"Hi, can we come in?" Gloria whispered as she half opened the door to the recovery room in the hospital. They had finally arrived and now it was time for everyone to meet the baby. Andrew glanced up from the little girl in his arms and nodded for them to come in. "Yeah come in. She's asleep." He added as he motioned to the hospital bed, where Monica still slept soundly, as though dead to the world around her. He didn't know whether it was because she was asleep or because she had just had a baby, but as he looked down at her, Andrew suddenly thought Monica looked even more beautiful than she had before.
Everyone gasped in shock and disbelief when they entered the room and laid eyes upon the tiny infant in Andrew's arms. He smiled as a sign of agreement and gently handed the baby over to Abby, who already had tears in her eyes at the sight of her daughter. "Hi baby." She greeted the child in a choked voice before the tears spilled over her bottom eyelids. Mike glanced over her shoulder and saw his daughter for the first time as well. It was only moments before he too, welled up.
Tess took one look at the baby and smiled appreciatively, but she then turned her attention over to her baby, who had now awakened in the bed and lay watching them with the little girl she had delivered. Tears of mixed feelings suddenly threatened her throat again as she watched. Before all she had been thinking about was her little girl, but now it had suddenly hit her as a cruel reminder that it wasn't her little girl. She very suddenly realized that she would have to say goodbye soon and she felt proud that she had done that for Abby and Mike, but she also felt something else. A deep sorrow at the thought of the fact that she may never see her baby again.
But then Tess came over to her and seated herself on the bedside, knowing just what Monica must have been feeling. Monica took one look at her old supervisor before the tears began to fall freely again, and she threw herself into Tess' arms, sobbing openly into her supervisor's shoulder. Tess held her little angel girl for a long moment while she cried, suddenly feeling tears of her own beginning to tighten in her throat. "Oh, baby. I know. I know shh." Tess comforted as she rubbed her trainee's back while she still held her in an almost protective embrace.
It was then that everyone else realized what was going on and approached the bed as well. Mike glanced down at the tearful angel gratefully when she had finally pulled away from Tess. "We really can't thank you enough. You're amazing." He told her with such sincerity in his eyes that Monica knew he was honest. He had to be. Abby listened to her husband before nodding in agreement. Monica managed a small smile but when her eyes shifted down from Abby's gaze to the little girl in the human's arms, an entirely new set of tears spilled over her cheeks again.
Now it was Gloria's turn to speak up. "I'm sorry we didn't make it on time and we feel really bad that you had to do this alone." She told Monica honestly as she seated herself on the opposite side of the bed from Tess. But now Monica glanced up with a glassy gaze at her pupil and was quick to correct her. "It's alright Gloria. I wasn't alone." She then glanced up at Andrew with a meaningful smile before continuing. "Andrew stayed with me the entire time." She informed her charge in a quiet voice barely audible, though she still didn't take her eyes off of Andrew. Gloria then turned from her supervisor to the Angel of Death with an impressed expression. "Really?" She confirmed, seeming a little surprised by the announcement, but Andrew nodded assuringly and smiled in return. "Yeah. I was here and I saw the whole thing. It was amazing." He replied in airy voice as if he knew he was talking, but his mind was somewhere else as he spoke to Gloria, but still stared at Monica.
Gloria then turned back to her supervisor. "What was it like?" She inquired wondrously, as no angel had ever experienced such a thing before and she was dying to know. Monica's tears had ceased now and she managed another smile before replying. "Oh, Gloria, you can't even imagine." She responded in that same breezy voice Andrew had used as she shifted her gaze from her trainee to the baby still resting in Abby's arms.
It was then that Abby and Mike exchanged brief glances and nodded and if in some sort of silent agreement. It was then that Abby spoke up. "Monica, we discussed this on the way here and…well…we would be honored if you would name the baby." She announced happily to Monica, who was a little taken aback at first by the request, but nodded and smiled in a reassurance that she would be happy to do so. But then Abby had something to add as an after thought. "Just so, you know, there will always be something left of you in her. A legacy if you want to call it that. So that when we call her name we will always remember what a wonderful gift you gave us." She informed the angel carefully, trying to remember the exact words of the discussion she and her husband had about this.
But Monica felt the need to correct her. "Well, she's not a gift from me. She's not my child or your child, she's God's child and His gift to you." She told the Tuckers proudly. But then suddenly, Monica felt as though a tornado had wiped her clean of all the horrible feelings she had before about giving the baby up. She had helped Abby and Mike as much as she had helped herself and now she knew it would always be okay. And perhaps, someday, by the grace of God, she would see her little girl again. And it was then that the name came to her. She knew it already.
"What do you two think of the name Eliza for the wee one." Monica suggested with a confident smile as she wiped one last tear away from her hazel eyes. At first she wasn't sure if the couple would like it, but now, seeing the expressions on their faces, she knew they approved, as the name fit just perfectly and Monica felt the need to explain her choice. "It means consecrated to God." She told them in a satisfied manner. Abby and Mike exchanged confirming glances, but it was clear that they both loved it. And so it was. Little Eliza Tucker would go home with her parents and Monica would cry herself to sleep in many nights to follow. But she always knew that eventually, the tears would run dry and it wasn't a sin to grieve, but she would someday accept what had happened and who knows? Perhaps someday she would meet Eliza again. But for now, she belonged with Abby and Mike, for Monica was God's child and she would move on, but she would never forget little Eliza Tucker.