Instead of falling back asleep after Baby Girl nursed this morning I am up and running. Trash out, two hand-me-down air conditioners moved from upstairs to down, kitty litter cleaned. Coffee half decaf today. If I am going to drink it all day I must compromise.
Fourteen of my father's old shirts are in the middle of my living room floor. My brother is having a baby. Naming him after my father. The shower is Saturday and I am making a quilt. From these shirts. From Richard. For Richard.
I never called my father Richard. Most called him Rick. I heard someone call him Dick in the supermarket once and decided then that I didn't like the name. It didn't worry me since I never used it. But after he died and I didn't know which kind the baby in my belly was I felt guilty, like maybe I should think of it. Like it is the right thing to do.
Funny that last day he was conscious, just barely. Monthly check-up in the morning, happy to be just about iver the miscarriage-hump, 12 weeks and hurrah! Celebratory sandwich at the Grange, mostly to see Zac, and when I finally got home 12 messages on the machine. He's not doing well. They're rushing him home in an ambulance to die. They don't think he'll make it that long. Meet at the house. Go to Mass General.
He wasn't talking anymore when we got there but was smiling and squeezing hands and when I told him the baby was fine, heard a heartbeat, this one is going to make it he squeezed my hand and smiled. Tear in his eye. He was so happy I was pregnant.
Now my baby is asleep across the room. The silly aqua and white shirt with the knit collar is on top of the pile. I am making a quilt for Richard out of it and for the life of me I can't do it. The Porter line will continue. What the hell does that mean? Last names. City officials shake my brother's hand, recognize him by name. And they will do the same for his baby- pay reverence to the name. As Abigail sleeps in near anonymity.
I've got to take scissors to the shirts on the floor. Cut them up. Make something new. I wish I had religion right now, that I believed he is somewhere looking down on what I am doing. That he sees Abigail in her cradle. That he's seen her smile. She's cooing now, in her sleep. I've got to go.