Four20 March 2013
It's an ordinary passage in an ordinary home, maybe six metres long.
It's the place where I painfully paced at the start of labour, your arrival beckoning. Up and down, up and down, your dad timing contractions and feeling helpless as he watched me writhe in pain.
It's where I flung myself down dramatically on the floor from exhaustion in the middle of the night in your first colicky weeks ; desperate for your incessant cries to stop.
It's where you practiced some of your first steps - your dad and I stationed at opposite ends, grinning like cheshire cats and spurring you on with parental pride as you wobbled back and forth between us.
Oh how you laughed delightedly as I chased you down that narrow strip, time and time again.
And on the morning of your departure, the only thing that came to mind was to pace up and down that passage, your rigid body foreign in my horrified arms; utterly desperate for you to cry again.
Your sister now shrieks with laughter and delight as I chase her naked body down the passage for bathtime.
We run up and down, up and down, up and down.
She excitedly points to the canvasses of you on the wall.
"Baba!" she exclaims.
I tell her that that's her older brother, Jude. I wonder when the questions will start. What will I say? Will 'dead' be amidst the arsenal of her first words?
What would you look like today? Would you and your sisters love each other? Would your sisters even be here if you hadn't left?
What was the point of it all? What is the point of it all?
It's so hard to picture you as four.