We’re getting close to three months since the accident, and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I wanted to write a three month letter to Zainab. I'm not having a dig at those who write letters to their living children - god knows if she'd lived I would have been right on the bandwagon. It is a beautiful idea, that's why I just wanted a little taste of it, even though it isn't quite the same when your baby isn't here to record all the new amazing things they learned and you learnt about them in a month. But this is part of my task here, to accept that I don't get any more time here on earth with her.
It could go like this: (please excuse my attempt at humour - we do like to try and crack jokes in between the weeping. Ha boo hoo ha.)
My darling girl,
I’m trying to work out how big you might be, if this was your three month birthday rather than three months since you died. We saw a baby today on our way back from the market, probably a bit more on the newborn side than you would be by now. You'll be happy to know that I still haven't seen any baby that comes near you in the looks department, and we seem to be surrounded by them at the moment. They're lovely, they're sweet, but they're not you.
I’m hoping that wherever you are, in the non-denominational, vaguely agnostic Good Place where I like to think you might be “living the dream”, you are growing and learning. Those little legs would be filling out, and maybe you are giving your godparents some smiles, starting to focus on their faces and grin gummily at them. God, I wish we were there to see you and hold you, my love. I wish I could be feeding you and feeling some pride and amazement in your increasing fatness. El Prima would be making faces at you, doing her expert babymama thing, teaching you arabic.
But enough about your milestones, let’s talk about mine! I can now bend my knee well over 100 degrees. Woo hoo. And my quadricep muscle now responds when I want to move it. I can get in and out of bed without doing that weird robot-leg move I had to do before. We’re going for big walks – to and from the shops, around the park, with only one crutch – and I won’t need that for much longer. We’re sleeping through the night a lot more than last month. I think I’ll be starting my new job next month – beginning part-time and working my way up to full time by July.
Your sisters miss you. They are making friends at their new school, and have freaked them out showing them photos of our wrecked car. They were all geared to be the best babysitters ever, I hope you know that.
I won’t write you a letter every month, I hope you’ll understand. But I love you and think about you every day.
With all my love, xxxxx h
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