Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sorting Clothes

Lauren's second birthday. 
Clothes I had to sort through. 
Camille unhappy wearing one of the dresses I have yet to sort. 
Annie next to Lauren wearing a shirt Lauren is about to outgrow.

One of my "spring cleaning" chores is to sort through all the girls clothes. I started at the easiest job and did Sabrina and Ann Marie in one morning. The girls helped. Their sorting is pretty easy. The hardest part of it is trying to decide if it is really time to pass some of Annie's shirts on to Lauren. Honestly they almost wear the same size in shirts. 

So Annie has shirts that are size 4/5 that still fit and she loves. Some of these were purchased specifically for her in the last year for school clothes. And most of the 6/7 shirts are just too big for her yet.

The problem is that Lauren's size 3 shirts are all too small. So Annie has LOTS of shirts ranging in size from 4-6 and Lauren only has a few size 4 shirts. Anyway, that has been the hard part of sorting the older girls clothes. Today I tackled a MUCH more challenging feat - LAUREN'S CLOTHING.

This is a chore I have been putting off for a long time. She has grown out of almost all her size 3 clothes even though she won't be 4 till July. And she is picky about which clothes she will wear. She hates all jeans and won't wear them. I am hoping that will change in the next year or so because my other girls live in jeans. Most of the size 4 pants are jeans or jean like.

It took a long time and lots of whining from Lauren about trying on clothes and not liking any pants except her too small turtle leggings that she was wearing today, but we eventually made it through her dresser. We filled a trash bag up for charity. 

Then the really hard part hit. I found all the clothes I had hid away that she had already grown out of and I was saving for Camille. I went through all these 18-24 month and 2T clothes that Camille would have been wearing now. I could almost see her in them. 

Deep Breaths. Breathe through the contractions - heart contractions - soul contractions. Take a minute to let my heart feel the pain work through it. Tell myself to keep moving. Put the shirt in the charity pile. Oh this one is too special to give away. Put this one in the box to use as scraps to make quilts out of for the girls. Keep moving. It will be done soon enough. 

And then it was done and I had three large trash bags for charity and one large bin of special clothes that will make scraps for quilts for the girls. Someday I will have to hire someone to do that for me. Someday when they are older and I have enough special clothes for each of them to have a quilt. Clothes they wore in the photos with Camille. Clothes they just LOVED and would have worn everyday in their younger years. And clothes Camille wore. Each should have some scraps from Camille's clothes in their quilt. Someday.

Based on how hard today was, I can tell that Monday's chore of going through all the baby clothes is just going to be brutal. Keep moving. It has to be done and it will be done soon enough. Take the time to feel the pain of the contraction and know you are still alive - still loving - not past feeling. Then keep moving. And somehow it will be get done soon enough. 


Mary said...

You are such a strong woman, Stephanie. I'll be praying for you as you get through these difficult chores.

Melanie Hoopes said...

What a great idea - saving your kids clothes and making a quilt out of them - what a great keep sake!

lovinglife said...

Hi Stephanie
I love your blog. I came across a verse from I am a Child of God I wanted to share with you. Maybe you've heard it:

I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.

I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.

I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms
One bright Celestial day.

It is so touching. I thought of your sweet Camille when I read it on a blog from a family who lost their sweet baby Gracie:

I have never lost a child, but your blog has inspired me and made me a better mother and person. Thank you.


Scott and Mandi said...

Thank you once again for sharing your always helps me once again gain perspective. I hope your pain will be eased when you go through your baby clothes. You will be in my prayers.

MaiTy said...

I started reading your blog when my cousin lost her little 1 1/2 year old to SIDS. I have just become pregnant, and now your posts are even more meaningful, and hit closer to home every day. (I'm sure the hormones have a lot to do with this) I can't imagine the pain you are going through. When my brother passed away we each saved clothes. I come across clothes of his every now and then, and he died 8 years ago. I'm sorry to say it never gets easier. But the good memories start becoming more prominent than the bad over time.

cynphil6 said...

Oh Stephanie, you brought back funny memories with your Lauren story... MY Lauren HATED jeans too!
She called them "cranky" pants. She lived in leggings and "silky" pants. Rebecca and Alexes were also wearing similar sizes in shirts when they were younger.
Fun times!

You never cease to amaze with the dignity and grace you carry yourself with! Treat yourself today. You deserve it!
Love and prayers,
The Bailey's

Bacardi Mama said...

What a lovely idea. A quilt of memories to keep them warm. You are an amazing woman and you are in my prayers.

Unknown said...

OH, Stephanie.. :| I do feel for you. Every time I am sorting through baby clothes, it's in preparation for an arriving wee one. I cannot begin to imagine sorting through them because of losing a wee one. I hope you can get through it with sweet memories of Camille and smiles from picturing her wearing them. You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

I keep ALL of my kids clothes. I am going to make a quilt for each of them with the clothes and photos of them in the clothes. When in doubt, KEEP them all. How much space could clothes really take up. Better to have saved them than to wish you would have later. My children already have enough quilts to keep them warm but there is always room for more. Great to pass down too.

Jennie said...

Okay- What a great idea to save these clothes for a quilt! I love it. I am fine giving just about anything away, except my kids little clothes. I don't know why- I have such a hard time with it! Anyway, I think I'll just have to steal this idea from you. I can only imagine the tears, and grief you feel, as you are going through these clothes. Take care of yourself. I pray you will feel the peace you deserve today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

Sending love and cuddles and wishing it was enough.



Tyson and Lauren Davies said...

So your blog was on a friend of a friends list. I was blog stalking here at work and came across yours. I went all the way back to when your trial began with Camille returning to our Heavenly Father much sooner than you had hoped. The way you are and have gotten through this is amazing to read.

My husband is serving in Afghanistan at the moment and before he left received a priesthood blessing that said he would return home safely and to continue to read his scriptures and pray daily. I try to explain to people how I dont worry, but I feel like you must. You just have to put your faith in Him and He takes care of the rest.

You are an amazing daughter of God.

Karm said...

Hi Stephanie,
I really enjoy reading your blog. I love the quilt sister passed away 2 years ago and we helped make quilts from her favorite clothes for each of her five children. They treasure them. I have a love/hate relationship with those soul contractions...Love them because they remind me I am still connected to her in some way...Hate them because they mean she isn't here. As always thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!

a.k.a. Jack said...

I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone in NOT being past feeling. We still mourn with you when we think of Camille. I still cry when I read about her and about your love for her and your grief as you miss her. I may not comment as often as I used to, but know that I still mourn (and celebrate Camille's life) with you. You're not alone. Good luck with the difficult clothes sorting.
Love You,

Anonymous said...

You are strong. I thought I was doing well when I took Holly's clothes from her drawers that she was wearing and put them in a box-my millenium box just waiting for her return. But I still have those clothes that I had put aside from her older sister who is 4 1/2 years older. I can't go to that place now. Perhaps one day. Good luck with the baby clothes. Jeanenne (Holly's mom)

KT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KT said...

You are awesome...and oooo that cake looks fabulous...

Anonymous said...

I pray God will carry you through this upcoming difficult task.

Raena Johnson said...

Definately put the pieces in a quilt but save the really special piece(s) of Camille's clothing and put them in a shadow box! Will be a great heirloom piece for you to remember how little she was.

EMILY said...

If you want help on Monday let me know.

EMILY said...


I just read Jenny's post and I have to tell you that I am there with you too. Being at your home the other day was fun, but also hard for me because I feel that sense of loss that is there. It makes me sad that Seth does not have Camille to run off and play with. It hurts my heart when our children talk about Camille not being there. It is hard. We are still mourning your loss and we love you and pray for you and think of you pain often. I love you.

Melissa-Mc said...

I can't imagine how hard Monday may be. I will pray for you. That quilt sounds like a wonderful idea! My daughter was blessed in my baby sister's (who died as a baby) blessing dress.

Rachel said...

I recently went through Emma's clothes because Sophie is just so much bigger than Emma was and Sophie is in need of summer clothes. Sophie is only 6 months and is wearing the clothes Emma was wearing last summer. There were a lot of outfits that I just couldn't handle seeing Sophie in, but a lot of clothes that were comforting to see again. At least your next little one is a boy and you won't have to worry about those emotions of seeing that.

Know that my thoughts and prayer are with you as you go through that challenge. One step at a time. One day at a time.

Unknown said...

Teary. What a difficult thing to have to go through.

Love how you describe the heart contractions, the soul contractions, I could feel your pain.

Love the quilt idea, what a beautiful thing.