The newborn was placed in her arms, a tiny, red-faced prune-like creature.
A boy. Timothy.
So many years ago she had held a baby just like this for the first time.
But she knew this was not her child, yet it was, and she felt confused.
Too many people, too many faces.
Not all that long ago she’d held a baby girl in her embrace, then this gift of a child was repeated over and over, all girls. And now a boy they called Timothy.
Too many, too many.
She started to cry.
Angry tears of frustration, venting her loss…………. of something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Smiling faces, flashing lights, instructions to watch some stupid bird she could not see.
Holding the babe to her bosom, she thought ‘Too many, not Timothy. Way too many’.
Her head hurt.
She couldn’t grasp it, that elusive presence that drifted to the surface only to disperse like vapour in the wind rather than linger and register in her mind.
The harder she tried, the more difficult it became to capture its image.
Too many things. Too many voices fading in and out. Too much going on.
In a quiet moment, she drifts off to sleep, retreating to yesteryear and her memories, when her mind was whole.
Her first-born, a son, followed by girl less than a year later.
A daughter five years after that, then her youngest, another girl, after a gap of ten years.
Weddings and laughter, more babies, more weddings and suddenly another generation to take up valuable space in her heart, a heart already filled and stretched to capacity.
Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now another line of offspring in Timothy.
No room, no room. Something has to give, be sacrificed.
Too many Timothy, too many.
She wakes, and can’t remember her dreams.
The family gather around the infant lying peacefully in his crib.
She looks and sees the shared genes in her descendants, scanning decades in a matter of seconds.
Familiar faces merge into one person at various ages and stages in life.
Too many, too confusing and she’s suddenly frightened.
Who are all these people? Where have they come from? Why are they here?
Yet she senses someone is missing.
She searches the sea of smiles, but The One she’s looking for is not there.
Why is that? Where is she? Who is she? Where’s my Baby?
As the man-child is lifted and placed back in her arms, her thought process flitters away.
Too Many suffocated The One she wanted to remember.