sewingmachine“Are you buying these for a special occasion?” the clerk asked as she rang up the three polka-dot sundresses I’d handed her.

Her friendly smile begged me to respond. I wanted to respond. Yet her large baby bump made me hesitate. You see, I was buying them for a special occasion — just not the kind of event one eagerly shares with an expectant mother.

Two months earlier, I too had been pregnant. The thing is, my “bump” never did appear. In that first trimester, something went wrong. Our fourth child’s heart stopped beating. We learned that the little one we’d expected to meet wouldn’t greet us this side of heaven. And so, here I was, buying dresses for my other daughters to wear to that baby’s memorial service.

I hoped a one-word answer would suffice. “Yes,” came my reply.

“I bought one as an Easter dress for next year,” she shared, eagerly continuing the conversation. With that, I decided to simply be honest. After all, this fellow mother had opened up her world to me.

“I’m buying them for a memorial service at the hospital,” I explained. “I had a miscarriage recently.”

“I’m sorry,” she offered.

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