Thursday, June 22, 2017

Little Boy Blue

I've been thinking a lot about the items he left behind.  The loved items that go un-played with.  They sit on a shelf, untouched.  Where they once brought only great joy, they now bring so much sorrow, mingled with sweet memories.
Yes, I have kept many of his things.  No, I do not have them set up as a shrine.  This wall is in my sewing room, hidden away from the bulk of the world.  Yes, I feel a twinge of guilt for keeping his things hidden away.  No, I know he is not in them.  But he once loved them.  Once touched them.  And somehow I just cannot bring myself to part with them.  Not yet.  I don't know if I ever will.

These shelves are another oxymoron in my life.  Sometimes these items bring me so much joy.  It's at these times, when I can hardly bear to leave this room, when I am longing to feel his touch just once more.

But at other times, these things bring so much sorrow.  Unbearable sorrow.  It's at these times, when I absolutely cannot bear to be in this room, when I am longing to feel his touch just once more.

I came across this poem by Eugene Field.  I thought it was a beautiful depiction of dashed hopes, shattered dreams, and all the firsts that are buried with a child, taken far too soon.

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
   But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
   And his musket molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
   And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
   Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
   "And don't you make any noise!"
So, toddling off to his trundle-bed,
   He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
   Awakened our Little Boy Blue---
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
   But the little toy friends are true!

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
   Each in the same old place---
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
   The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
   In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
   Since he kissed them and put them there.

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