Sarah and Johnny
The contraction started to ease. Johnny looked into the eyes of his life long love. He wiped her forehead with a cool cloth. Exhaustion beat them down, but with every contraction, the lessons learned in the childbirth classes kicked in. He was thankful for that.
She whispered to him, “Tell me the story, sweetheart.”
He leaned over and whispered into her ear, “Which one, my love?”
“The one about your angel, all dressed in white,” Sarah’s smile began to fade as another contraction began. She focused on the love in his eyes, the words of his story as she began to breathe her way through the contraction.
So he started his story of the angel in his life. The day they got married and he made her his wife.
“Your dad was pushing your wheelchair down the aisle in the garden. It was a sunny spring day, two years ago last May. The garden, in full bloom, had never been prettier. You had the most beautiful smile that I had ever seen. You hair shimmered in the sunlight. The white gardenias you carried were from my mother’s huge bush that you and I planted for her all those years ago. My angel in white, you floated to me. When your dad put your hand in mine, I thought heaven couldn’t be any better than this. I kneeled down beside you as I read you my vows. When you told me yours, I thought my heart would burst. I told you that I could never love you more. Well, darling, I lied for that I’m so sorry. My love for you has grown more each and every day.”
He was glad he was there helping her through each contraction. He hoped his stories helped her, transporting her to places and good times in their past. Their memories and how their lives intertwined, of their love and devotion to each other. Wiping her brow again, she requested another story. “Tell me about the prom, the dance that was so special.”
“Oh, the one you refused to go to?” Johnny started to chuckle.
“No!” she laughed, “The one you kidnapped me, and took me to!” Sarah stared into his blue eyes, and pinched his cheek.
“Oh, that one.” So Johnny started the story of a teenage boy and girl that had known each other forever. A story of hard headedness and sneakiness that led a young man to a place where he thought, he might actually get thrown in jail.
He watched the shift in her face. He knew another contraction had begun.
“It was our senior prom, as I recall. I had asked you to be my date. Each time I asked you, silly goose, you refused. You kept telling me to take someone who could dance. It broke my heart, each time you said no. You didn’t know how much it hurt me. I didn’t want to take anyone else. I wanted to take you.”
“I finally went to your mom and dad, and asked them what I should do. They said to go on and plan to take you. They would talk to you and get you to change your mind. I really don’t think they knew how stubborn you would be. Three days before the prom, and you still hadn’t agreed.”
“So your dad and my dad hatched this plan. A family friend from out of town, suddenly passed away, you had to go with the family to the visitation. Your mom had bought you a new dress. With you all dressed up in your new blue dress, I arrived at the door, a gardenia corsage in my hand.”
“Oh, sweetheart, if looks could kill. I wouldn’t be here tonight. You finally consented to be my date, but it was frigid in that car all the way to the dance.”
“We arrived, and your girl friends were all around you in a flash. They were giggling as teenage girls tend to do. Your story about being kidnapped swirled around the hall faster than any dancer could possibly move. You, my angel in blue, were the belle of the ball. You danced with me in your chair, my love. But the dances I liked best were the slow dances that I picked you up and held you next to my heart.
“You know, sweetheart, that was the night I told you that I loved you with all of my heart. I think you forgave me for kidnapping you, didn’t you?”
“Honey, would you tell me one more story, please.” Sarah’s eyes revealed her level of exhaustion. Her contractions were closer and resting times were nil. The stories helped her concentration. He was sure of that.
“Of course, I will. What do you want to hear?” Johnny whispered into her ear as he held her hands tightly in his.
“Tell me of the night, the night with the shooting stars.”
So Johnny started this story, the story of two young kids, next door neighbors that just loved having fun together. “I guess we were six or seven-year’s old? We went fishing at the creek that day. You had on overalls. Do you remember what we stuck in the bib pocket? We found two four-leaf clovers. I remember thinking how lucky we were going to be. Then I got your wheel chair stuck in the mud. Shoot, right then I knew I needed all the luck those clovers had.”
“You were so mad at me. I know you turned six different shades of red! I finally had to pick you up and put you on the ground so I could wrestle your wheel chair out of the mud.”
“You, young lady, had no pity on me in my predicament. You laughed your head off at me. I must have put on a good show.”
“Anyway, my mom and dad were cooking out. Your parents came over and ate too. We had a good time explaining to your mom why there was so much mud and muck on your chair. Everybody was laughing so hard when you told them how hard I had to work to get it out. I guess that’s why I didn’t get in too much trouble.”
“The sun went down. We were all having such a good time. Your mom and dad walked home while we went to look for the constellations. We lay down on that big grassy field out behind the house. We found the Big Dipper, and the Little Dipper, easy as pie. We searched for Orion’s Belt and finally found it.”
“You were the one to see the first shooting star. You made a wish. You never told me what it was. I saw the next one. I made a wish too. I wished, sweetheart, that one day I would marry you.”
With that he kissed her cheek, and told her one more push. A new life was beginning. A new member of their family was born.
Now Sarah and Johnny had a new story to tell, one of love, one of memories yet to be. The nurse placed the beautiful baby girl into her daddy’s arms; he whispered the story of her mother, his angel: in overalls, in blue, in white, now in a hospital gown.
He looked in her bright blue eyes as he carried her over to Sarah. He began a new story of his sweet little angel in pink blankets that one day would be just as beautiful as her mother on her wedding day.
Sarah cleared her throat, and looked at Johnny with the sparkle back in her eyes, “Honey, can we get her potty trained first?”