Last night, I attended our local support group Christmas program for lost babies. It's a beautiful service: songs, poems, and a candle lit for the name of each baby.
While we were waiting for the program to begin, my mother was telling me about her grandmother (my great-grandmother). My mother never knew her: she died when my grandfather was 16. But when my grandfather was born, his sister, who was 3 years old at the time, was sick in the other room with dyphtheria (a word so unused that the blogger spell check does not have it in the lexicon. But I checked the spelling. Twice).
The last word that his 3 year-old sister said was "baby" when she heard my grandfather's first cry.
My grandfather lost three siblings in all. My great-grandmother had three children who died.
During the program, I cried for Nathaniel. I cried for my great-grandmother, and wondered how in the world she made it through. I cried for my grandfather, too.