Typically I try to avoid the nursery. I know exactly what effect it will have, and sure enough, as I stepped inside and looked at the carefully tended, but mostly neglected, toys, tears sprang to my eyes. I thought of her and the what-might-have-been.
We were in the spring of our lives, young and in love. We had a special, deep, relationship that seemed to transcend anything placed in front of it. We believed our love would have sustained us even if we had been penniless, living in a hovel, but luck, both good and bad, had placed us her ancestral home, a sprawling mansion on a hill overlooking the town.
Together we transformed the old place into our home. We paid attention to every detail, forming the house to fit our personalities. It was our joint love offering. A testament to our bond that was supposed to last forever.
Although we took pride in the entire house, we took extra care on the nursery, tenderly placing the toys perfectly to welcome the children we knew would be coming. It was the heart of the dwelling.
Is it possible to be too happy? Are those who put too much energy into the future cursed to have that trust and hope destroyed?
For a blight sometimes comes in the summer, or a spring snow destroys the seed before the plants can take root. Death will often knock too early on the door, dashing all hopes for the future.
The house was now a museum, a place where tourists can visit a historic home. The tourists “oo” and “ah” over every detail. And they all love the nursery and make comments about who may have last played with those toys. How I laugh bitterly to myself when I hear those words.
It has been over 100 years since I passed from my life at the tender age of 24. My young wife grieved for a year, but then remarried and left the house empty.
I have heard that her children played with other toys that another man had bought for them in another nursery built special just for them.
Is it possible to mourn for a child that never existed?