“…Mr. Brady?” Jeannette didn’t have much experience with the dead. But, she heard that sometimes they could hear the cries of the living. “I…I, ummm…I’m in labor…” Hot tears ran down her face, and her voice quivered. “I don’t know why I’m out here telling you this, but…I miss you Mr. Brady! I really wish you were here for this.” She wanted to say more, but the contractions were getting stronger so she waddled back inside to collect Julian and Viviana to go to the hospital. Viviana had arranged to be Jeannette’s doctor as soon as they announced the pregnancy. It wasn’t that she thought she was the best doctor, but she knew that only she could give Jeannette the level of care and attention she felt Jeannette deserved.
She helped Jeannette get changed into a gown and brought them both into the delivery room. “Are you ready?”
“I suppose,” Jeannette said.
“I’m right here,” Julian said standing as close to her as he could without getting in the way.
He was so proud of his mother as he remembered her tenure as a stay-at-home mom. He recalled his teenage years when she enrolled in medical school and worked as an intern at the hospital. A smile snuck on his face as he thought about how she saved lives and delivered babies every day now. She was a super hero to him.
Viviana got behind the controls of the operating table and began the process of extracting her granddaughter. However, she was still in heavy grief; Brady had just died the previous night. Her mind wasn’t completely there, and if she was honest, she really should not have been operating on anyone in her state. But, she had been looking forward to delivering her first grandchild and didn’t want to miss it. She had delivered many babies before; she could do it in her sleep. But, perhaps she should have let someone else take the wheel and watch from the sidelines.
“Mom?? What’s happening?!”
Jeannette was screaming. All she could see was lasers shooting across the room and sparks flying. Poor Julian was too panicked to comfort her.
“I’m sorry, kids. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t be doing this today,” Viviana admitted.
Julian saw the sad look on his mother’s face and felt for her. “It’s ok, mom. Just…take a moment.”
Viviana sighed and was paralyzed by her depression. She just stood there with her head hung low. Julian went to her and embraced her. “You can do this, mom. You’re the best doctor ever!”
“Thank you, son,” she said in a listless voice.
“I love you, mom. I know you’re sad, and we are too. But I know you can do this. My little girl wants to come out and meet you! Don’t you want to meet Juliette?”
The corners of her mouth rose ever so slightly. “Yes.”
It made Julian smile too. “Great! So…you’re the only one here who can get her out so…”
A few tears leaked out her eyes. “Thank you, Julian. You’re a great son. So positive just like your…” She took 60 seconds to get the emotions out then gathered herself and got back to work. “Ok…I’m sorry Jeannette. Are you ok?”
“Ok. Here we go!”
Viviana took the controls and got Juliette out without any complications or mishaps with the machine. “Heeeeere’s Juliette,” she said slightly more cheerfully.
“Jumping freezer bunnies! She’s beautiful! My baby…she’s real!”
Jeannette smiled at her husband’s excitement, but she didn’t feel right. “Miss Viv…why do I still feel pregnant?”
Viviana looked at her screen to see what was happening. A full smile moved over her face as she made a discovery. “Gueeeeess whaaaaat,” she sang.
“What,” Julian and Jeannette said.
“There’s another ooooooone!”
“Another,” Julian screamed.
“Twins,” Jeannette said three octaves higher than normal.
“OH SWEET WATCHER,” Julian yelled. “THIS IS EPIC!!”
Viviana was busy working to get the second baby out as they were panicking. “It’s another girl!”
“Janessa,” they both yelled.
“Jeannette! We have two daughters!! How crazy is that?”
“It’s wonderful,” she said. “I can’t wait until my mom sees them!”
Julian picked up Juliette while Viviana let Jeannette out of the machine.
Jeannette went and got changed into her regular clothes and rushed back to meet her daughters.
“Hi Juliette,” Julian said. “We’re your parents, and we’ve been talking about you for a loooooong time!”
Viviana watched them coo over their first born from the sidelines. She was very happy, but the message from her brain had not yet reached her face.
By the time she realized what just happened, the message arrived, and she was glowing.
“I’m a grandma!”
“I delivered my first grandchildren!” She was so happy.
An attendant who was quietly observing gave the happy couple their birth certificates and arranged for the babies to be taken home. The three adults rushed home to meet up with the babies. The women went inside to properly meet them.
But Julian remained outside. He waited until they were out of sight before he did what he wanted to do. It was another moment where he felt like he had crossed over from boyhood to manhood. He had just experienced what it meant to be strong for his family. But, inside, he was just as broken. The meter on his tank of emotions keep bouncing back and forth between extremely happy and extremely sad. The changes in mood were too drastic. He needed to deal with the sadness.
“Dad…I have two little girls! That’s crazy, right? Mom delivered them…she was a mess. We all miss you so much! Why couldn’t the Grim Reaper just give you one more day?! Just one! You could have met them! It’s not fair! Please come back. Please!”