The purple nightgown.

It’s hot tonight.  So hot that even though we’ve got our thermostat turned way DOWN, the temp in our house is way UP.  Especially in our gorgeous master bedroom, complete with cathedral ceiling and accent window that creates a sort of ‘terrarium’ effect, if you will.  So, in order to sleep, I dig through my pajama drawer for something lightweight.  My hand pulls out a familiar, somewhat faded nightgown.  I hesitate for a moment.  I always do.  You see, this is the nightgown I was wearing on August 16, 2006.

I had gotten home from a wonderful dinner and was excited about the prospect of a new job, despite being halfway through my pregnancy with twins.  I changed into my pajamas, sought out to send an email, and it happened.

It’s amazing how just that one little thing can bring the emotions back.  The purple nightgown.  The trigger.

After we lost the girls, I read stories about soldiers that had experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD for short) and I realized that it sounded like something that I had.  Unfortunately, it’s not something that ever goes away.  I’m sure many people can relate, even if they didn’t experience something like ours.  For example, most people remember where they were, that fateful November day, when Kennedy was shot.  Or perhaps you’re my age, and the event you can recall so quickly is when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.  I was in 4th grade.  Mrs. O’Donnell’s class, on the first floor of Holy Redeemer School…south end of the building.

Every year, as the calendar brings July to a close, it happens.  The little things.  The triggers.

It’s a healing process.  It always will be.  I’m never going to forget what happened.  I’m never going to put it behind me.  It is part of me.  It has shaped me.  I am better because of it.

1 comment to The purple nightgown.

  • Katie

    Youre allowed to grieve, friend! Don’t let anyone tell you to put it behind you. How can a mother put her children, angels or earthly, behind them? Feeling those triggers and the emotions that come with it are what allow you to celebrate and memorialize the precious gift that they are to you. You have real emotions, and it’s ok to feel them!

    Prayers for you through these next few weeks and always!

    XOXO

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