because I had used it all.