By Chad Smith
Your Mommy looked beautiful that humid summer night. Her sheer nightgown was almost translucent in the candle light while she floated around your crib like an angel. The gold crucifix around her neck sparkled when the light would catch it. She gently hummed “Amazing Grace” as she gazed down at you lying there.
Tears are gathering in the corners of my eyes just thinking about her that night. She was gorgeous.
Her long hair was a little more frazzled than usual. Her eyes were bloodshot and wide, but she continued to lovingly stare at you while she danced around your room.
I remember standing in the doorway. The bars of your crib cast long shadows across the tattered wallpaper. You were silent and still in the darkness and your Mommy was happy because you had finally stopped crying.
You were sick back then.
I wasn’t there when Mommy found out. She told me later.
But that night she was happy and her happiness is what I live for. I watched her twirl in a circle as she started singing another hymn. “Jesus is Real” was the one. It had a faster tempo. Her spinning matched the song. She wiped the glistening sweat from her forehead and left a thin trail of blood above her unkempt eyebrows. I constantly told her to stop biting her nails.
She said she would try.
I remember she bent over your crib and smiled at you. She was no longer singing and it was so quiet in your room that I dared not breathe. She touched your delicate lips with a long slender finger. Blood from her chewed fingertip painted a bright lipstick on your tiny lips.
“Thank you Jesus,” she murmured, then kissed you softly on the head. That was my cue.
As I walked toward the backyard with you cradled in my arms I noticed a small birthmark behind your right ear. I had a few birthmarks as well. Angel kisses my mother called them. We had those in common, but not much else. You looked just like your Mommy. Beautiful, just like her.
Mommy looked dazzling that night. Her nightgown looked almost translucent while she danced around in the moonlight. The summer’s heat caused it to stick to her alluring form in every erotic and supple curve. I was transfixed watching her. She was as beautiful as the angels that spoke to her.
She was happy in that moment. I would do anything to make her happy. I would do anything to keep her.
I remembered thinking how deeply I loved your Mommy as I lowered you into the hole I dug in our backyard.