Four

There are four of you now.

Four children whom I will not be with this side of heaven.

One. Genesis Aria. My sweet baby girl. I got to hold you for an hour and forty-three minutes. Such a short time. But I will always remember the way your tiny, fork-prong-sized fingers grasped my enormous index finger with all the might you could muster. In that moment, you called me mama.

Two. Dorian Isaac. A wisp of a thought, gone before I really could process the thought of you existing. But still, my son. My first son.

Three. Rowan Iona. Again, gone before I knew it. I suspected. I felt the stirrings of you in the innermost parts of my soul. But the logic of life told me otherwise. Your life was confirmed to me even as you slipped away.

Four. We have not named you yet. But you were here, no doubt. Despite not being "planned," you were still my child, even if for a tiny moment in the lengthy life of the universe. And I still love you.

My chest is heavy this evening, and yet, I cannot quite shed a tear. Oh, the tears are there. I feel them. It's just that they are more like the dew that slowly seeps into the ground, nourishing the soil drop by drop, rather than a heavy downpour.

Four of you on the other side. And two here with me.

I love the two here with all my heart.

But they will never replace the four I lost.