Clean Sheet Day

“Clean sheet day” is like a victory cry in my household. Everyone here loves it when it’s clean sheet day. Kate LOVED warm laundry, and would especially love when clean sheets came fresh from the dryer. She’d “help” me make the beds and roll around giggling.

These pretty blue ones used to be my favorites. They’re the perfect shade of robin’s egg blue and they fit just right. They’re warm & soft in the winter and cool & crisp in the summer.

Only now, I hate them.

These sheets represent my lasts. Last late-night Wallykazam episode while we spoon sheets. Last snuggle on mommy’s pillow sheets. Last “mommy I don’t feel good” sheets. Last barely touched morning snack and juice cup sheets. Last unknown final moments at home sheets.

This is where she spent her last hours at home. This is where she fell asleep mid-morning because war was raging inside her. She, in her red & black striped dinosaur jammies that still lay untouched in her laundry basket and Grandma and I pacing nervously waiting until it was time to go to clinic.

We’d go to clinic. They’d see how sick she was. They’d see the pale lips. The petichia under her eye. They’d know what I’d been saying wasn’t paranoia. They’d tell us what I already knew.

Relapse.

If I had known…oh if I had known. She’d have gone straight from “mommy I don’t feel good” in the middle of the night to the hospital. And maybe then, it would’ve been soon enough. Maybe then I could have gotten her what she needed. Antibiotics. Specific antibiotics. Maybe then, I wouldn’t have had to have final moments at home.

Maybe then sheets would just be sheets and not a tidal wave of emotion that leaves me breathless and struggling to stand.

These sheets are on my bed today. It’s clean sheet day.

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