Who gives something they really love away?
She loved her blanket SO MUCH. It was possible that she loved that blanket more than anything! It was her biggest source of comfort; it was always there for her. At one time the blanket was a lovely baby pink with fluffy white sheep printed on it.
Baby pink shiny satin made a silky border around the blanket. The satin edge was true satin, not at all like the poly-blend edging on blankets today. No, this was so very silky, slippery smooth, and so cool that when she rubbed it against her soft pink cheeks it was truly comforting.
She had a habit, not of sucking her thumb like other small children do, no, she sucked two fingers, her pointer and middle finger. She sucked those two fingers all the time.
(Of course, she wasn’t going to do it in kindergarten. She was already teased horribly for her alligator hands and for being adopted. She was always careful to try not to get teased for anything else. However, once kids could smell that sadness on you they were like sharks who smelled a drop of blood and then you were fair game. It happened on occasion.)
She would encase her little thumb in the incredibly soft blanket, like a child playing ghost under a sheet. With her fingers in her mouth and her thumb in the blanket she would slowly rub the tip of her little button nose.
Pure joy. Total comfort. This was love. There was nothing else like it. She felt safe. She felt okay with herself.
She loved that blanket.
There was never a time when she didn’t have the blanket, it had always been hers. Forever. Maybe it had been a baby gift? She wondered if it was from her other mother? The one you didn’t talk about.
She only knew she had had the blanket forever and she would keep it. Forever.
Eventually her beloved blanket was tattered and torn. Over time her mother had cut the worst pieces off – threads, ripped satin edges, holey sections. It was a small piece of what it had once been, no longer pretty it was now a grayish pink. Yet the blanket still provided the same amount of love, comfort and safety as it always had.
Her family began to tease her. They teased her for sitting on the couch and watching television with it, even for sleeping with it every night. They thought she was too old to suck her fingers and rub her nose with her blanket.
They didn’t understand that the blanket was especially good for her nightly nightmares. She would cover her head and hold her breath until she felt the danger pass. Sadly it all became a source of embarrassment and shame and she made a vow that she was done with it and she would finally show them.
One night at dinner, she announced to the family that she was really going to throw the blanket away. This was the night.
She didn’t need it anymore.
They laughed and told her they didn’t believe it. Her heart was broken at the thought. She didn’t want to get rid of the blanket, but the teasing and shame from her family was relentless. She felt she had no choice and she told them she would throw it away no matter what.
That night before bed she held it closely and rubbed it against her nose one last time. With a heavy heart and tears clinging to her long black lashes, she gently set it into the tiny garbage can in the corner of her bedroom. She climbed into bed and quietly cried herself to sleep.
In the morning she woke with a jolt of regret. Panicked she jumped out of bed and ran the few steps to retrieve her beautiful blanket. Yet when she peered into the tiny garbage can it was Empty!
How could it be empty?
Panic set in. Who on earth would have taken her blanket? Hadn’t they known that she was just kidding? Surely, they must have known she wasn’t ready for her blanket to be gone. Running down the hall she hoped beyond all hope that her mother had just put it into the washing machine, but no, the blanket was gone.
Crushed, she sobbed over that blanket. Her parents never understood why she was so upset. They couldn’t see what it represented. They couldn’t see the connection.
“You’ll get over it”, they said. It had been everything to her. In her five year old mind it was comfort and safety, but most of all it was love. Love that was gone. Forever.
Her heart was broken, again, and she didn’t even know the correlation herself, how could she? She felt completely alone, and even she couldn’t understand the fear and the depth of despair that she felt.
For adopted children loss is huge no matter if it’s a blanket, a loved toy, a mother or an entire family. It’s all the same – the mother loss, the feeling of abandonment and not being loved. Who knew a blanket could mean so much?
Thank you for dropping by – We’ve all loved and lost, haven’t we? We heal our hearts by telling our stories and I’d love to hear yours if you’d like to share. See you next time I hope! Blessings to you.