The cold circle of metal filled my palm, I grasp it and turn, pushing our worn wooden door painted red, forward into the kitchen. I step onto the concrete that over the years has a smooth curve in it on the right hand side from all the feet passing through the threshold. I feel nervous and still expecting the exciting news that has rushed about in me all day, but I convince myself that I am expecting something bad for no reason. I seat myself in a backless chair inches from my father, and across a room from my mother, her legs crossed and arms folded, foot bouncing, in the wooden office chair. My father turns, and for a second or two I try to decipher his face, not telling if he is joking this seriousness or if it really is bad news. I sit wordlessly as he begins. His face is sad, the lines of his face have fallen and he looks at me, his clear blue eyes are slightly red and watery. I am still hoping, praying he is just kidding. With one little noise a second later I know he isn’t joking. He clicks his tongue, the sound reverberating off the roof of his mouth a sound he only makes when he has been thinking about something unpleasant. He opens his mouth, and simultaneously raises his eyebrows and his forehead falls into its creases, and he begins. I only catch every few words, like my mind cant put his sentences together, “Kristen…. Ultrasound…couldn’t tell…. not enough fluid…baby…kidneys…both kidneys…most likely…. not good…. Not going to make it….” I am in shock. I hear my self-say to this hollow room, “You’re joking right?” and of course he is not.
In this room four months ago with a Christmas tree filling the space between the piano and the bookcase, our little family sat, happy and excited soon to find out what was inside the tiny package that was wrapped, and saved for last. In opening this little present a pair of baby socks was held in my fathers hands and we all begin to cry for joy. My sister is having a baby. Now the little socks are packed away just waiting for the next year to be hung from the tree branches, expectant to be seen by the baby. All of this has disappeared so suddenly, and painfully that is never going to happen, this little baby is sick, and can’t be fixed. My sister is going to lose this precious little baby, and I her younger sister who has helped her through thick and thin… I am speechless. The first ultrasound pictures are still stuck to the refrigerator door, the babies little feet, and head perfectly visible, and the expectant mother showing off her little belly also stuck to the door just inches below. And now all we can do is wait, for something that without a miracle will inevitably happen, and this I believe… hurts.
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