Life's Goodness Survives
by Betty Williams
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Life's Goodness Survives
The house was just wonderful. I had just finished putting away all the empty paint cans. I felt completely satisfied; I was finally done all the inside work that allowed me to move in. I had already made my bed and was glad I had done it earlier
This old house was a fixer up home and I organized all the work to be done in what was to be my new home. I grew up in this home with my Granny and my sister Patti but when Granny died she left the house to me. So, I decided to fix it up and restore as much as I could of the luster that must have been in the house years ago. All the hardwood floors have been refinished, all the windows cleaned and all the walls and ceiling had been painted in the main areas of the house and some of the rooms.
My kitchen was small; all new appliances and a slate floor and new cupboard doors. I was admiring how everything sparkled from the cleaning I had just finished when I heard the mail man. I ran to the mail box as I was hoping my sister Patti had written a letter to me.
The mail man was just coming up my walk so I went out on the veranda, “It sure is a lovely spring morning.”
“Yes it sure is; here is your mail, Miss;” as he handed me a pile of letters and bills.
I quickly looked through the pile and found one from Patti. I grabbed a coffee and went to sit in my new rocking chair to read her letter:
It’s me again, only this time I am sure I am in trouble. Frank is out, so I hurrying to write this letter. I found out he is high up in the drug dealing trade of Toronto. I’m afraid for my life and I got a lawyer and got all my affairs in order with him. If anything happens to me where I am left on life support, my baby is due May 1. Then the baby can be born and if I am brain dead I would like you to take the baby and have them pull the plug on me. I hope you understand that I do not want to be on life support and a vegetable type of person.
So I am giving you the custody and you can name him or her what you want to and the lawyer will help you to get a birth certificate for the baby with your info as the birth mother. That way you will not have trouble from Frank’s family. The lawyer’s name is Ian Hamilton and he will phone you if anything happens to me. He will be paid out of the life insurance I bought and you are listed as beneficiary. He also will have a letter I have written to you.
I am sorry, Tracey. The lawyer promised he would help to keep all info about you quiet and hopefully not in the news.
I love you Tracey and I hope I can escape but I fear that I will not be able to. God bless you and I know you will take care of my baby and as an angel I will watch over all of you.
Love from Patti”
I broke down crying as I read about her fear before and I have tried to encourage her to find a way to leave and come to Saskatoon. I had never met Frank and had no wish to. I checked my phone to see if the number I had for Patti was a Toronto number. It was, so I thought maybe I would call. I said a prayer first, “O God, please protect Patti. She is the only sister and relative I have left. You took Granny from me so please do not take Patti. I trust your will in her life, Lord. Amen”
I tried calling the number but there was no answer. So I went to put the mail on my desk and wondered how I could go and help Patti get away. All the work I had done was by Dave; a carpenter friend of mine. I have been able to hire Dave as I had inherited money from our parent’s death when we were children. Granny had raised us, she invested our money wisely and she also left us a considerable amount of money from her estate. I know Patti was left money as well. I got distracted at my desk when I saw the window; I remembered I was going to pick up the curtains so I left to go and get that job done.
The curtains were at the store and were freshly ironed so all I had to do was pay for them and take them home. My kitchen was painted yellow and my curtains were partly yellow. They had the colors of the cupboards and the slate floor in them.
When I got home; I put a small curtain over the window in the back door. Then I went to the living room and got a ladder out so I could hang the curtains. They were navy with a white lacy curtain underneath. I pulled the navy curtains back on each side leaving the lacy curtain to go around the window.
The dining room window was the same as the living room. Once done I went upstairs to the bathrooms. The half bath off my bedroom had window so I hung a terry toweling curtain there. The walls were painted white and the vanity on the sink was navy blue with stars in it. In the main bathroom; I had saved the big tub with the claw feet but put a new granite countertop in a mix of colors and the walls were painted a light peach color. I had navy towels and accessories for this bathroom.
I finished putting curtains up in my bedroom which was painted blue and the three spare rooms were each painted creamy with red curtains and bedspread in one, green in another and blue in the last.. I put all the towels and sheets away as the mover had not arrived yet with the furniture. So far I had my room done, the two spare rooms next to me to be painted and the study next to that room; then another room and then a room with a half bath was still not painted. I had some plans for that bedroom but was not too sure yet what I wanted to do.
I had all Grannies’ furniture refinished and reupholstered and I was expecting the movers would be here any time soon.
I thought about Patti as I went from room to room just agonizing over what I could do. Maybe I could go to Toronto and help her get away with me. She could wear a disguise and we could fly back.
Around 3:30 the mover arrived so it was not long before all the furniture was in my home. I got busy and made the beds and got the pillows I bought scattered in the living room. I had a big screen TV that was new and put it in the living room for now. The family room needed furniture as Granny’s was too broken to save. Granny just used it for an office sort of but I figured it would make a nice family room and it was off the kitchen too.
My stomach growled and I realized I was hungry before I was done; so stopped to make some supper. I sat and thought more about Patti and what could I ever do to help her? I could see out my kitchen window that my neighbor was home and in his kitchen window so I waved to him. After supper I finished all the work I had started and left my room to the last. I got everything done in my room and then I got ready to bed. I always spent time just before bed reading scriptures and having a prayer.
Tonight the scriptures were on trusting God with everything and my prayers were mostly for Patty.
I slept well and woke up feeling so good about being back in this beautiful home. I made breakfast for myself then I quickly did dishes and drove down town. I went to a furniture store that had older styles. I wanted a stuffed couch and chairs for the family room. I found what I liked as well as some end tables and lamps that I liked. I paid for them and made arrangements for them to be delivered right away.
Then I stopped at a travel agent’s office to ask about flying to Toronto and which hotels were near the airport. Then I left for home.
I was no sooner home than the movers arrived. It was so nice to get the family room all in order. Once that was done, I made some lunch and took it upstairs with me. I had made the end bedroom into an office. I had a degree in computer science and business and I did contract work at home for different offices for the Federal Government. I also did art work and I have published three books. I put my lunch on the desk and booted the computer to check for e-mails; I answered a few then sat thinking about my dear sister and prayed for her again.
Around 4:00 I got a phone call; “Hello”
“Hello, I would like to speak to Tracey Gilbert.”
“I am Tracey, what can I do for you?”
“My name is Ian Hoffman; I’m the lawyer your sister Patti Hanofski hired.”
“No, no!” I cried, “It is bad news, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” He replied, “Patti was in a bad car accident that has left her in critical condition. She asked for you, then for me and now she is on life support.
I am really sorry to have to tell you this however; I was given very specific instructions if anything happened to Patti.
Would you be able to come to Toronto?”
“Yes, I could fly out tomorrow. I’ll let you know when I get the arrangements Ian.”
“Tracey, you can stay with my wife and I, we have a spare room and I come into Toronto every day. You need to make yourself look like you are full term in pregnancy.”
“Wow, is that so that it will be more normal like to take a baby home?”
“Yes, it may be that Frank’s family has known about you and if they saw you; this would be a way to make it look like the baby is yours.”
“Thanks Ian, I’ll take you up on your offer to stay at your home.” I agreed to everything and wrote down Ian’s number so I could call back.
I called my closest friend, Reggie and told her everything. “Reggie, would you be able to come over in the morning. Your sister had a baby not long ago, so could you borrow some maternity clothes for me? I will explain everything and I have also arranged for the rest of Granny’s furniture and the washer and dryer to be delivered. I could show you where the furniture goes.”
“Yes, I will get some for you. What time do you need me?”
“Around 8:00 until about 2:00. I am flying to Toronto at 1:00.”
“Sure I can do that; I will be over around 8:00.”
I was so fortunate to have a very close friend in Reggie; she is in her mother’s home as well. We have been friends since kindergarten and we have helped each other out when ever we could and we had loads of fun when together.
I got some supper made and went into the family room. I had moved the TV into the family room so I turned it on and got Toronto News. I ate supper as I listened and finally they told about the car accident.
I called Dave and told him to come in the morning to help her with the furniture and so on. I cried some more but gave myself a shake and told myself not to be weeping until I knew a lot more about it. But if Patti was on life support then I had lost her. I did some work in the office and let my contact people know I would be out of town for a few days.
I brushed my teeth and washed my face and had prayer before going to bed and found myself crying as I fell asleep.
I was up early and packed and ready to go when Reggie arrived. She gave me the clothes and I got 2 pillows that I sewed together with straps so they would stay in place. So got them on and the straps one are over my shoulders. Then I put on the maternity clothes and put the others one in my suitcase.
“Reggie, how do I look now?”
“You look very pregnant.”
The two of us went over the area where Granny’s furniture would be placed and where the laundry stuff would go. I gave Reggie a tour of the house now that it was almost finished. She especially loved how I had my bedroom and bathroom.
“I should have you come over to my house and show me what I need to do to make it as lovely as you have done with your home.”
“I guess you also got your home from your mother. I am not a decorator but we could look at it and I might have some suggestions. I think the biggest thing was painting with Dave and all the carpentry work he did for me. He is to be here today to help move the furniture and washer and dryer and so on.”
“Well, you sure kept the old look of character in the rooms while giving it fresh paint and having done all the furniture makes it all look so new.”
“I guess in a way it is all new. Thanks so much for your kind words about my house and for staying here for a few hours while I am gone.”
Door rang, I went to the door and Dave came in. “How are you pregnant?”
“Well Dave, I am on the way to Toronto as my sister Patti is on life support and it is all part of a criminal activity and I will get the baby when it is taken from Patti. This is absolutely not to be repeated and I do trust you Dave. Also you be with Reggie for the furniture and washer and dryer.”
“Thanks for telling me about Dave and we see take care of all of it.”
At 9:30 I decided I had better leave for the airport. I said good bye to Reggie and Dave and backed out of the garage and into the traffic. Once at the airport I went to the long term parking and registered my car for staying there.
The airport was teaming with people but I found the West Jet section and stood in line for my turn as I had a copy of the e-mailed ticket. It was not long before it was my turn and I had the boarding pass and went up the escalator to the boarding area. I had to go through security and had to remove my coat and empty all pockets. It was not long before I was sitting waiting for the time to board the plane.
Once on the plane I had a nice looking girl sit beside me and we had a bit of a conversation during the flight. I did have time to sit and think about Patti and if I lost her I would have no relatives at all. But I guess I would have the baby. My stomach sure didn’t like my worry, and I prayed for her now.
Ian met me at the Toronto Airport.
“I am sure glad to see you; Ian, and meet you. I am not sure how I would have found you in such a huge airport. I thought I was lost before coming to the area I was in. I asked people as well but the crowds were too much.”
“It is good to meet you Tracey, I am really sorry about your sister Patti and all that has happened. I am glad you were able to look pregnant.”
“Are we going to the hospital right away or what is the plan?”
“Let’s get going in the car and I will explain as we drive.”
We picked up my luggage from checked area and Ian carried the suitcase as we went to his car. He explained that it was too late to see the doctors today and said they would meet me at 10:00 in the morning.
“How is Patti and what on earth happened?” I really wanted all the details and was concerned about how it would all be handled. I had never had anything like this happen in my life so was even sure how to feel.
“Patti is on life support and that is why the Obstetrician and Neurologist want to talk to you tomorrow.”
“Where is Frank in all this?”
“Frank was killed. Police have told me he was trying to kill Patti and when he hit a tree in the accident; he killed himself.”
“Patti sent me a letter with her request for the baby and she told me about you and that you would have all the papers.” I was beginning to be glad that Patti had seen Ian and arranged for everything. Ian seemed like a really nice and honest person, I felt like I could trust him.
“Yes, why don’t we go over those papers after supper then you will have time to ask any questions if you want to?” I was thinking about Patti and the baby.
I just kept my thoughts to myself as Ian drove the rest of the way. I sure wondered about Patti and her husband Frank. What a terrible person Frank was. How on earth did Patti fall in love with him and for him to want to kill her; it did not make sense.
Ian’s wife Sharon came out to greet us as Ian drove into their garage.
“Hi Tracey, I am Sharon. Our boys are outside playing so you can meet them later. Come on in. I know about your pregnancy from Ian.”
“Hello Sharon, it is my pleasure to meet you and to thankyou for inviting me into your home and for being prepared for me. This is very strange having a huge lump in the front.”
“It is a pleasure to do this even though the circumstances are not so happy.”
The three of us moved into the house and Sharon showed me which bedroom I would be using. Ian put my suitcase on the bed telling me supper would be in about 20 minutes. I quickly hung up some of my clothes and went to the washroom and washed.
The room was painted a creamy color, with nice green curtains and hard wood floor. There was a rug by the side of the bed and I had my own bathroom as well. I thought that was a very nice room for guests.
The living room was done with a forest green and white trimming with curtains in the same colors. It was quite attractive with some very nice furniture in the room. I guessed that this was a more formal living room.
When I left the bedroom I went by the living room and into the kitchen. It was painted a sunny yellow with flowery curtains to match. The cupboards were right up to date with granite counters and very smart looking.
“Sharon” I greeted Sharon who was busy at the stove. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Sure, you could take those bowls of food to the table and I will put some gravy into a gravy bowl and then we can get our supper.”
I got the bowls of food on the table. “I really like the set up in your kitchen with an eating area outside. This pass through area must come in pretty handy and I like how you have a counter on the other wall with the fridge and more cupboards.”
“Yes, we bought this house as a fixer upper. It had a lot of character but was in bad condition. We took out the carpets out and we found hardwood floors all through the main floor except for the bathroom and kitchen. Then we had the floors sanded and all the painting by a friend; before we could move in here. The bathroom just had the tub, sink and toilet so we took out the toilet that was broken and the sink and put in new toilet as well as a new counter for the sink. In the kitchen we had to gut it and start all over again but I too like the way the table is over to one side.”
The boys came to the table where Sharon explained who I was. I asked the boys their names, one said, “My name is Bobby and I am 4 and this is Brian and he is 2.”
“Do I have one of you boy’s bedroom?”
“No, we have our own room; you got granny’s room.”
“Oh, does Granny live with you?”
“No she lives far away but when she comes here that is her room.”
“Ok, boys enough talking let’s have the blessing on the food before it gets too cold.”
Ian said the blessing on the food and we began eating and I explained that I was an artist and had published a few books. I told them about my degree and my contract job. Sharron was really interested in what I did and what kind of art I did. Once supper was done, Ian suggested we move to the study.
“Tracey, you read these papers over, and then we will discuss them.”
I read over the papers then asked Ian if this meant that Patti was dying.
“Yes, Tracey; I am sorry to tell you but she is brain dead but of course she is on life support for now. Do you understand what Patti is asking you to do?”
“Yes, she wants me to take her baby as my own child and raise her.”
“She also wants you to breast feed, give the baby every chance that the baby can have.”
“What! How am I to breast feed – I am not and have never been a mother!” I thought this much be a crazy idea. I had babysat at times but did not know much about babies. Patti knew this too so maybe she asked her OB about it.
“Tracey the OB doctor says you can be given a drug that will start your breast milk to come in.”
“I think I will leave this subject for now. Let me have a conversation with her doctors and find out what the plan is first.” I was uncomfortable about talking about my breasts with Ian anyway
“Sure, tomorrow we will do that for sure.”
We discussed how Patti came to Ian and set everything up and how the accident happened and that Frank was dead so she really did not have to deal with him at all. He also explained that Patti’s bank account froze when she was close to death. Ian said he would be able to get the money once the will was probated.
The next morning I woke up and at first tried to figure out where I was. Once I realized it: I was ready to get up. So I went to have a shower and took care of my needs and then I got dressed with pillows and pants and shirt on.
“Good morning Sharon.”
“Hi Tracey, did you have a good rest last night?”
“Yes, the bed was just so comfortable and I fell asleep right off.”
“Good; for breakfast I have bacon and eggs, toast and juice and there is coffee or I can make some tea if you wanted it.”
“No tea on my account, coffee is it in the morning and the breakfast sounds right on.”
I carried a plate of eggs to the table as Sharron brought the toast and bacon. It was a really good meal and I talked with the boys about what they were doing today.
Sharon got her maternity shirt and suggested I try it on.
“I look pregnant so when the baby is born you will look good.”
“OK, that would be good.”
Once we were done breakfast, Ian announced it was time to go. So we got up and got our coats on and then we went into the garage where we got in Ian’s car. At 9:30 the roads were not too busy so we got to the hospital pretty fast. Once there we went up the elevator to ICU. A nurse looked at me and how pregnant I was but showed us where they had moved Patti to a private room. I wanted to sit with Patti until the doctors arrived.
I put my hand to my mouth, “Oh Patti, I am so sorry you could not get away and come to me.” My tears started and I sobbed. “I will miss you just so much and I promise I will take care of your baby. Wow, you are so big it is a wonder you could even walk around. I love you and will always have our memories together and I will share those with your baby.”
The doctors arrived and we moved to an office where we could all sit down and talk. I wiped my eyes and blew my nose then Ian did all the introductions; Dr. Curtis Ferguson was a family physician, Dr. Shannon Babcock was the OB/Gyn Doctor and Dr. Cliff Barr was a neurologist. We shook hands as we were introduced.
Dr. Ferguson spoke first, “Tracey we are all so sorry for the loss of your sister. You knew she was almost full term and we are aware of Patti’s wishes. Nevertheless, I want you to know what we are planning.
“Patti was not dead when she arrived at the hospital; she asked for you and for Ian to come and she asked to be left on life support until the baby was born. Now Patti’s brain has died. There is no activity on the brain scans. Her babies are due on May 1st – so she is only about a month off. With life support she may carry the babies for another few weeks to give the babies a better chance; but should there be any trouble we would do a caesarean section and remove the babies.”
Dr Babcock spoke next, “I will be the doctor who will decide when the babies need to be born. Now, your sister really knew that she would die so she told us you were to get the babies and for you to breast feed. How do you feel about it?”
“I am not sure how it is done but I know Patti and I both talked about breast feeding and how important it is for the baby. I am this disguise is to wearing make anyone who sees me see me pregnant. I don’t know the first thing about breast feeding so might need some help with this and how to take care of a baby.” I wondered if her baby would like me or want me.
“Most women know instinctively what they need to do however you can have another mother show you what to do. In fact are you staying at Ian’s home? We’ll get his wife to show you what you need to do.”
Ian spoke next, “I am sure Sharon would love to help Tracey with all she needs to do for the baby. Then she is going to ask me for another baby too.”
Everyone laughed over what Ian said and it helped all of us to feel more at ease.
“Before we get further you should know that she is having twins.”
“What! You mean two babies to feed; my goodness that will be a handful.”
“Yes, however Ian’s wife can show you what you will need. It has worked for other mothers so it can work for you too.”
“I have to head for my office. Tracey you just call my office when you are done and I will get you to my home.”
“Ok, Ian, I did not mean to keep you.” Now the only person I trusted at this point was leaving me so I better pay close attention.
“It is ok, as there are some legal issues with all of this.”
Ian left and Dr Babcock explained, “Tracey we will give you a drug to bring in your milk. We’d like to do it right away so that your milk is coming in by the time the babies are born. I can explain everything to you as we go down to my office. OK?”
“Sure, Dr Babcock; do I need to talk to any the other doctors here.”
“No, we think you understand that Patti is on life support and without it she could not live at all.”
In the office Dr Babcock got a needle and a vial out. First she gave me the needle then a prescription for the pills I would need to take until my milk came in. She showed me how to take care of my breast and explained they would get bigger once the milk came in. “Tracey, you should get another pillow in you again and for some small baby bottles and one that takes bags. When your milk comes in it would be really good for the babies to get the first milk so you can express it and put in bags and freeze it.”
We went back up to Patti’s room and Dr Babcock showed me how to put my hand on her tummy and feel the babies moving. I had tears it touched me so much. Dr Babcock explained that a mother starts to feel flutters about 4 ˝ months. This is good way for you to get to know yourself.”
A nurse came in and said, “There was a phone call for Tracey. Dr Babcock had the nurse move it to her phone so I could answer it in the office.
I picked up the phone and it was Ian. “I have to take you home now; I have to be in court after that and who knows when I will be free then.”
“Sure Ian, I will come down to the front of the hospital.”
I explained everything to Ian and about the prescription I would need. He said he would fill my prescription for me and not worry about it.
I came in the front door just as Sharron came in the back door with the boys. “Good timing Tracey, I just got back home. We picked up McDonalds on the way home and got some for you too.”
“I love Mac food, too. Thanks for getting some for me too. What are your plans for the afternoon, Sharon?” I was thinking about the questions I had and would need her help answering them.
“The boys go for a nap for about two hours. We can have that time for sure; what do you have in mind?”
“I have to learn about babies as soon as possible. Learn everything!”
“Oh!” Sharon smiled, “I would love to help you in that area.”
We chatted about what I would need; while we ate lunch. The boys had gone to play so Sharon had to find them and head them off to bed.
Once they were down for their naps, Sharon came back.
“Do you want a cup of coffee while we chat?”
“Sure I could go for one. But the doctor told me to put another pillow under my shirt I only had the one here this morning.”
Sharon poured to cups of coffee and I put cream into mine. We went into their family room to sit. The room was done in a cozy red color with lots of wood and a big brick fireplace. The furniture was an old stuffed couch and big chairs to match. I just loved the room. Sharon left to get another smaller pillow.
“Sharon this is such a cozy room. I think I could relax in here for sure. I love the big screen TV as well.”
“This is a pillow for you but will get it right with some stitching with your own pillows too.”
“Ok that will work for me later after supper.” I could hear the boys chatting and asked Sharon about it.
“Well, I insist the boys lie down. They can read a book if they want but they usually fall asleep. I read that kids who are very active need more rest and I find them quite easy to get along with this way as well.”
“I will remember that when these babies are that age.”
“Ok, where do you want to begin?”
“Let’s make a list of what I need to buy in clothing, diapers, and furniture. You know everything you had to do before your first baby was born. Only I will do it all at once while you had months to get ready.”
“You said babies. Is there more than one?”
“Yes, the OB doctor told me twins.” That was a shock but I figured two would be able to play together as well.
“Then you will need double of everything. Have you thought about paying for everything?”
“Yes, I am comfortable enough I think I can afford it all. Ian said I was beneficiary to a life insurance that Patti had. I don’t know how much it is but it could help to pay anything I could not afford.”
“Ian will know the amount and when you will receive it as well.”
“Ok, then I would like a paper and pen please so we can make a list.”
Sharon went to get paper and pens and we decided to look at clothing first. “First thing is diapers. Do you want cloth or disposable or a diaper service? You will need about 5 dozen diapers with rubber pants. I think the new cloth diapers have those tabs that stick together. I would have some pins on hand though.”
“What kind of diapers do you use?”
“I bought the cloth diapers but used a diaper service the first three months.”
“Ok, maybe I will do that then.”
“Next write down under shirts. Maybe sleeper sets for newborn babies as well as some the 3 month size. You will find the babies grow pretty fast.”
“Ok, I got that written down. You will want some bibs, bottles, soothers. Then for bath time maybe powder, baby oil, q tips, cotton balls, baby soap and baby shampoo. Now I used only non toxic baby products and I can show you what I bought. Also, you need baby wash cloths and baby towels with a hood on them.
You need receiving blankets and changing pads along with sheets for the bed, bumper pads and blankets. You need a baby thermometer as well.”
“Wow, this is a lot to consider.”
“Yes, however when we go to the baby department you will find everything and even more you might want to have. Next we will talk about furniture.
Do you have a car and plan to drive?”
“Yes I do but I may have to change vehicles as mine is a small two seater type car.”
“You will have to have car seats right away. You can see what they have for twins and what they have for strollers for twins as a car seat, until they are big enough to sit in the stroller. But you have to have the car seats before they will let the babies leave the hospital.”
“Oh I guess we have to shop then.”
“Some more to consider is a snuggly, swing, play pen, baby bath tub and diaper pail and diaper bag. Also for you as you will be breast feeding; some bras that you undo in the front.”
“Boy oh boy!” I was stunned, “This list is getting pretty long.”
“Yes, for sure but we will go about a bit at a time and get it done.”
“Do you know of a place where I could order everything and just have it delivered in Saskatoon? Then I could just buy what I need to get the babies home.”
“You will need a complete set of clothes for the babies, plus changes for them. Then a car seat, blankets, receiving blankets, diapers and pins and diaper bag. I would assume you will get the babies and come back here. So you would want several outfits for them and we could do a wash before you fly home.”
“Yes, that sounds better. So I will come back here and maybe you could coach me on breast feeding.”
“Sure I can do that. Maybe we could go and do some shopping tomorrow.”
“That would be ok with me.”
“Well, I will make arrangements for the boys to go to their cousins for the day, and then we can have the whole day.”
“That will be just great; Sharon and thankyou so much for having me here and for all you are doing for me.”
Sharon made the call and her sister agreed to have the boys for the day and overnight if we needed more time. Then she got us each another cup of coffee and a Danish.
“Did you make these Sharon?”
“No, Ian bought them. It is his way of baking! I will get my mother book and show you what records I kept.”
Sharon got both of her mother books so I had a chance to look at both of them and realized what a good idea for keeping a record.
“Tracey we can get you both a mother book and a mother guide book. I will show them to you when we could get you one. If you have doubts or questions it is “the” book that will give you answers.”
“I guess I will need the book for sure.” Yes I would certainly need a good guide as I thought to myself on the tremendous task I was about to take on.
“Yes, and we will realize more things you will need once we go shopping.”
“Thanks Sharon, you sure are being a terrific friend to a stranger. I have some close friends in Saskatoon and I got the old two story house that was my Grannies. She raised Patti and me when our parents were in a car accident and died when I was 4. We loved our Granny just so much and it was a blow when she died a year ago. I got her home so I started redoing the house. All the hardwood floors were sanded and Dave; my carpenter, had some of the wood was replaced where it broke or was bad. One room had to have gyp roc put all around it.
I just finished doing the kitchen and I put new cupboard doors on and new countertops and sinks a lot like yours. I love a yellow kitchen. My sink faces the house next door and a window on the neighbor’s house. I waved at him the other day.”
“It sounds like you almost did what we did only this house was in such bad shape where as your probably needed updating.”
“Yes, although I kept a lot of the old character of the house and I love the crown molding and fixtures in the house.”
“I bet it is a really nice home. Do you earn a good living with you art work?”
“I have sold a few paintings and I get orders sometimes when a new business wants pictures for their offices. I have a connection to a decorator but this does not give a good income. I also published several books and that is my main income also our parents left us in good financial shape and Granny invested the money wisely for us so I am quite comfortable.”
“That sounds good. With two new babies in your home you will not have time to go out to a job. Tracey you have really got yourself in a good place then. Do you go to church at all?”
“Yes, I go to church every Sunday. I actually have not been there for awhile so I might be able to pass off the babies as being mine. I intend to keep going now for sure.” I wondered why Sharon would ask me a question like that and then change the subject right away. I guess I will have to steer us back and find out what she believes.
“Ian is trying to find Patti’s money and he did have a bank freeze her accounts. She told him about it so hopefully he can find it and it could be put away for her babies.” That would be my plan for sure as someday the babies will be going to University and the money could grow into a nice sum for them.
“Yes, Sharon, if the money is found that is exactly what I will do.”
“So why did you do up a house right now? You’re in your early twenties I would guess.”
“Yes. I am 23 but I inherited all the furniture as well. Granny had antique furniture that is so right for the home so I had furniture refinished and couches and chairs recovered. All the furniture was just delivered so my friend was over yesterday to help put the furniture in as I had to leave. I got Granny’s old bedroom set as well. Patti decided not to take any of the furniture but she did get money from Granny’s estate as well.”
“Well, you are smart to do the house now and you will have it for years to come. Buying a home is more like an investment than just spending money. I would really like to see it.”
“You are hereby invited to come to my home. I have plenty of bedrooms so bring the boys as well.” I sure had enough room for their whole family to come and it would be an absolute joy for me to be able to have them.
“What is the yard like?
“Well in the front the landscaping is pretty well set and looks really nice. I cleaned it all out of weeds and garbage. The back yard is just dirt right now. I plan to make a deck and lawn area and then a large garden area. There are some big mature trees so I could build a tree house or play house for the babies when they are old enough.”
“That sounds like so much fun for kids. I better get something started for supper as the boys will be up soon.”
I sat and read Sharon’s mother book while she was busy in the kitchen. I didn’t get much of it read as the boys were up and I thought I could play with them.
“Ok Brian and Bobby what would you like to do?”
“Let’s watch a movie and you can too.” Bobby went and got “Free Willy” so I put the DVD on for them. Both boys sat on the couch with me and snuggled up so I put my arms around them. We didn’t even notice when Ian came home.
“Sharon, shush come with me.” He pointed to the family room so Sharon took a look and asked Ian to get the camera. So he did and took a picture of us before we could pose ourselves.
“Get lost Ian, no more pictures. I stayed with the kids until the movie was done then they went to find toys while I went to see if Sharon needed help.
“Hi Ian, how did your court case go this afternoon?” I was wondering if it had anything to do with Patti but it was for someone else. I was really curious as to what would be in Patti’s estate and what she had done to make sure the baby would get it all. Of course Frank was dead so Patti should have all his estate as well.
“Very well thanks. How did your talks go at the hospital?
“Everything went really well.”
“I had your prescription filled and thought Sharon could advise you on the vitamins as she had to take some.”
Sharon called everyone for supper so we moved to the table; just as the boys came running. You could tell who was hungry. They talked about the movie while we ate supper. I helped Sharon clean up after supper then I read a story to the boys before it was time for them to go to bed.
After the boys were bed, Sharon took the pillow out of me and she got some things together them right so I use it again in the morning. She also got her old use shirts on her for her body.
“Ok, Tracey, I have sewn this together so you look bigger as you will be having twins. This shirt is bigger so it will look ok on you. What I did was also put some ribbons on to go over your shoulders like the straps you had before and it will just go over your shoulders. You would think it was Hallowe’en or some movie we were getting ready for.”
“Thanks for doing that for me, Sharon. I will put these on in the morning along with your one of your old pregnancy shirts.” Sharon has finished tidying up and was heading to bed
“That is great and I am really happy for you now. Good night then.”
I went to bed and knelt down for my prayer. I fell asleep quite quickly.
The next day, I got up and put everything on before breakfast and then after breakfast Ian was ready to go and he came looking for me and said I really looked like I was pregnant and about due. Ian drove me to the hospital to see the OB doctor; Dr Sheldon and other doctors and have some tests done. I got in to see them and she talked about the babies being 37 weeks along and more about what would be happening when the babies were to be born. After that, I went to see Patti and thought she was so at peace and I knew that in reality she was already gone. I cried as I hugged her and then put my hand where the babies were to feel their kicks and get to know them a little more. I talked more to Patti and wondered if the babies could hear me. So I tried talking to them as well.
I took a taxi back to Ian and Sharon’s home just in time for lunch. Sharon made soup and sandwiches for the both of us and the boys. They both like grilled cheese and it was fun to watch them eat soup.
Bobby and Brian asked me to put them to bed so I went down to their room and helped them into bed. I told them as story about me when I was little. They fell asleep during my story so I tip toed out of the room and mostly shut their door.
Sharon was in the living room so I went in and sat down with her. Sharon has the list of baby items to buy and a pen and more paper.
“Are you adding to the list, Sharon?”
“Yes, I thought of a few more things. Some things you will buy as you go along but there is a lot you will find you need right away. So if we can have products shipped to Saskatoon for you; well we might as well get it all.”
“Yes, I agree. You have a much better idea than I do so just lead me on.” I was really happy to have Sharon helping me with getting everything as she already had so much experience.
After supper I went to sit in the family room and had just picked up Sharon’s mother book to read when Ian came in the family room.
“Tracey, how did your day go with the doctors?”
“It is really quite overwhelming. As I said I really only saw the OB doctor and the others did not have much to say.”
“What did you girls do this afternoon?”
“Look at this list we made; a list of everything I have to buy. That is one long list and I am sure glad Sharon knows what to do.”
“I imagine this will seem like too much but once your have the babies’ home and are settled you will find you plan your time around them and your freedom will be limited.”
“Yes, that will be hard to give up but most of my friends will stick by me. Sharon and I plan to do some shopping tomorrow and see about having it shipped to Saskatoon.”
Sharon came into the family room now that the boys were settled.
“What are you planning to do with the boys while you shop tomorrow, Sharon?”
“My sister will keep them all day and even offered to keep them overnight in case we needed two days to shop.”
“We haven’t been out for some time, so let’s plan to meet for supper and I will take you gals out for supper and the evening.”
“Ok, Ian. Tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun. We will spend all your money Tracey as we shop. I might get a few things for the boys as well. What time would you like to meet for supper and where?”
“Actually maybe you could pick Sharon up at home as she will take her car home and then come by the hospital and get me. I want to spend some time with Patti.”
“Sure that works. I’ll make the arrangements.”
We talked more about the plans and about the books I had published until it was time for all of us to go to bed.
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