Sunday, May 4, 2008

Snapshots in my heart

Life to me is made up of moments indelibly burned into my mind for all time.
Some of them are simple and I have no understanding why they are there or why they were important.
For example, being nine years old and at an auction with my parents. My daddy bid a few seconds to late on an item, and I remember hearing his voice booming in the silence.
It makes no sense why that memory is so vivid.
I remember each time I peed on a stick and it gave me those precious two lines.
I remember being told my baby had never developed a heartbeat and my pregnancy was no longer viable.
I remember getting to the hospital a few moments after my daddy had died. Just a few minute too late, but a million miles to cross before I would see him again.
I remember seeing Bug, Boo, and Punk for the first time, in that exhausted, satisfied way new mothers do.
I remember how each child felt at birth, their smell, the feel of their flesh.
I remember that goofy grin on my husband's face every time he held our baby for the first time.
First steps, first word, firsts for each of my babies are burned into my mind eye. They are snapshots I can pull up any time. They occasionally pounce on me unexpectedly, bringing tears to my eyes.
There is a snapshot I have never seen, but that I have anyway. I imagine a fourth child, older than Bug, playing with them. I imagine that child running to tell me about their day at school. I imagine a fourth bed, a fourth sleeping face, a fourth hand to hold.
Even though I never held that baby, it exists for me. It is a real and tangible as my other children. For me, my lost baby lives and breathes and is.
Its story, like so many others, is written on my heart. And that story and photo, I hold closer than the others, a precious gift that i will carry for all time, watching that lost child grow along with it siblings.

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