But I rarely go in. Only when I have to.
Sometimes I linger in the doorway and look at the blank wall where their cribs were supposed to be. I took their cribs down after the funeral and put them in the garage. It hurt too much to see empty cribs just sitting there with no babies to put in them.
I never linger long. If I do my mind starts spinning with what should have been. I have cried many tears in that doorway. No mother should ever have a little empty room.
Last week my best friend called me to ask if her family could stay with us while they visited San Diego. I was thrilled. On the phone I made a comment about having an extra room they could use and as soon as I hung up I began setting it up.
An air mattress, a pack n' play, pillows and blankets...it was nothing fancy, but it made a cozy little guest room for my visiting friends. When I was done this strange feeling came over me. I sat at the top of the stairs and cried. I couldn't help it. It had been a very long time since I spent time in Aubrey and Ellie's nursery and reconfiguring it into a guest room felt like betrayal.
It isn't a guest room, it's Aubrey and Ellie's room.
At that moment I decided that I am not ready. I am not ready to give their room away. I am not ready to let go of what was...is...was supposed to be...theirs. I am not ready to put this in the past like something that simply didn't work out. That room was for my very real, very loved, very special, very wanted, twin baby girls. And I am just not ready.
We don't have a guest room in our house, we have a little nursery for two baby girls named Aubrey and Ellie. And if someday I have another baby it will become that baby's nursery...because that room is meant to be a nursery. We moved into this house because we needed a nursery, not a guest room. And if from time to time a guest or two visits and they stay in Aubrey and Ellie's room, that is ok. But I refuse to transform it. Guest room by default is a poor consolation. I will not hang a proverbial new sign above the door. It is their room. I need it to be their room. I will keep it their room for as long as I need.
From the hallway it may appear to be a little empty room with yellow walls and no furniture, but inside it is filled...filled with my dreams and hopes that never came true, full of prayers and tears and late night phone calls in the dark to my sisters and supportive friends, with one hand on my empty belly and Aubrey and Ellie's memory book in my lap.
When I walk in that room I feel something. Sometimes I just feel sad, but other times I feel like keeping a room for them in our home is a tangible example of the room I keep for them in my heart.
How I wish I could tell visitors I only have a couch to offer them as all my rooms are filled with children. But since I can't, at least I can say they are welcome to stay in Aubrey and Ellie's room. That way they know what I know...Aubrey and Ellie are remembered here, and always will be.