I stood on the sidewalk. Behind me was the house of my childhood. In front of me, there was a bridge that reached across the street to the other side. I couldn’t see the other end of the bridge, it was lost in a fog. But standing at the center of the bridge, facing me, was my father. A feeling of longing washed over me. I hadn’t seen my father since his death ten years before. So I walked onto the bridge.
After my husband and I were married for three years, we decided to start a family. But we found that it wasn’t as simple as that for us. The months of disappointment piled up and the emptiness in our house began to echo in my heart. After two years of trying to conceive, my doctor told me that it was time to take some tests. But before he would put me through the multitude of possible examinations, they wanted to check out my husband first. We scheduled an appointment for him in the month of June. But just days before his visit to the doctor, I found out I was pregnant. In what I can only call a state of euphoria, I walked through the next few weeks. Then in July, I started to bleed. It wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was enough to strike terror into my heart. The euphoria disappeared and fear took its place.
Ordinarily, at a time like this, I would have called my sister. After all, she was a nurse and a mother of three, she knew more about these things then I did. But she and her children were in Switzerland with her husband, who was on sabbatical. I called the doctor and he scheduled an appointment for the next day. That night I had a dream . . .
I walked until I met my father at the highest point in the center of the bridge. Even though I was now just inches from him, I still couldn’t see much of the bridge beyond him. He smiled at me and said, “It’s going to be okay. The baby is fine, don’t worry.” Then I woke up and I knew that everything would be alright.
The next day, the bleeding stopped. I went to my appointment anyway and the doctor performed a sonogram. It was the first time that I saw my daughter’s little heart beating on the screen. A few months later, while in a movie theater, I felt the first flutter in my stomach. I came to rely on that fluttering, and later, her kicks, to reassure me that she was indeed, still alright. Then finally, on a morning in early February, our daughter was born. In an instant, she filled our hearts, and then later, our home. And the echo in both disappeared. Thank you, Daddy.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy