The phone call comes just after 5 on Tuesday afternoon. My sister, who is 38 weeks pregnant, has lost her baby. The news is unbelievable. I was just with my sister, hours earlier, at the salon, both of us sitting side by side under the heater, our hair wrapped in foil. "You two are sitting the exact same way!" the stylist remarked. We had looked at each other and laughed, our crossed legs and folded arms mirror images, our sisterhood affirmed.
I leave my kids with my husband and head for my sister's house. I merge onto the congested freeway and head south. It is an unbelievably beautiful autumn day. I lurch along, my mind congested with one thought. Questions will come later. Now I am stumped by this fiction masquerading as fact. My sister has lost her baby. It cannot be.
When I reach the point of the mountain, the traffic slows to a dead stop. Ahead, where a bluff breaks the monotony of blue sky, a dozen or so daring souls are hang-gliding. It is a thing of fantasy, this scene, and I wonder at these colorful sails before me, neither flying or falling, but suspended mid-air.
The traffic picks up and I continue down the road, toward my sister and heartache and unspeakable pain. For a moment I am soothed by the sight of these floating creatures, neither angels or demons, but mere humans propped up by make-shift wings.