When I got home from the hospital and unpacked, I ended up with bits of "C stuff" all over my room... a pacifier he used, his umbilical cord clip, the blanket and hat he wore at the hospital, various paperwork and documents, etc. For a few months, I was almost scared to touch any of this stuff, but stumbling across it unexpectedly brought up a ton of emotions.
After a couple months of this, I decided it was time to gather all these items into a single location. I got a really nice project box with a lid and handles (it's about 20"x20") and collected all these precious items together.
Here's a bit of what I've got in my "C Box":
hospital Birth Certificate
receiving blanket (complete with spit up... I've got it in a separate bag)
hat and shirt
pacifier and umbilical cord clip
my hospital bracelets
the card from the bassinet
the termination of rights paperwork
H&L's profile book
hospital discharge paperwork
hearing screening certificate
deflated balloons we received in the hospital
cards I was sent around the time of his birth
I've also added the church program from his baptism and a copy of the newsletter of an adoption group I go to that has a picture of us on it. I plan to add any memorabilia I collect over the years.
Having a "catch-all" kind of place for all things C-related is nice. I don't have to worry about misplacing things, and I always know right where it is if I need to spend a little time reminiscing over his tiny t-shirt. It also keeps me from happening upon these items on days I can't deal with them.
I will say, though, that putting the lid on the box was very difficult... it seemed somehow final, but I think it was a step in the healing process. It was a physical way of showing some level of acceptance. It's place in my seems somewhat representative of C's place in my life. Like the box, he's no longer always in the center of every thought... but he's always there. I know exactly where the memories are if I need to pull them out. I cleared out a special area in my room for the box, and C will always have a very special place in my heart.
The box is also a reminder that there is a piece of C's story that only I can share with him. I look forward to someday pulling out the box and going through its contents with C.
Do you keep some sort of memory box? What do you keep in it?