Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Best Gift Ever

Hey everyone :) Sometimes, when looking through things I've written in the past, I find a little nugget that I wish had been shared--so today, I'm sharing this little true story I wrote:

The Best Gift Ever
By J.R. Turner

When I was a girl, I rode the bus to school and enjoyed the many sights, sounds and scents of the seasons from my perch on that high seat. For an hour every morning and afternoon, I would daydream about the places and people I saw. One such place was a second hand shop called “Amalia’s.” I thought the name beautiful and later, my grandmother told me her grandmother was named Amalia.

As a child of divorced parents and an increasingly divided family, I grew to love that name as I imagined my life, my future. Someday, I would find a good man and marry him. We would have a daughter and name her Amalia.

I met that wonderful man the year I graduated high school and married him three years later. Soon after, our first child came into this world. He was an adorable baby boy—but of course I couldn’t name him Amalia! I began dreaming of a little sister for him.

We tried for six years to have another child while we traveled cross country. My husband, a truck driver, took our little family everywhere. One of our favorite places was a small truck stop in southern Wisconsin that sold the best chocolate ├ęclairs on the planet. We sometimes drove out of our way just to have one.
Every time I took that first bite, felt that unique chocolate on my tongue, tasted the heady mix of cream and sweet, I would sigh with pleasure and say, “Eating one of these makes it seem like everything is all right in the world.”

Those happy days faded into my son’s first school years. Unable to travel during the school year and with my husband gone from us more and more, getting pregnant seemed a far off dream. Still, we continued to try and when we finally did conceive, we were ecstatic. I was certain the baby would be a girl. My Amalia was finally on her way.

I started buying pink dresses, blankets, and anything with ruffles and bows. Smiling, I went about my daily chores, and it seemed that life couldn’t be better. Until my worst fear came true.

Carrying a load of laundry, I casually pushed a chair back into position and felt something give in my abdomen. I called my husband and he immediately came home to take me to the hospital. After hours of excruciating, heartbreaking pain, I lost the baby.

For weeks, the only time I smiled or felt joy, was in the presence of my growing boy. My love for him sustained me, but alone now, there were all too many hours to grieve for the daughter I didn’t have. Little by little I packed away the pink sleepers, blankets, and ruffled dresses I couldn’t bear to part with.

One evening, my husband returned from the road with a take-out box for me. I was surprised, as it seemed a strange gift—his leftovers from a truck stop? I opened it and discovered my favorite ├ęclair. The sweet scent of that special chocolate tantalized me with the promise of making everything all right again. I laughed through my tears and kissed him. He had remembered my words, gone three hours out of his way, and brought me the second best gift ever.

The following year, we got the best gift ever. Our daughter Amalia was born on Mother’s Day. Today she is nine years old and loves our family's favorite eclairs as much as we do!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit into my family life and learning a little bit about me, the love I have for my children--and of course the reason why all my author bio's mention chocolate ;)


1 comment:

Gayle Carline said...

Jenny - your story resonated with me in such a deep way. My husband and I also hoped we would have a daughter after we had our son. Then I had 2 miscarriages in a row (at 10-12 weeks) and the baby factory simply closed. It took me a few years to find the pleasure in other people's babies. But my hubby and I have a great son who gives us a reason to smile every day (Ok, I do wish he'd clean his room). Here's his picture, if the link works:

His name is Marcus, and his sister's name would have been Marissa.

I'm so glad you got your Amalia.