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Into the Light

by Jennifer Walmsley

I’m spinning in complete darkness apart from one tiny dot of light that blinks at regular intervals and I can hear a baby’s cry which recedes into a distant bleat like a new born lamb calling for its mother. Now the light grows bigger and starts to pulsate and a shadowy but recognisable figure emerges.

“Your baby needs you, Tidge.” My grandmother uses her pet name for me and I feel her deep love in her celery-scented embrace. I want to stay with her, talk and laugh with her but she keeps whispering, “Go back. Too soon. Too soon.”

And as the light widens, erasing darkness, her fingers, like a silky caress, stroke my cheek, stemming frozen tears. Then she diminishes and the light diminishes with her and I’m spinning backwards into darkness until the rotations slow and come to a gentle stop.

At the squeeze on my hand, I open my eyes to meet the fraught gaze of my husband. “Thank God,” he utters as relief swamps his features. A nurse hurries over, checks a tube where blood runs down to a needle stuck into my left arm.

Then a clutch of panic has me croaking through dry lips, “My baby! Where’s my baby?’

My husband stands. Leans over. Kisses my forehead, saying, “Our little girl is well. She looks just like that photo of your grandmother when she was a baby.”

Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Walmsley

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