John watched the last of the little ghosts, and goblins file down the walkway with their colorful bags bulging with all sorts of treats; their feet swooshing through the orange carpet of leaves.
“Well, that’s all the treats we have for this year,” John said, as he turned to his wife, Jane, who sat rocking back and forth in a her straight back rocker.
“Be sure and put the sign out in case anyone else comes to the door,” said Jane as her thin fingers worked at the crotchet needles she held; the small child’s sock just starting to take shape as it rested on her rounded belly.
As John went for the sign he asked, “Are you feeling okay?”
“Oh sure, just a twinge now and again,” said Jane.
“Well, you remember what the doctor said. He told us both not to wait until the last minute because the baby is already a week overdue and once he or she starts coming it could happen very fast.
“I’ll let you know if I start having any really painful contractions. You worry too much,” said Jane with a warm smile.
With the hands on the old wind-up clock showing 11 p.m. John helped Jane lay down on the bed.
“Did you remember to put the screen in front of the fireplace. I don’t want a spark to pop out onto the floor and cause a fire while we sleep?” Asked Jane as she plumped her pillow.
John heard a pine branch slide across the bedroom window and could hear the whistle of the wind through the thick needles covering the tree.
“Yes, it’s set in place, now let’s get to bed, I’m worn out,” said John as he lay down and grabbed for the thick covers.
At 11:55 p.m. John was tossed from dreams by the anguished screams of his wife.
“John, John, please do something the pain is excruciating!” Jane screamed as she placed the palms of her hands against her enormous belly.
“I’m going to start the car, and I’ll be right back to help get you to the hospital,” John said, his voice barely a whisper because of the dryness in his mouth.
John rushed outside amidst the swirling leaves; minutes later he was back in the bedroom, out of breath.
“The car won’t start.”
John grabbed Jane’s hand and immediately felt his being crushed by her reactions to the severe pain.
“I don’t know what to do. Should I stay with you or go for help? Oh how I wish we had a phone!” John said.
“Please run over to the Davis’, they’re less than a mile from here. They have a car and a phone,” said Jane through gritted teeth.
“Alright, I’ll run as fast as I can,” said John as he headed for the door. As he ran from the drive he shivered at the sight of the old cemetery across the street, saying a prayer as he ran, “Please Lord, help my wife and make my feet swift.”
As Jane lie contorted in pain a shadow fell over the floor next to the bed. Jane felt the presence and saw only a blurred figure through her tear filled eyes.
“Who’s there?” Jane cried.
“Your husband sent me while he gets the doctor,” a soft female voice said.
“Who are you?” Jane asked.
“My name is Sarah Tobin and I’m a nurse.”
“Oh thank God,” said Jane.
An hour later John returned with doctor Fred Osborne, a retired doctor who lived just a mile from the Davis’.
As John and the doctor rushed into the bedroom, they both drew a deep breathe. There on the bed, resting comfortably was Jane, and lying on her stomach, all wrapped up in a pink baby blanket was John’s newborn daughter.
Jane looked up at John, a large smile covering her face.
“How . . .What . . . Who?” John stammered.
“Tell Sarah, thank you. I never got a chance before she left,” said Jane.
“Sarah?” John asked, his brow pinched.
“Sarah Tobin, she said she is a nurse, and you asked her to sit with me until you could get the doctor,” said Jane.
Doctor Osborne fell into a nearby chair, his face ashen.
“What’s wrong, Doctor?” Jane asked.
Doctor Osborne’s mouth opened, then closed. After a few seconds he said, “Oh nothing, just a little out of breathe. You know, age and sudden activity?”
After a brief checkup for Jane and the baby doctor Osborne commented, “Seems everything is just fine with your wife and the baby so I’m going to head back home.”
“Thanks, Doctor. I really appreciate you rushing over here with me. You tell Sarah, that nurse, when you see her that Jane has named our baby girl, Sarah.”
John noticed the doctor’s facial muscles pull his eyebrows downward.
“John, can we take just a short walk?” The doctor asked.
“Sure,” said John.
The two walked across the street, John’s flashlight lighting the way.
“Why are we headed for the cemetery?” John asked.
“Just follow me,” the doctor said, taking John’s light.
Fifty-yards into the cemetery the doctor shone the light beam on a gravestone.
John’s mouth flew open.
The chiseled inscription said, “Here lies Sarah Tobin, nurse. She died during childbirth.
Sent in by Rick Huffman, Copyright 2011