‘My heart skipped a beat. A single outfit stopped me in my tracks. It was a familiar print, from my son’s final outfit.’: Mom caught off guard by emotional memory when she least expected it, ‘I fought back tears’

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“I walked into the store in search of clothes for my newborn girl. It had been more than six years since I was last shopping in the baby section. As I glanced around, my heart skipped a beat. A single outfit stopped me in my tracks. Tiny little elephants danced across the pink fleece in front of me. It was a familiar print, one I hadn’t seen in more than six years. It was a print that brought back a flood of memories, sweet moments I cherished with my son who passed away.

Six years ago, I entered that very same store, searching for a final outfit for my gravely ill son. As I looked around, a printed sleeper caught my eye. Dark blue, soft and fuzzy, with little elephants scattered about. That tiny blue sleeper is the only outfit I ever picked out for my son.

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

That very same store was filled with shoppers the day I picked my son’s final outfit. People went about their shopping, oblivious to me, the mother who would never get to watch her son grow up. I would never buy the adorable swim trucks or a sweater. I would never pick out little shoes and I would never see my son walk for the first time. My son would never reach those milestones. Four days after buying that perfect elephant sleeper, my son passed away in my arms.

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

Fast forward more than six years, and I was back at that very same store, but in the baby girl section this time. My heart started racing as I fought back the tears. I held up that pink elephant outfit and smiled as I thought of my son in Heaven. It felt like fate. This new baby of mine was a surprise, a precious bonus to my family after we endured years of infertility and grief. Within two months of birth, two of our triplets had passed away. We never planned on more children, until we received the surprise of our lives. Our sweet rainbow baby, born after weathering the storm of child loss. I paid for the outfit and tucked it away in baby’s closet.

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

I was getting my daughter dressed this week, when I opened the closet door. Now five months old, that elephant print caught my eye. I teared up as I put her in the new outfit, the one I was so grateful to find months earlier. I placed her on the chair and smiled as I thought back to my son. That little girl in front of me has an uncanny resemblance to her brother. As she smiled back at me, my heart skipped a beat. My sweet baby was handpicked by her brother and sister in Heaven. And every time she wears this outfit, I will be reminded of how blessed I am to have her in my arms today.”

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and TwitterDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more powerful stories from Stacey:

‘I was sobbing. Pregnant at 40 was the furthest thing from my mind. I was scared. 2 of my babies died within 2 months of birth.’: Mother of child loss says ‘bonus baby’ was ‘biggest surprise,’ now thrilled for surviving triplet to have a sister

‘To the parents of Abigail.’ I was shuffling through the junk mail, before tossing it in the trash. But the last letter left me frozen. My heart began racing. I gasped as I read the name.’

‘I walked into my daughter’s room and instantly spotted that paper from the past. Seeing the 7 digits and extension took my breath away.’

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