Dias de los Muertos

When Death Appeared


         “Shot, mommy! Shot!” My two year old came dancing over, bubbling with excitement. Day after day my husband would don plastic gloves, and begin the chemistry that was preparing hormones to make my womb more fetus friendly; while Lily would ‘Help.’ He would carefully draw the concoction up into the syringe, then send lily for me.


         “Ouch!” she would exclaim as the needle pierced my flesh.


“Okay, now we give mommy kisses,” and my daughter and husband would put a kiss on their fingertips and press it gently over the cotton they were holding to my teeny, tiny syringe-sized wound.


         We had been trying to give Lily a little sister for a long time now, and this was our only hope. After many, many shots and several Doctor’s appointments, finally the little stick turned blue; advising us that the baby was on its way! Nobody was more overjoyed than my daughter. She would talk about her new baby sister and pat my tummy. We were so happy.


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         I was at Church the day I saw him; black cowl covering that awesome and terrifying face. Glancing around at the congregation, it became obvious that my eyes were the only ones to perceive him. He waited at the back of the church, so I avoided him, leaving through the side door.


Grim and forbidding, Death found me in the memorial garden. “No, no, please. I need to be there for Lily. I need to raise my child” I pleaded. “She is only two, what will she do without a mother?” I ended on my knees.


         “I must do my job,” Death replied. “But I will not take you.” And he glided through the garden and out of sight.


Overwhelmed with relief, sobbing and thanking both God and Death, I began to notice emptiness. A soul had been substituted for mine; there was no life left in my womb.  

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