Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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The 5th Belongs to Calvin: You are remembered

Calvin's corner in Louie's room at my in-laws' house

Calvin's corner in Louie's room at my in-laws' houseLouie and I have never spent a night away from Calvin’s ashes. When we visit family for a weekend, we bring his urn, his main stuffed animals, his memory box, and his journal. We carry all of these things in a canvas bag – the same bag we used to bring his urn to the funeral home when we went to pick up his ashes (it was raining that day).

There’s a corner in Louie’s bedroom at his parents’ house that belongs to Calvin. In this space, we keep a framed picture of him, a “Filipino Phoenix” from his Uncle Micah’s trip to the Philippines, my crying bear bank, my praying Precious Moments doll, and Louie’s triceratops figurine. When we visit Vallejo, this is where we place Calvin’s urn and the things we bring.

Sometimes, we bring his “travel bag” when we visit my side – especially when we come straight from San Francisco or are on our way back. Though my nieces and nephews never got to meet him, they know Calvin and continue to remember him. They know that the small blue penguin (Piplup from Pokemon) is named Pickles. They recognize the big penguin (Anton), the hippo (Genevieve), the small duckling (Quackly), and the little Domo doll (Monster). My oldest niece – she’s seven – will sometimes ask to see Calvin’s “sand.” When we don’t bring the Domo doll, my four-year-old nephew will ask, Where’s Monster? My two-year-old niece knows that my ultrasound pendant is “Calvie” and looks for it almost every time I see her.

We came to Vallejo this weekend to celebrate birthdays at my sister’s. We went straight from San Francisco to her house and brought Calvin’s things down with us. My sister’s friend and her son were in town visiting. My niece and nephew started pulling out Calvin’s toys to play with them. When the boy called Pickles “Piplup,” my nephew was quick to correct him: His name is PICKLES! (My nephew, by the way, is a huge Pokemon fan, and was the one who informed me and Louie that Pickles was actually a Piplup.) After most of the dolls were out of the bag, I saw my niece look at Calvin’s memory box for a few seconds. Then she turned to the boy:

You know why they have all this stuff?


It’s because they had two babies, and this is they’re stuff. But they died. Isn’t that sad? The boy’s name is Calvin, and the girl’s name is Rainbow.

My sweet Calvin, you are always with us. Even when it feels like you’re far from me, know that you and your sister permeate every cell, every breath, everything I am and will be. I am so blessed by you. And I am so thankful that your cousins know you. You are remembered and loved – and not just by mommy and daddy. Happy 23 months with Jesus, my love.

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

0 thoughts on “The 5th Belongs to Calvin: You are remembered

  1. I love how kids are so open about it. They understand way more than we give them credit for. Your niece and nephew are such sweethearts!
    I love that you Calvin and rainbow with you, we do the same. I don’t care what people think or say. This past weekend we took them to a photo shoot, the girl must of thought we were crazy but it’s our life! Keep doing such a good job mommy ((HUGS))

  2. As their Grandma, I always look forward week-ends when I will see the little bundle of joys come.
    Whenever they leave,there was never a time that Louie and Crystal entrusted the little travel bag to anyone to carry them back to the car but them and them alone. I have so much respect for my Crystal and my Louie for being such dedicated parents of our Angels.

    Do I miss my Calvin and my Baby Rainbow? I do. Deeply?I do.Every moment?Yes.Only my Grandchildren know how much I miss them.

  3. What a sweet child! And what a sweet Calvin and Rainbow! You & Louie remember your children so touchingly. I’m glad you take them & their belongings on trips. (((HUGS)))

  4. I love this…because I truly believe that kids can often be the most empathetic to our situations. They just get it…and they will be honest about talking about it. Thank you for sharing this story. It’s beautiful. ((hugs))

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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