I found out late one night that Nash’s ashes were ready. I was so upset that I couldn’t get them until morning. The thought of him on some shelf in a funeral home broke my heart. I was also beyond upset knowing his physical body no longer existed. I got in the shower and sat on the floor of the tub. I said out loud while crying, “I’m so sorry baby, I would have come gotten you earlier had I known you were there.” I felt like I failed him again. One more time in his life when he needed me and I wasn’t there. I stayed up all night crying. I wanted him home. Todd and I still slept with his shirt and blanket. Days after Nash died, I searched online for urns and saw that they had teddy bears you could put the ashes in. I had that teddy bear now for a month waiting for the ashes so I could snuggle him again.
I got up first thing the next morning and Becca and I went to the funeral home. I was scared. The things that cross your mind are crazy. I wondered how much ashes there would be. Would they fit in the teddy bear? When we walked in, the man that opened the door looked at me and smiled. He said, “You are here for Nash, I have seen his picture all over town.” I smiled. When we walked in, Roger greeted us. I showed him the bear. They knew they had to show me the urn. There were too many ashes to put it all in the bear. As the lady walked out with this small white marble urn, I fought hard to keep my composure. Another man came around the corner and asked if there was anything I had that I would like some of the ashes in. I handed him the teddy bear. A grown man who works with people all the time, someone I was sure had seen it all, looked visibly shaken as he took the teddy bear from me. When they handed me the urn and the bear, I walked out to the car. I looked for a place to put the urn without tipping it over. The only place it would fit was my cup holder. Becca pointed out the irony of that. I couldn’t help it, the moment I got out on the road I looked inside. Note to anyone who has lost a loved one and had them cremated – don’t do that!!
I headed to my OB appointment. I had canceled my appointment so many times since I had Nash that this would be the first check-up I had since he was born. As I sat in the waiting room, it all came flooding back to me. All of my pregnancy checkups were here. My ultrasounds. The nurse took me back. She gave me a big hug and said, “I’m so sorry.” When the doctor came in, she told me how she had found out the day after he died. She was visibly upset and said she had a hard time functioning for days after she heard the news. She said, “If you have more babies I’m delivering them, it would be an honor!”
After my appointment, I headed to the VFW with Todd’s parents. Great Grandpa Elmer was there. He had been so upset since Nash passed. He couldn’t talk to me without crying. He grabbed my hand as I sat next to him. He was wearing a plastic bracelet that said “Grandpa of an angel.” He told me he never takes it off. He asked me, “When i die will you put some of Nash’s ashes with me?” We both cried. He was now excited to get to heaven. He talked about it with enthusiasm. He said, “I now have a little piece of me there waiting.” He began to tell me a story about his morning. He was at the coffee shop with a group of friends. When they were about to leave the waitress said, “Your bill is paid and I was told to tell you, have a ‘Nash’ day.” He told me this story through tears.
Todd showed up and then we headed to dinner with friends. When we got there we talked about life, and Nash. How our friend Kelly had gotten a race car driver to put Nash’s picture on the side of his car. How a whole baseball team had worn Nash t shirts for their tournament. I thought of Nash now, in an urn still in my cup holder. I hadn’t had a chance to go home yet. I started to tear up and Todd pulled me in for a hug. The waiter brought us our bill that was over 200 dollars for the six of us and said, “Your bill has been paid, have a ‘Nash’ day.” My eyes filled up with tears. I went across the restaurant to seek this stranger out. I hugged her and thanked her. She had no idea what I had been through that day. No idea how much I needed that. What people don’t understand is that I have little sympathy for myself. All of my sympathy is for Nash; what he went through, what he missed out on. These people were doing something kind for us in honor of my son, but what they don’t realize is that to me….Nash got to have coffee with his grandpa this morning, he got to ride in a race car, he got to play baseball, he got to take his parents out for dinner. Things most people take for granted, my Nash has managed to do from heaven.