Three picture frames were piled at the edge of the dining room table. Linus picked up on of the frames and gazed at the sepia print of a small baby. Unsure, he showed me the picture and asked, "Who is that?"
My heart stopped.
As much as I want to climb to the rooftop and scream their names to the heavens, I cannot even say their names aloud without my voice catching in my throat.
"That's Bennett," I managed to say. Kneeling down next to Linus, I said, "He is your brother." I reached up and grabbed the second frame, "This is Elijah. He is your brother, too." Then, I grabbed a picture of my oldest son, Evan, placed the three frames side by side and said, "You have three brothers." Unfazed, Linus gave each of the "babies" a kiss and went back to playing with his toys.
I am not sure how much he understood, but then again, I think he knows his brothers. Those little boys were only here for a brief moment, but their spirit lives on in our home.
Whenever a dragonfly hovers overhead for a few minutes longer than it should, I feel them near.
Every time Linus starts running towards something he is not supposed to be doing, he trips and falls, but he never gets hurt.
I smile as I imagine Bennett tripping Linus, and Elijah grabbing the back of his waistband to make sure he doesn't fall too hard.
It's a nice story, unfortunately, it's all I have.
Linus has three brothers.