The girl in the photograph

Annie was one half of identical twins. Her mother didn’t know she was carrying twins. Annie was born on the first day of spring, early 1950s.  Her sister had died weeks before, her body poisoning the amniotic fluid. After she was born Annie’s mother was told Annie wouldn’t live very long. It may be days, may be weeks, but she was told not to expect her daughter making it through the first year.

After the twins birth the hospital chaplain came to christen Annie, for she may not survive very long. Despite church (and hospital) policies the chaplain christened the stillborn as well. So they could be together in death. This meant the stillborn girl could be buried in the family grave.

Despite what the doctors had said, Annie turned out to be stronger than anyone thought. She survived her first few days, weeks and even months. She lived to celebrate her first and second birthday. On her third birthday she was in hospital.
The photograph shows a tiny little girl in a hospital bed way too big for her. On the bedside table is a piece of cake with three candles burning. Annie is looking into the camera with a laugh on her face. Her heart-shaped face, surrounded by blonde curly hair is glowing with excitement. But her body lies stiff, she’s unable to move anything but her head.

About five months after the photograph was taken Annie’s tiny body gave up. Her mother held her in her arms when she died. Annie’s body was buried in the same grave as her sisters four days later.

The photograph clearly shows a little angel. An angel too beautiful and too good to ever stay long on this earth.

This story is a mixture of facts and fiction. The photograph exists, the girl in it died very young. She really was an angel, the photographs show that very clearly. But her name is not Annie.
I wrote this post for the Daily Post Writing Challenge.

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