As the years passed, Monica and I both married. She was busy with her career, and growing vegetables year-round in warm, sunny Florida. I chose to start my family and to stay in New Hampshire. I was way ahead of her as far as babies went too.
When we would get together, Monica would take one of my two little boys and pretend he was hers. She was great with my children. My youngest, her godchild, would climb on her lap to hear the same story, The Fuzzy Bunny, read over and over again. They often would cuddle and read while a stack of books would surround them. I always knew Monica would be a great mom. She longed for babies of her own, but her body thought otherwise.
remember one particular day we spoke on the phone. I felt a little guilty...I had just found out that I had “number three” growing inside me. I wondered how I could say anything to Monica; I wasn’t even planning on this.
I was so conflicted about whether to tell her or not. As our conversation continued, Monica casually mentioned that she was pregnant. Before my thoughts could stop my tongue, a “me too!” slipped out. We giggled and tripped over our words as we shared our exciting news. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect: best friends having babies together. This would be so much fun. Through the months, we both learned we were having girls. I was due one week ahead of her, on Easter Sunday.
The snow was melting and I could feel spring in the air. I decided to make the three-hour trip to visit her. (I am so happy that she lives closer now!) We enjoyed a wonderful visit. I felt her daughter’s kicks and could see how big she was getting by the size of Monica’s belly.
“I wonder what she looks like,” Monica said inquisitively to me. I told her she will be the most beautiful thing she will ever see. She rolls her eyes at me like I am the biggest sap in the world.
“I bet she will have long eyelashes, like her dad,” she said with a smile.
“Probably. And brown hair like you. And she will be holding a plum,” I joked sarcastically, making us giggle at the memory.
As I got ready to head home, we looked at each other and realized that the next time we saw one another we would both be holding our daughters.
Driving home, I thought about my friend and the incredible experience that was awaiting her. Even though I could see the love she has for this unborn baby, I knew that she would soon understand the overwhelming feeling of becoming a mom. I felt so happy for Monica.
Back at home, I woke up extra early one Sunday morning by the screams of delight that accompany the annual visit of the Easter Bunny. I waddled to the flurry of excitement. My boys were scampering here and there, collecting brightly colored, candy-filled eggs. My thoughts were distant, as that day was my due date, and I so wanted that birth over. I felt as large as a circus tent and my arms longed to hold my little girl.
I wondered how Monica was doing. I knew it was early, but she probably couldn’t sleep anyways, so I decided to call her. Much to my surprise, the phone rang and rang.
I wonder where she is? Could she have had her baby? Why wouldn’t she have called me?
I am easily distracted from my thoughts as my little boys go dashing by. They are full of sugar; a breakfast full of red, yellow, and orange jelly beans. The rest of the day was uneventful and, even though I tried throughout the day, I was unsuccessful at reaching my friend.
Three days later I was feeling anxious, overly sensitive and secretly worried about Monica. At this point, I was unnerved when I called her house...the phone just kept ringing. Later that evening, after reading To the Moon and Back for the hundredth time, I tuck my little cherubs into bed. Exhausted, I decided to turn in early myself. I prepared a cup of hot tea and thought, “I should just enjoy this moment – a quiet house, and two sleeping children, all is peaceful.”
I was startled out of my thoughts by the loud ringing of the phone. The caller ID instantly relieved me. It’s Monica!
Before I could even tell her how worried I had been, I can hear something in her voice. Something is terribly wrong. Through her shaky, choked tone Monica tells me she delivered her baby on Easter Sunday. She tried to tell me some of the horrifying details, but her words go through me like a sword. Nothing is staying with me. Except one thing, “She had beautiful, long eyelashes and brown hair.”