Baby Daniel


               Emily sits in the bed, propped up by pillows. She holds her
               son and hums as she rocks him in her arms.The baby sleeps
               peacefully. David enters with Estelle. Emily looks up and

                              Hi honey, hi mama Estelle. Isn't
                              he beautiful? Papa Mark wants to
                              call him Daniel Barry Larson, and
                              I agree. What do you think, David?
                              Do you like the name?

                              PP..papa Mark, you mean Dad? When
                              did you see him?

                              Oh... um.. just...before...I
                              guess, awhile ago. He was in the
                              operating room, I think. Yes, he
                              must have been. He told me the
                              cord was wrapped around the baby's
                              neck, and the doctor couldn't save
                              both of us. You chose me. Papa
                              Mark said that you thought we
                              would be able to have other
                              children, but we won't.

               David gasps, terribly upset.

                              We won't, why not?

                              There was so much damage done by
                              Danny's little feet, kicking in
                              an attempt to survive, that they
                              had to do an hysterectomy.

                              I..I didn't even know that myself.
                              I talked to the doctor for a few
                              minutes about the delivery, but
                              he seemed distracted. It was like
                              he was trying to process something
                              that was just too hard to believe.

                              Do you think you might have been
                              dreaming, Emily? I don't think
                              they would let anybody non medical
                              into an operation in progress.

                              I suppose not, but I saw him.He
                              reached right into my body where
                              the surgeon had opened me up. Papa
                              Mark told me to relax every fibre
                              of my being, or something like
                              that. Anyway, he reached in and
                              took the cord away from little
                              Danny's neck. Then he told me some

               David sits beside the bed in a hospital chair. He gazes at
               Emily with concern.

                              What kind of things, darling?

                              Well, he said he wanted us to name
                              the baby after your biological
                              father, Daniel Cassidy, because he
                              gave you life. He wants us to move
                              into your your parents' house so
                              Mama Estelle can help with the

                              Did he say if he meant Daniel
                              Cassidy the Ottawa Roughrider?

                              I don't know. He just said that
                              Daniel Cassidy was your biological
                              father. He was a football player,
                              but he's dead now. Then Papa Mark
                              said that he had to go, but he
                              would love the three of us
                              forever. The next thing I knew, I
                              woke up in recovery.

                              Can you remember anything else,
                              about him Emily? How did he look?
                              Did he look ill, or unhappy,
                              or... anything?

                              He looked better than he has since
                              the weddings in the summer. He
                              seemed content enough, but kind
                              of in a hurry, like he had some
                              place to be, but he had stuff to
                              tell me first.

                              can you remember anything else,

                              Well... He was in the operating
                              room with me, but he wasn't
                              wearing a surgical mask or
                              scrubs. I was probably just
                              dreaming, although it did seem
                              incredibly real. Did you bring
                              Papa Mark to the hospital with
                              you mama Estelle?

               David reaches over and takes the baby from Emily. He gazes
               with loving wonder at his sleeping newborn. He changes the
               subject temporarily to give Estelle a chance to deal with
               the question.

                              He sure is big. The doctor said
                              ten pounds, two ounces. Biggest
                              baby he ever delivered. Mama, why
                              don't you sit here? I think maybe
                              it should be you to tell Em.
                              what's going on.

               David gets up and walks around the room a little with the
               baby. Estelle takes his place beside the bed, and takes
               Emily's hands in her own.

                              Emily, I know that you loved Mark
                              dearly, and I know you will miss
                              him as much as we do. I have some
                              very sad news. Mark passed away
                              sometime during the night. I only
                              discovered it when your mom called
                              to tell us that you had gone into

               Mark's death is just now beginning to sink in, and the tears
               roll freely down her face.

                              oh.. can't be, I just saw
                              him. Oh no....!

               Emily bursts into tears, and Estelle holds her, while they
               both deal with their grief. David snuggles his son to his
               chest, and weeps silent tears of deep pain. After awhile,
               Estelle tries to get some answers to a troubling question.

                              Did your doctor tell you what
                              happened during delivery?

                              I haven't seen the doctor yet. The
                              nurse was here when I woke up. She
                              checked all my vital signs, then I
                              asked to see my son. She seemed
                              surprised that I knew the baby was
                              a boy.

               Estelle holds her arms up to David, indicating that she
               wants to hold the baby. David gives him to her.

                              The doctor came to see me while
                              you were still in surgery. He told
                              me about the umbilical cord, and
                              the hemorrhaging. He told me it
                              was only possible to save one of
                              you, and I chose you, Darling. I
                              didn't know until you told me that
                              they had to give you a

               Pulls a chair up beside Estelle, who sits with the baby.

                              Then the doctor said that the
                              strangest thing happened. Your
                              body relaxed, the cord fell away,
                              and the baby was safely delivered.
                              They had to hustle to stop the
                              bleeding, but they managed to
                              save both of you.

                              No one told me any of this. I only
                              know that I saw papa Mark as
                              clearly as I see you. I spoke to
                              him, he spoke to me. If he had
                              already passed away when I went
                              into labour, what I saw must have
                              been his spirit.

                              After everything that you told me,
                              and everything the doctor told us,
                              I've come to the same conclusion
                              you just did. His soul would
                              never be able to rest, if he
                              hadn't at least tried to save his
                              great grandson. He was able to say
                              his final goodbyes and tell us how
                              much he loved us. That is exactly
                              what Mark would do, emily. That's
                              why I think it really was Mark's
                              spirit that you saw.

                              I believe it too. I'm going to
                              miss dad terribly, but I'm going
                              to rest a little easier knowing
                              that his spirit is out there
                              somewhere. He's probably watching
                              us right now from whatever layer
                              of existance that he's gone on

The End

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