In my closet sits one duplo box filled with handwritten cards. The cards were for my little boy Daniel. The boy is now gone, but the cards written to him still remain.
When we moved from the house where Daniel lived, Daniel didn’t get to go with us. But the yellow duplo box with cards did. A few of the cards he’d received were after hs first surgery before we knew the lump in his neck was cancer. Most were sent to him during the months he was treated at UNC-Hospitals. The duplo box had been where he’d stored all these cards, cards that shared hopes for his healing, prayers, and even birthday wishes.
It’s been seventeen years since Daniel took his last little breath. Yet it was just yesterday when I, his mama, felt like I could conquer the box. I pulled out a few cards from kids who had been in pre-school with Daniel. I pulled out cards from church groups, missionaries, friends of mine, and Daniel’s teachers and young friends.
This box might be silent to most, but to me it speaks. It speaks of love and hope and the kindness of others who took the time to write to my son. The box also says, this boy lived. He died at age four, but oh, yes, he lived. This is a priceless box of memories.
One of the Precious Moments cards was from a girl who shared the same birthday month as Daniel. Her name is Sophie, she’ll be 23 this year, and Daniel at age four called her “Tophie.” Another card, made from construction paper, from a girl named Crystal, captured my heart for its simplicity. She wrote, “I love you Daniel. I am sorry you are sick.” I have no idea who Crystal is, but if I were to ever meet her, I’d tell her thanks for being so bold to share her love for Daniel. Her words have brought joy to my day all these years later. Daniel was loved and he loved.
Now that I have conquered this yellow box, I’ll continue to pull cards out and read, smile, and remember. And yes, I’ll cry. For any mama who has lost a child to death, tears are never far.