My husband is a sentimental creature, though he would never admit it.
As time has passed, with each hospital stay, I continue to curse myself for not remembering to keep every one of Elliott's hospital bracelets. Elliott has had seven hospital stays and three additional ER visits (not leading to an admission) that awarded a bracelet and the only one I still cling to is his very first, a teeny, tiny bracelet worn on his birthday. Each time I snip one off his fat little ankle I think, I should keep this. Mementos from each visit. He might get a kick out of it someday. Even still, into the trash they go. In a way, I am ready to toss the memories of stress, pain, and worry each hospital visit has gifted me into the trash too.
And yet, for days after, my husband Taylor keeps his parent bracelet on to remind him of everything we've been through at each stay. Harkening back to his youth, his music festival days where he wanted to relive the magic of music and camaraderie, he hangs on to each bracelet for several days, sometimes weeks, as a way to ground himself.
To remind him of who his son is, a special little soul. A badge of heart fatherhood.
To remind us that even though we've been through so much stress, pain, and worry as a family, we are stronger because of it. A keepsake of our battle.
He wears each bracelet proudly, and I truly love him for it.