Two years ago, and quite appropriately on the “Day of Heaven and Hell” my youngest daughter made her way into this world. She was born quietly without complication after a relatively short labor and easy delivery due to our doctor having the sense to leave the bag of water intact which cushions and protects both the baby’s head and your opening cervix while in labor.
She was tiny, a couple of weeks premature, but still rosy pink and healthy with big, bright, grey eyes that could look straight through you. She also had the most beautiful golden hair. It was not blond, or ginger or strawberry. The nurses and doctors all agreed that they had never seen a baby with hair that was precisely the color of… Gold.
We had not decided on a name, so that night as she and I snuggled in the hospital bed, I typed the word “golden” into a baby name website because I thought Goldilocks would be hard to live with. It came back with Oriel: Golden Angel of Destiny. It is pronounced like this adorable little bird which I thought was lovely because one of the many things her father and I had in common and bonded over was bird watching. He could hear and spot birds everywhere and was eager to share his discoveries and knowledge. I loved that world we shared, and I will always treasure those beautiful quiet, moments with him. Her name is a constant reminder of one the many reasons I loved him so much.
Also, it should not be confused with the delicious but almost entirely poison little cookie. I have actually had to clarify that for several people because they thought it might be her name. Which always leaves me perplexed for several reasons, like…
Who would name their beloved golden-haired daughter Oreo?
Do I really seem like that person?
It has been a rough two years, Oriel and I have shed too many tears, yet there is not a day that goes by that I am not overwhelmed with gratitude for the miracle that she is and the joy she brings into my life. She is so bright and full of love. As we grow and heal together, each day brings more laughter, singing, and dancing.