Bruno went to work the morning that Marco was born. We were told the day before that there was a chance the next day would be "the day", but we wouldn't know until that morning. Bruno and I decided that he'd go into work that morning and that I'd call him to come if it turned out that Marco would be delivered that day.
As we anticipated, the biophysical profile that morning showed that Marco needed to come out. I made the phone call to Bruno, and straight to the hospital he came...in his work clothes.
To everyone else, the shirt is a nice, striped collared shirt. To Bruno, it is "The Shirt". It's the shirt he wore while he said hello and goodbye to his son, all within 4.5 hours. It's the shirt that he wore when he held Marco, when he stood next to him as he lay on the warmer in the NICU - helpless. It's the shirt that he wore when he stood next to the priest - alone - because I was still in recovery - while Marco was baptized. It's the shirt he wore when he heard multiple specialists consulting together to yield no viable answers - when he saw them all standing around in a circle talking and shaking their heads. It's the shirt that he loved our little boy intensely in and had to comfort me in. Bruno is an amazing husband and father - but that day he epitomized love. He did not leave Marco's bedside for a second other than to come talk to me in recovery.
The shirt has now become too heavy for him to wear. When he wears it, it takes him back to that day - and as we all know - it can be so very painful to really go back to that day when we had to say goodbye to our little ones. It represents the day that his world stopped.
He has mentioned to me through the years that he doesn't like wearing it. I know he is getting low on clean work shirts when I see him in it. A couple of weeks ago when he was low on shirts, he said it again, "I hate wearing that shirt". He said he wants to get rid of it. It's sat in the dry-cleaning pile ever since. I need to do something with it, but don't know what. I had never thought about holding onto it vs. letting go of it until he said he wanted it gone. I don't know that I can get rid of it, but yet I think it has gotten to the point where it needs to be removed from the closet. I guess I feel that getting rid of it would be like getting rid of a piece of Marco or getting rid of a piece of that day.
I do have 4 memory boxes for Marco that I've accumulated over the years. Three of them sit up on a shelf in Lucia's closet. I could probably just fold it nicely and put it in one of the boxes. That way, it will safely be put away with Marco's things.
Marco - Your time here was all too short - but I'm so grateful that your father was right there by your side for it. It is an experience that he has tucked away safely in his memory and his heart. It lives in him. It's extremely painful for him to talk about, and therefore he rarely does - but I know that he will never forget it and that you will be a part of him forever.
I think keeping Bruno's shirt in one of Marco's memory boxes is a good idea. It obviously means a lot to Bruno. Even though it brings negative emotions now, maybe one day he will want to hold it and feel that closeness he had with Marco during their too short time together.
This is such a beautiful, bittersweet post. We moms get all the support we can handle right here but dads are so often forgotten, those amazingly strong men who hold us as our worlds are ripped apart.
I love that you are aware of how much that shirt hurts Bruno and that you want to find away to spare him the pain of wearing it again while still preserving that connection to Marco. I think it's a wonderful idea to fold it and put it in one of Marco's memory boxes. Someday Lucia may want to look through those boxes and being able to give her one more example of her daddy's strength, his love, is a wonderful thing.
So much love to you,
I can totally get that. I have the shirt that I was wearing when we found out the girls were coming hanging in my closet. I don't remember if it was the green one or the purple one. But I can't bring myself to wear either of them, but I don't want to throw them out because it's a part of them. I love the idea of putting them in the memory box for now, it lets you keep the memory ingrained in it but not have to look at it all the time with all of the pain involved with it.
Libby, this is a beautifully written post. Hugs to your loving husband too! Adding the shirt to one of Marco's memory boxes sounds like a fine idea. Like the others have said, it will help Lucia piece those sweet moments together as she grows bigger and Bruno might feel differently about it later on. It's a part of your son's story.
My husband has "that shirt" as well. It was a dark blue t-shirt and he wore it many times afterwards because he had kind of a limited casual wardrobe. It eventually went into the donation bag, but I still have mine. The faded burgundy t-shirt I wore as I drove myself to the hospital that fateful night. There's a heart on it and in one space in French it reads "hug my soul." It's at the bottom of one of my drawers, but I doubt I'll ever let it go.
Many hugs to you all,
It's so amazing how so much can be put into an item that someone on the outside would see as "just a shirt." I think the shirt should go into the box. I totally understand about not hanging it in his closet. I couldn't bear to look at/wear the outfit I had on when i went to the emergency room for Zachary. I ended up throwing it away--the pain too great. My outfit didn't hold the memories of Zach though--just the scary experience of his birth.
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