The child might have been a red-headed boy, full of laughs and trouble like his dad. His name would not have been John, despite a history of Johns in his paternal ancestry. No, nothing so plain as John for this little boy, although names are so much harder for boys. He might have been an Ezekiel, Zeek for short, or a Coltrane or maybe Miles or Gideon or any one of a dozen names. His energy and joy would have resounded through the house and his intelligent, insightful questions would have kept his father and I on our toes.
Or perhaps the child would have been a blonde girl, full of sweetness and light with a backbone of iron. She might have been named after my grandmother and great grandmother, Amelia Mae. Or perhaps she would have had a more whimsical name, like Indigo or Persephone. She would have been my light. Raised with cats, she would have loved them. She would have read and created – art, music, words. I can see her in my heart running and jumping and moving.
Perhaps there might even have been two, twins. The once foretold but never to be red-headed twin boys, each as wild and mischevious as each other, egging each other on, egged on even further by their father. Perhaps they would have had a sister whom they would have tormented mercilessly and protected fiercely.
I comfort myself that in some realities, somewhere in space and time, all of the above are in fact true. Somewhere, I have a daughter named Amelia. Somewhere I have sons. Somewhere illness and circumstance and luck and fertility treatments and life has not failed me. Somewhere I am not barren and without hope.
Somewhere, surely, the child that never was, is.