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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Abraham (the one not on the penny)

"Mr. Godsey!  Mr. Godsey!" the flood of photographers shouted.  Their questions were nothing but a swarm of nosiness.  They were all the same.  Over and over again for the past eight and a half months.  "How does it feel to be the oldest pregnant couple in America?"  "Are you worried about your wife surviving delivery?"  "Is it a boy or girl?"  "What brand of enhancers do you use?"  I pushed through the throng of microphones and flashing lights, ignoring the mocking laughter and the endless trail of personal questions.

"Abraham," called a woman's voice.  It was crisp and clear above all of the others.  "Did you want this child?"  I stopped, mid-stride.  I looked to address my questioner.  It was a young woman, dressed in all black, with the exception of a red cap that sat perched on top of her head.

"Of course," I said.  "This child, this birth, is nothing short of a blessed and joyous miracle.  Sarah and I are treating it as nothing less."

"Do you think you'll be a good father to the child?"  The woman in the red cap had her pen poised, ready to jot down any syllable escaping from my lips.

"I have to be," I said.  "I'm supposed to be a good father to a great many children," I said.

"Wait, what?"  she stammered.  "Are you expecting multiples?"

I smiled as I opened the door to my gray Nissan and climbed into the driver's seat.  "No," I said.  "We're expecting a kept promise." 

Abraham, a father of a nation.  This was, after all, what God promised us from the very beginning of our marriage.

"Trust me," He said.  "And I will make you a father of the nations.  I will make your descendancts like grains of sand on the beach, and stars in the sky."  But, for nearly fifty-five years, the only thing God seemed he was capable of was keeping my wife's womb empty.  And being poetic.  Sarah and I both thought it was just an inside joke with the man upstairs.  It was funny, the promised father of a nation, childless.  His wife barren.  I was just as stunned as she was when the doctor delivered the news to us.  We thought she had a tumor.  Turns out, it was a very different kind of growth.

"Well," said Doctor Mosby. He breathed heavily as he waved the sonogram wand over Sarah's jellied belly.  His eyes burst out of his face like bubble wrap while he studied the screen projecting the inside of my wife.  He was turning a most unnatural shad of white.  "It's certainly not what we had originally thought."

"What is it, then?"  said Sarah.

"Well...it...um...s-s-s-seems that congratulations are in order for the both of you," stammered the doctor.

"Congratulations?" I said.

"Yes, Mr. Godsey," said the doctor.  "Your wife is expecting."

"You mean to tell me, doctor, that little white splotch is a baby?" said Sarah. "Inside of my...inside of me?"

"Yes, Mrs. Godsey.  You are going to be a mother."

Then Sarah did something I have never seen her do so majestically.  She threw her shimmering silver head back and laughed.  Laughed hard.

***

I'm going to miss getting graded for this.

25 days.  Whoops, just consulted Wizard of Oz calendar.  24 days.  Man, that went by quickly.

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