A Sunday to Remember



I remember swaying in the hard rocking chair, reading stories to her as a baby and having her fall asleep in her soft and fuzzy footy pajamas. There is nothing like having a baby fall asleep on you. The feeling of dead weight on my crest as she pushes against me, as she breaths in and out. Gazing down and thinking “how precious”, as you listen to her slow rhythmic breathing. There is something that is so up lifting of having a child sleeping on you, the sense of pride you take in yourself. A child knows a refuge when it sees one, a safe place to sleep, and be taken care of.
As I glimpse around Abby’s room from the old wooden rocker, I see the pastel purple walls, and white furniture, and all the bold colored toys brightening the day. Just sitting in a child’s room makes you the superhero you always knew you would be. You have the power to do or be anything you want.
Glancing at the wall above her bed I see the poster from the day she was born. It captures all the major events from that year, like the cost of items and fashion, top news stories, and famous people who share her birthday. Of course it talks about her weight, height, and other physical characteristics. The Sunday she was born, I remember being woken up by my sister Erika frantically crying, “There is someone with white hair sitting on the couch and mom and dad are not here.” I climbed down the stairs with by tiger in hand, my heart in my throat, my mind racing viciously trying to figure out who it could be. My feet found no comfort on the icy cold tile I held my tiger for deer life as I approached the family room peering around the corner I saw the woman, and to my relief it was Mrs. Olsen, a long time family friend. She explained to Erika and I that mom and dad had called at 4:30 a.m. saying mom was going to need to go to the hospital and wanted her to come over and watch us. We just sat waiting for my brother to get up so we could go to the Olsen’s house because my best friend, Amber, was waiting for us. The most agonizing hours of my life have to be the ones I spent waiting for the phone to ring, and the voice that responds is my dad saying we have a sister. I could not find anything that would distract me long enough to keep my heart from racing and my mind from playing the what if game. Once that phone call was received we had to wait for the second phone call, the call that said mom and Abby are ready to have visitors.
The sterile clammy hospital smell hits me as we walked through the big sliding glass hospital doors. My dad explains to us that we needed to be silent to avoid disturbing anyone. My siblings and I could only touch her through the tiny hole by her back because she was on oxygen and was in this little dome to help her breathing and keep her from the outside world. I remember the first time I saw Abby. She was this tiny baby in a huge diaper asleep with this spikey red thin hair. Her skin had a reddish tint to it as if she had been outside for too long and was cold.
I walked through the doors into the room with the big glass viewing window; I heard all kinds of strange beeps coming from all the different machines and monitors. I could feel my heart beating slow and steady as I approached my sister’s dome. Gazing at my new sister, I was overcome by an awe I had never felt before, I don’t know if it was pride I felt or if I was just overwhelmed by all the beeping sounds. I stuck my right hand through the hole in the side and with two fingers and touched her back. She was softer than the inside of a brand new hoodie.
Taped to Abby’s bedroom door, are some of her latest masterpieces. Most of the time the papers are just covered with scribbles and blotches of color and only Abby knows what they are. On the occasion the blotches and scribbles make something one can identify. Abby loves to let the creativity flow and enjoys making lots of pictures. I like to say that she gets it from me. She has always admired my artworks and enjoys helping me create works of art.
Abby appears in the doorway. In her blanket. She has managed to fit her body through the side of the blanket where the seam is torn. At first I just kind of stare and then I realize she doesn’t have any clothes on so I question her, “what are you doing?”
“Nothing” she responds trying not to laugh.
“Abby are you not wearing any clothes?”
“No, I have my blanket on.”
She waddles away and I hear her slide down the stairs like a sack of potatoes.