She would lie awake in bed at night, once or twice a quarter. Every few months, she’d lie there, her eyes blinking slowly. Her fingers moved slowly, rhythmically, tapping and counting the time.
April. One month.
May. Two months.
June, July, August. Three, four, five months.
September. My birthday. It would’ve been nearly six months on my birthday.
October. November. December. It would’ve been a Christmas baby.
And then she’d count the years. One year. Then two years. Then three. Now four years– four years. She smiles weakly at the thought of the preschooler that should be tumbling into her bed this morning. And then she counts again for the beautiful two year old she should be snuggling too.
But then she hears the little cry, and counts once more. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven months since she finally held her healthy baby boy for the first time. And she knows she’ll never stop counting for her missing angel babies. But it hurts a little less with a living angel in her arms.