The perfect gift of love. Her arrival date was Christmas Day. Her funeral date was not much later. She lived and died inside of me. I cradled her silent body, kissed her sleeping eyes, and hung tight until she was taken away. My baby. My gift. My love.
Mince pies filled the air, laughter, lights, out-of-tune carols, and the tearing of paper. Everything was bright, though the colour had faded for me and Matt. Our angel would have been a year older today. She would have shone like the star on top of our tree.
Sammy rolled around under the Christmas tree, crushing the presents with his long body, his giggle creasing my laughter lines. I stroked his reindeer sleepsuit, his eyes meeting mine. He was growing up too quickly. Time was passing. She would have adored her little brother.
We watched as the snow fell past our window. Sammy’s first snowfall. Each flake brought him so much joy. ‘No! No!’. He couldn’t manage the ‘s’. The gentle lullaby of Silent Night hung in the air, and for a moment I thought I heard her voice singing along.
Candles flickered in the lounge that was warmed by a roaring fire. Grandparents snored as The Snowman played for Sammy on the television. Aunts, uncles, and cousins guffawed as they played a board game. Matt and I stood out on our decking in the bitter cold, gazing up at the inky night sky and at the stars that pushed through the darkness. Would we meet her again one day?
I kissed Sammy’s forehead as he slept, exhausted from another Christmas Day. Five years had passed. I was pregnant again. Inside me, another life was forming. Another gift. The angel decoration hung on our tree, the one we bought for our darling girl. We may have lost our baby, but heaven gained her. Our daughter may have missed out on meeting her family for now, but she gained a direct ticket to heaven without knowing any sadness of the world. The perfect gift of love.