Half-Empty Bottle of Scope


Cleaning up Nick and Zack’s bathroom, I see the half-empty bottle of Scope tucked in the back of the cabinet.

And it tears open my still healing wound.

I pull it from the cabinet and stare.

But I cannot bring myself to throw it away.

And I wonder how strange that is.

I remember Zack asking me to buy it for him – Spring of 5th grade (2010). And I remember thinking he must be starting to get interested in girls.

That cherished memory makes me smile at first but then it makes me cry.

Because that bottle of scope is so much more than just blue/green breath-freshening liquid…

It is the young man our son was just starting to become and a future that would be robbed. A future of voice changes, shaving, wearing deodorant without being reminded, a first kiss, holding a girls hand, a first date, first dance, the prom, first love, marriage, family….

And so I sit on a bathroom floor and smile and cry.

In a bathroom where toothpaste still gets left in the sink, on the counter and sometimes even on the floor and repeat showers still take place after I discover a dry bar of soap. Where a toilet seat is still left up and clothes are still scattered across the floor instead of in the hamper. And while I still offer gentle reminders, I don’t complain about it.

Instead, I give thanks in a bathroom for the simple reminders of life.

May we all count it all JOY a Moment at a Time…


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5 thoughts on “Half-Empty Bottle of Scope

  1. Memories are wonderful, though sometimes so sad. I am often reminded of what my father said when he cried openly during happy occasions in our family — at weddings, graduations etc. He said these were happy tears that washed away sadness so he could get through the sad times that are sure to come. I never saw him cry during the sad times — when my brother left for war during World War II; when my mom was hospitalized several times because of rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses; when my sister left home to live in another state; when our tobacco barn burned and he knew money would be tighter that year. Tears, whenever they come, are cleansing, making room for more experiences — happy and sad. God’s Blessings on you as you enter 2013 — You Bless us as we read your postings.

  2. This really hit home with me. I lost my 19-yr old daughter this summer to post-bone marrow transplant complications and I keep coming across all the little things that remind me of such a brilliant, promising life cut short: a list of things to buy for her dorm at college, half a package of gum, sketchbooks, make-up. One minute, she was graduating high school at the top of her class, excited about starting college and spreading her wings. In a month’s time, those dreams were put on hold and eventually dashed when she got her wings. I miss her more than words can describe.

  3. Another great lesson of the day Wendy, thank you! However, this post just made me cry…sometimes I just can’t get past how unfair it seems that Zack is not here. Kait read this with me this morning and we both hugged each other..Zack will be a part of all us forever. Many warm hugs to you today.

  4. Wendy ~

    I absolutely love reading your posts. I understand the overwhelming sadness that comes with finding stuff like this and then, the weirdness of it all, as you contemplate keeping it. You’re not the only one who has kept stuff like this. Eventually, you may throw it out, but it’s such a good reminder of Zack. And it has his germs on it. And, of course you’ll keep it. To remember him. I love your heart – it is so open and raw at this point, still. I have never lost a child (just my dad so far – and that is difficult enough), so I don’t know your exact feelings, but it is wonderful how you portray them on here. I miss taking care of you guys – you’re a family I will never ever forget.

    Nurse Melissa

    p.s. – I remember the last time I saw you guys. I didn’t know then it was going to be the last time. You invited me to eat P.F. Changs with you, out on the tables by the elevator. I wish I would’ve stayed and enjoyed your company – instead, I feared that someone would see me and report me for fraternizing with a family of a patient. I felt as if too much was at stake – I should’ve stayed. Nothing is more important than sharing good times with amazing families.

  5. Wendy-
    So well said. In reading this, I flashed back to 5th grade ceremony, as I do a lot, as that represents such a turning point for your lives and ours. I always end up laughing and crying. This time as I read your blog, I thought about just what you said, the boys just starting to be interested in the girls. On that day, Zack, Sam and some of the other boys were dancing so goofy and then so cool to impress the girls. Zack, although we cant see him, he is so a live in our hearts and memories, he is a vision that will never be forgotten. We miss you! Tracey