I believe in angels. I believe that babies are angels. Anyone that has ever had a child I think will agree with me. They teach us patience, kindness, laughter, and how to find joy in the little things. The fact that a baby is born at all is itself a miracle. Sometimes babies grow out of their angel wings and sometimes they do not.
When I was a baby my parents had a son. He lived for 6 days. While I was visiting my mom this past weekend she gave me the information on where he is buried. My little family is dwindling and she felt that it was important that I have this information.
I remember going with her as a child. She went every year on his birthday. I always new this was a time to be quiet and be gentle. I remember the view. I remember the flags blowing in the wind. Most of all I remember my mom crying - but not really understanding. I remember wishing he had lived so she wouldn't cry and so that I would have someone to play with.
Eventually my mom stopped going to the cemetery. She got to a point where she felt it was OK and was able to stop. Since she had passed the information on to me I felt compelled to go. It was time. It was my responsibility. I should go at least once. I would pick up some flowers and leave them. I would say a prayer and take a moment.
I was not prepared.
I didn't really have trouble finding the area called "Baby Land". Even without the carefully written information I could have found the plot. I knew where I was and where I was going. I stopped the car, rolled down the window in case Fiona woke up, got out and walked four plots in.
I kneeled down, ran my fingers over the stone, set the flowers down and started to cry. I said "I'm sorry little one. I'm sorry your little body was not strong enough" and I cried. I looked around and I felt the wind and heard the absolute silence. There was no sound of traffic, no birds, and no other voices. I saw some of the stones around me, some of them with only one date on it. And I cried harder.
As a mother I cried.
For my mother I cried.
I kneeled in this place surrounded by angels and sobbed. I don't know how long I sat there before I could stop long enough to even catch my breath.
I ran my hand over the stone again and said a silent Thank You to the person who takes care of that place. There was not a blade of grass out of place and there was not a single scratch on his stone. I couldn't figure out how to stick the flowers in the ground. I felt inept. Eventually I just laid them on top and left. I had to sit in my car and try to gain my composure. I had to call a friend to be able to do that enough to drive.
I will go back. As often as I am in town I will go back. I have not even been able to get through writing this without crying but I will go back. When it is time I will pass this knowledge on to my children so that there is always someone who knows where this particular angel's body was laid to rest.