Alice loved walking the halls of the hospital. Every morning, most afternoons, and the occasional evening were spent wandering from ward to ward. She liked the reminder that even though she was 80 years old, it could be worse.
She hadn’t been back to the maternity ward since her husband had died several years ago. That was always his favorite place to visit. New life coming into this world helped him cope with his failing health and the closeness of his departure from this world. That little comfort always helped him in the hard times. It never gave her the same comfort.
As she stood there staring at the newborns man walked up and stood next to her. He was young enough to be a father but the look of pain and the stain of tears had her wondering. He obviously didn’t feel like talking so she just stood there and looked through the window with him.
After several long drawn out minutes a woman in a hospital gown walked up and stood next to him silently. They both seemed to be staring in the same direction and neither of them was looking at the other. The tension wasn’t only palpable, but it was painful to observe.
“No matter what you believe, he is yours.” she said.
“Look at him laying there. How can you even say that? He isn’t the same color as us! What will everyone think?!?” he said storming off.
Now, as Alice was standing there with the weeping mother she got her first good look at her. The stress, the pain, and the helplessness was overwhelming. She didn’t know the story, she didn’t know the history, she even know her name. She knew that she had to say something though. She had to do something if she could.
“Go after him. I would love to have the chance to fight with my husband again. Wouldn’t a simple paternity test ease his mind?”
“How can I stay with him if he thinks that I would cheat on him? How little does he think of me to jump to that conclusion?”
“Couldn’t he just be overwhelmed with emotions? Couldn’t he just be confused because he pictured this day going differently? Talk to him…”
With tears and understanding in her eyes she ran after him. Alice stayed a while longer but eventually went back to her room. She wanted to ask about the name of the couple or which child there were talking about, but she didn’t know how to ask that. It wasn’t her business and she had already done more than she probably should have.
Several days passed and she was going for her daily walk again. Lost in thought wandering aimlessly, she found herself looking through that window again. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a couple approaching hand in hand. They were glowing with that familiar look of new parents.
“You were right. Emotions that he couldn’t control, confusion with how the day went, worry about how I was doing, and so much more lead him down the wrong path. He didn’t think I had cheated, but he didn’t know what to think. Thank you…”
“You’re quite welcome my dear.”
“What was your husbands name?”
“We were hoping to see you again. We are going to name him Edward since it was you that helped us make it through this. While I have no doubt that we would have found a way, you helped us make it through a lot quicker.”
With a tear in her eye Alice talked with them some more and then left them with their bundle of joy. Their little Edward gave her a knowing smile as she left. Young love was what helped her deal with her failing health. The type of young love that brought the young lives that her Edward loved into the world.