Thirteen years have passed. More than an entire decade. Not that I thought I would ever forget, but the remembering still surprises me. April 26th would have been her birthday, and every year for the past thirteen, I remember.
I kept the small blanket I wanted to wrap her in, a pale yellow with a tiny print of animals on the edge. In my excitement of learning the news I had purchased it. It seemed a frivolous buy for someone so careful with their money. It lays silently now in a wooden chest that smells of cedar never knowing the warmth of its intended body.
That same chest holds my hospital bracelet, the sonogram picture, and a little angel shaped box lined with blue velvet. 'Mathia" is etched on the lid in flowing script. I suppose those are all representations of her death, but I keep them because I have nothing of her life. So brief, her life, like wisps of smoke that disappear into the air once the fire is gone. I never saw her face, but I know it was beautiful.
I like the remembering and the new tears I let myself cry. Her life was real. Her death was real. I place my fingers on the pulse of my loss and feel the pounding. It's still alive. I'm still alive.
I believe one day I will see her. I will hold her. That's when my arms will finally stop their aching.