The SiMBA memory box is, for me, a starter pack for Rowan’s equivalent of the boxes in the loft we expected to amass of her first drawings, first shoes and dodgy school reports.
The SD card from the box stores our only pictures of the three of us together. Our midwife used the inkless kit from the box to take tiny footprints from the tiniest toes.
The knitted teddy sat in our Christmas tree and has been loved on a lot by Rose. But of all the things in the box it was the blankets that have been most helpful, most meaningful. They have helped us stay close to Rowan in the darkest of days.
The blankets are knitted by SiMBA’s crafting army and are deliberately matching pairs. When Rowan was born Ross and I took turns keeping one of the blankets close to our skin, and the other we snuggled in close to our beautiful girl. When it was time to go our separate ways we swapped the knitted squares so that she had one that had been close to us and we had one that had been close to her.
Our mint blanket (the one to the right of the SiMBA bear in the image above) which had been with Rowan is starting to look how I feel: well loved, tired and unkempt. It’s not without reason. For the first fortnight we were never without it. My husband and I took it in turns to sleep with it, to grasp it, to keep it close.
It was stuffed secretly up my sleeve for the first days back at work, for funeral home visits, for going to the supermarket. After a couple of scary “where the hell is the blanket, who had it last??!!” it doesn’t come out with us now but is on our headboard to provide comfort on those nights when the waves of grief are unforgiving. I hope the person who took the time to cast on the stitches and post the matching blankets to SiMBA realises how much they have touched us at the worst of times.
The memory box sits next to our bed, where it has been since I climbed the stairs the night of Rowan’s birth, weak from the violent sickness I had on the way home, (thanks misoprostol). It has swelled with cards, love, and post mortem results. It’s the guardian of our memories of a baby lost until we are able to take charge of honouring our girl, our Rowan.