I'm sitting at the library in the little coffee shop while the boys are watching a movie. I look over at a table and see her name on the cover of a book: Alaska. It's a sudoku book of all things--49 puzzles from the 49th state. One benefit of naming my daughter Alaska is that I see her name and hear it often. Of course most of the time it is in reference to the state, but I still love when it happens. These are part of the story of how Alaska got her name.
Auburn also appears at unexpected times. The word "auburn" has been in several books that I have read since we chose Auburn as our fourth baby's middle name. I have come to think of these name surprises as little angel hugs for my heart (I recognize how ridiculous that sounds).
I will never get those surprise hugs from my babies, see their sparkly eyes as they smile and then wipe their dirty faces on my legs or shoulder. (Asher still does the face-wipe trick occasionally because he thinks it's hilarious. It is.) I'll take what I can get even if it is just because I have decided that seeing and hearing these words that are my babies' names feels like a hug.
To admit this makes me self-conscious. I mean it is kind of weird, but on the scale of the crazy shit I've thought since my babies died, this one is quite tame.