I imagine there is a family in this city, who had a daughter born on the 21st of March. I imagine that a midwife caught this baby, and a mother held this baby to her breast. I imagine a couple marvelling over what they had created. I imagine phone calls to family and friends. Dressing a baby. I imagine a mother and a father, born that instant.

You see, in my mind, up until the instant he was born, Gabriel was a little girl. She was a strawberry blonde, with my eyes and my nose, and her father's math smarts and red hair. She was fair and chubby and lovely. She was worth every moment of the acne and the nausea and the heartburn. In my mind, she would be handed to Mr. Spit and I, and the discomfort of the past nine months would pass away. We would be transformed.

My brain cannot conceive of understanding that there was not a family who received all the good fortune that Mr. Spit and I somehow missed. My mind cannot reconcile the joy of that little girl's birth, and the sorrow and joy that comprised Gabriel's birth. In the memory of a darkened, too quiet, broken by sobs, hospital room, with a note on the door, telling everyone to not enter, in a room punctuated by frantic activity, and a too short time to say goodbye, in that memory, I must remember that other family.

I imagine this family, tonight, last Saturday night, as we went to taste of Edmonton. I both want to see this child, and not want to see this child. I do not know what to expect - I have loaned away all of my books on childhood development. I do not want to know what my child should have done at 126 days old. I do not wish to imagine sitting up or smiling or coo'ing.

Gabriel is my son, and I love him. I hold my hand up to the scrapbook page with his tiny feet. I stroke my finger along the page, and I am thankful for the plastic that protects precious photographs from my tears; however much I would like to feel his flesh on mine.

But I imagine this little girl. My mind cannot conceive that someone did not receive her as a gift from the heaven's. But she is not my child. She was not the baby I received. She is out of sync with where I am.

I have felt strangely out of sync this year. I expected to give birth as Mary was letting her son die. Instead, I brought forth my babe as she was bringing forth hers. And as I read the story of the Magi, I am disturbed by the gifts the Magi brought her son. Gold for a king, frankincense for a holy one, and Myrrh - the herb used to anoint the dead. I wonder if she knew the path of sorrows she was walking down. I had no idea.

I am surprised by how little I remember of Easter this year. Lent passed with fasting on my part, but not my previous, intentional fasting on Fridays. Mine was the fasting of someone who could not figure out how to eat. Who was bewildered that as my world had fallen apart, my body would still demand to be fed. It was, frankly, often too overwhelming to eat.

And now I am in what the church calls ordinary time. The vestments are green, and this is ordinary time. But, there has been nothing ordinary about my year. And so, I think of this other family. Who live an ordinary life. Who received the good fortune I missed. And I wonder. Do they know?