Jack stared at the cheque. If the court verdict resulted in no other couple suffering as they had, it was more important than the money.
He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket, and took out a pair of tiny socks with lace-edged frills. The ones Daisy had worn when they had rushed her to outpatients at the weekend.
“Nothing serious,” the intern said.
Frightened, they gave Daisy her medicine, cooled her with damp flannels, and then, panic stricken, took her to the surgery.
A year ago they had looked forward to Daisy’s first white Christmas. Instead of celebrating it they watched snow gently settle on her tiny satin-lined coffin.
Their grief-stricken parents and other relatives rallied to help them. Fair weather friends avoided them, not knowing what to say.
Counselling helped to break free of their individual prison cells of sorrow, and to communicate with each other. It also gave Jack the courage to insist Emily visited her parents to be cossetted.
Alone in the house, where the memory of Daisy’s chuckles echoed, Jack had packed her clothes and toys. If his heart had been brutally ripped out, surely the pain could not have been worse.
Tears filled his eyes. His arms ached to recapture the past. Another baby could never replace Daisy, but he or she would have a unique place filled with his love.
Jack sighed. Once, when he was a small boy he played with his sister’s doll and pushchair.
“What are you doing?” his mother had asked.
Even at that age he realised she was surprised.
“I’m pretending to be a daddy,” he replied.
He had always looked forward to bringing up his children, but now it was up to his wife.
Emily arrived as softly as one of the snowflakes falling outside.
For fear of upsetting her, he quickly returned the socks to his pocket.
She kissed his cheek. “I’m ready.”
“For what?” He hoped she would say what he longed to hear.
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve never been more certain.”
A year later, Poppy joined Daisy in his heart forever.