I want to share something that seems unbelievable, but it's magical to me. It's part of my story.

When I gave birth to Isabel, it was Carly that was affected the most (at least outwardly). She was seven at the time. a baby herself, still in a totally magical innocent place, she had been the one to lay her head on my belly and talk to her each morning and night. Her little sister. Alive and kicking as she sang and played beside her. So when she died, Carly couldn't really grasp it. She cried with her sisters when we came home from my dreaded last doctor appointment and told the girls, but it wasn't until she came to the hospital room after I gave birth to Isabel that she really understood. She saw her long-awaited baby sister in the bassinet, swaddled, and squealed with delight. When her daddy stopped her and said, "No, sweetheart. She's gone." Carly fell to her knees, crumpled and broken, and sobbed. Chuck had to carry her out of the room to console her. It broke my heart; her sorrow and her lost innocence. 

Fast forward 15 years. Carly is pregnant, and on the exact schedule I was with Isabel. Same conception date, same due date, with a girl. She even gives her baby-to-be the middle name Joy, just like Isabel's. 

I was there for the birth. so was her daddy. Acacia Joy came on the exact day of Isabel's due date. There was a rainbow in the sky, clear and bright, as we drove to the hospital that morning; the most perfect sign. I felt every emotion under the sun that day. my daughter giving birth to my first granddaughter. Full circle. Chuck had to sit back by the window streaming with rain and he cried. For our own lost baby girl, and now for the bliss of new life. Overwhelming, but somehow unbelievably perfect.

Now, Acacia Joy is 18 months old. She and I have a special bond. We speak without words. her heart and mine are entangled. She has the auburn hair I always pictured Isabel having. And lately, she started doing this thing, where she gets the ceramic angel we have in the front yard that has always been next to Isabel's magnolia tree that we got in her memory so many years ago, and she carries it to the front porch step. Everyone freaks out because they think she will drop it, but with my eyes I tell her it's okay. she sets it down and sits next to it. Then, she says "Gigi" to me and pats the space next to her. I go. Acacia puts her left arm around angel Isabel, and her tiny right hand on my thigh. connecting us. She smiles, and I kiss her red curls on the top of her head. I try not to cry, because really, I am just very happy. Then she calls "Mama" and wants Carly to sit next to me. She waits for her to sit down beside us, and reaches to touch her mommy's thigh too. The four of us sit, in a row, holding hands on my concrete front porch step in the summer sunlight, all touching each other. 
As if this, right here, was how it was always supposed to be.

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