Friday, November 8, 2013

Gently Loved Clothes

This week, I was in the attic looking for my fake flower arrangements that I had made for Rachel last fall.  I looked around at my bins stacked high of girl clothes and felt convicted over my storing up these beautiful clothes for a girl I don't have - and might never have - when there are so many people in need. 

I heard something I really didn't want to hear.....  Give it away.....

I got the idea that if I pulled it all down and invited people to come grab whatever they wanted, that it would save me from the work of sorting and delivering.  So I put this on Facebook:

"Giving all my girl stuff away is painful since the only reason I can is because Rachel is not here. I had held onto it all in hopes that Des would have a little sister to pass it on to. I'm tempted to want to sell it since it's all so nice, but God put it on my heart to give it away.... so here it goes... if you have a girl in size 4-8, come on over. 6-8pm tonight and tomorrow night this stuff is free to take if you can use it *now*. (not for stocking purposes ) Winter coats and boots in great shape, all sizes. dress boots, sneakers and tons of clothes that I'm trying to not be sentimentally attached to. (they are just clothes, Stacy, and Rachel doesn't need them...:/) If you can, please bring change as my awesome kids plan to sell lemonade and brownies that they will donate proceeds from to Rachel's birthday care baskets we are making. If you don't have change, I'll give you some. I always like them to have a successful lemonade stand :)
feeling freedom in letting go. "

I was all about it... for a little while.   But as the time got closer, I started to get anxious about it.

I'm not going to lie... I cried.  A few times.  I sat in my living room, surrounded by these clothes and as I looked at the bins, it became so obvious... I stopped saving them at size 7/8 - the age Des was when Rachel died.  The year I realized that I didn't have a girl to pass them down to. 

These clothes represent a shattered dream... my broken heart....the reminder of a tiny grave.  They represent the loss of years of watching Desirae get to sister a sister....  they represent the love that a mother feels for her first born - the little girl who made me a Mama. They mean so much more to me than.... well, than clothes should.  *sigh.*

Des & her friend made some brownies and cookies and the boys made fresh lemonade and they had a little 'bake sale' to raise money for Rachel's Care Baskets.  There were only a few people that came, but they all made a donation for some yummy treats.  The kids were having a blast.  They made $20.78 towards Rachel's baskets! (Thank you to everyone who contributed!)

A quick dinner before the sale began :)
("Tasty Tuesdays" is the name they gave their baking club because they meet on Tuesdays to bake)

Some neighborhood kids came by to buy brownies and lemonade

Isaiah pulled up a seat to watch TV while people were looking at clothes....

Right before anyone got here, I looked at my Paypal to see if anyone had donated towards Rachel's baskets... There were 2 donations.  After Paypal took their fee out, I was left with... you guessed it

For me, this was confirmation... I was doing what I needed to do.  This combined with the bake sale $ covers the first basket!

As the night went on, it became more and more obvious that this didn't have much to do with clothes.... God is awesome.

The conversations had and the amazing way that we learned Rachel was in all of it... the way that these people knew of us because of her, even though I had no idea.  The way she brought us to a place - even in her death and in having to let go of clothes she can't wear - where we know people we wouldn't know otherwise.  The way she continues to bring us new friends and sweet fellowship.  She has been such a blessing in so many ways. 

It was 11 pm when the last lady left... we prayed together over some hard stuff she had shared with us... standing in the middle of these bins of laundry.... It was beautiful.  And Rachel was with us.

I didn't realize it on the 3rd when I decided to do this, but I believe this was a big part in my grief journey.  I only realized it because it was breaking my heart....  giving away clothes has never hurt so much.  But it wasn't the clothes that were hard to let go of.  It was more of her... what I'm missing with her... that had my hands clenched tight.  But, I can't hold on forever... so I let it all go....  well, my hands did... my heart is still working on it.

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