The children sleep softly this All Hallows Eve, wrapped in moonlight and dreams.
Suzie snuggles with her favorite toy Fluffy, dark hair encirclng pink fur. I hold back a sob. My darling daughter must never know.
Matthew grins in his sleep, chuckling at one of his tall tales. My own crooked smile trembles. My precious son must never know.
I ask the moon to be their mother, to smooth the tangled curls, kiss the bruised knees. This blue moon is a gift. A second chance. My tears flow silently as I say goodbye, hoping they will remember me with love, not horror.
I tip-toe back to the hand-carved bed I share with my beloved Zack. He turns in his sleep, reaching for me. I rest against his shoulder as I have every night this past year, wide awake, willing my heart to keep beating, my blood to continue flowing.
I remember the moment I knew I was dead. The car crash, Zack howling in fear, my babies screaming. “Don’t leave me, Ginny!” “Mommy, don’t leave!” Their anguish tore me apart. I could not desert them. I forced myself to re-enter my body, to become warm and alive again. All for love. And now, also for love, I must go.
I never sleep, I don’t age, I am almost immortal. They must never know they lived for a year with … a zombie? One of the living dead? But zombies don’t love. The undead don’t weep. Monsters returned from the grave don’t have hearts that break every single day. There is no name for what I am. They must never know.
Moonlight carves a path for me. I’m at peace; I’ve made my decision. I finally relax the iron will that has kept me alive these twelve precious months. Just before I fall into the long sleep, I hear my mother’s voice. “Well done, darling Ginny,” she says. I’m a little girl again. “Blue moon,” mother laughs, pointing to a long-ago sky. I stand on my tippy toes, reach out and touch the radiance, my tiny hands shimmering with silver.