Siblings I Never Knew

First draft:

I still wake to hear her crying
in the middle of the night
for her three lost babies
she could not kiss “good-night”

In reading mother and father’s correspondence with each other during and after the war, my sister discovered that in addition to the brother and sister who died within days to hours after their births, my mother also had a miscarriage. Our parents’ goal in life was to have a big family. What it must have felt like for the two of them, as the third out of the six pregnancies ended in the death of the child. In total, seven of us lived to adulthood. Our youngest sister died at age fifty-six of massive strokes while undergoing aggressive radiation and chemotherapy for cancer.