It was almost time. He sat at the steering wheel slowly smoking a cigarette, he knew the car he was waiting for. Any minute now it would appear around the corner and drive slowly into the reserved space.
There it was. Right on the button. Stubbing out his cigarette he had time to lock his car and walk the few paces for the quiet chat. It was a short conversation, an exchange of concerns and re assurances before the men parted, Mr K to enter the building while the other returned to his vehicle to await the outcome.
It was about 45 to 50 minutes before he heard a gentle footfall approach the car. The young woman looked less anxious as she slid into the passenger seat beside him. Calmly she told him that arrangements were set in place for the next afternoon. He relaxed, turned the key in the ignition and headed cross country. They spoke little, both had their minds fixed on the next day and how it would change their lives.
The next afternoon they were back in the same car park. This time they walked hand in hand while he carried a small holdall. Their thoughts were a mixture of apprehension, excitement and concern for each other. There would be tests in the next few days, to be sure she was ready and remove all fear of unknown problems arising.
Over the next couple of days the clock seemed to stand still, yet there was a routine that she quickly settled into. Meals filled the body and time, the food was unmemorable but she discovered Veda bread for the very first time, there was one slice each for those round the table to finish up the evening meal with butter or jam. It was a pleasure that would stay with her all her life.
Soon it was Saturday and she had work to do.
They came for her about 9.30. When she entered the room Mr K was waiting. At this stage they talked as friends although she had only known him a matter of months. He spoke with great respect for her husband, they had known each other for many years. In the past they shared great sadness, and he hoped today would turn that corner and draw a curtain on the past for both of them.
Meanwhile at Wembley Stadium Arsenal and Ipswich Town were nearing the close of the FA Cup Final. At 4.25pm Ipswich scored the only goal of the match and the crowd let up a roar of delight. He stood up, crossed the room and turned off the television. “Time to go” he said to the cushions and he picked up the keys, looked around, and then headed for the door.
As that Roar went up at the match, there was another cry that gave delight. It was the sound of lungs expanding to announce the arrival into this world of a young lady.
Mr K who was present throughout the natural delivery checked her quickly, pronounced her perfect, and with tears running down his face he handed her to me. He could not have been more pleased than if it had been his own child.
Holding my daughter close to my chest my heart almost burst with joy. This little bundle in my arms was ‘the spit’ of her dad, a miniature version of Jack. The conversation with Elly began, we were in a world of our own, unaware of the needlework going on at the other end of the table.
Once Mr K was finished, Elly was taken to be cleaned up, weighed and have a name bracelet fitted. Mr K informed not alone me, but all the staff that he was to be notified as soon as Jack arrived at the hospital. He wanted to pass on his own congratulations.
I was wheeled to my new home for the remainder of my ten day stay. Heads lifted from the other beds and I was greeted with a chorus of “What did you get?” Cringing inside (anyone would think I had bought a penny lucky bag!) I announced to all that I had a beautiful daughter.
So while I was settling in with the hospital cure-all, a cup of tea, Jack was trundling over the hill anxious to find out our news. Although at an age where his peers were becoming grandfathers, the world of babies was new to him.
He was an only child, had two childless marriages, both having ended with the long slow hopeless and painful journey through the curse that cancer was back then. Mr K had been the Consultant on both occasions.
On entry to the hospital, Jack asked the first person in uniform if there was any news of his wife. Thanks to Mr K, everyone was on alert for his arrival.
“You have a beautiful daughter, come and meet her”!
Within seconds, or so it seemed to him a bundle was thrust into his arms. He didn’t know how to hold a baby. He worried he would let her fall. He worried he might break her if he held her tight. Then he actually found her little face and his tears came… this tiny bundle looked like his adored late mother, Clara.
I had the joy of giving birth.
I had the joy of giving Jack the one gift he didn’t have – His own baby.
We had the joy of giving Elly life.
We had the joy of giving Elly to the world.
It was Rohit who had the joy of suggesting our topic for this week. The joy of giving. I do hope he will be available to join in the sport of writing about it. Now joyfully skip along to see what gifts the active members have in store today:- Conrad, Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Magpie 11, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, Will Knott.