It had been a wet and cold June and this 4th of July was the coldest on record; on my personal record, at least. As my little boy lay sleeping upstairs, I stood at the front window and watched the rain pour into the streets, creating swiftly moving streams along the curb, streams clogged with mud and debris but moving quickly towards downtown nevertheless. I was 36 weeks pregnant.
I had been waiting for this baby for 7 months; that little boy of mine, now 3 years old, waited with me, full of anticipation for the new baby. He was a very busy boy and he kept me very busy. More busy than I wanted to be , with a big house and much responsibility. But this was my life and I accepted my responsibilities dutifully. My little boy was a curly-haired firecracker who talked and laughed and played with a curiosity and humor that was irresistible but exhausting. He was all boy. I had prayed and prayed and hoped--hoped so deeply for a girl. As the sister of 3 brothers and the mother of a boy whose father only had unmarried brothers, I really, really needed another woman in my family.
This was not the kind of thing I could say out loud to anyone in my own family, not to my mother, because it would too wonderful a thing to happen to someone like me. I could not express my fervant desire for a girl to my husband or his family because they thought the best babies were boy babies. So I stood at the window on the 4th of July and watched the rain come down, wondering what the month had in store for me, wondering where my fate lie.
I shivered and watched a log jam in the gutter break, which sent the muddy stream moving ever more swiftly down the street. Then I saw the most curious thing: pieces of sod, the size of a yard of fabric, floating down the street towards Sacred Heart. The neighbors up the street who had just relandscaped were losing their sod to this relentless rain. Just about as soon, they appeared, chasing their sod down Rockwood. I laughed to myself and turned to find a sleepy blond boy at my side, fresh from his nap. And this was my life as a 26 year old mother expecting her second child.
July 9 was the date the rain broke. It was beastly hot that day; I remember perfectly because that was the day I went into labor. I wasn't too excited to get to the hospital remembering the last marathon, so I took my time but finally decided to go when it got really hot in that big old house of ours. Good thing.
I went into the hospital through the emergency room entrance; from there I went up the non-public elevators on a guerney to the ninth floor where I was met by a delivery nurse as the door opened. A quick examination revealed that I was in the final stages, moments, of labor so they decided not to move me but to set up shop right there as a baby was going to be born any moment.
And born this baby was; She was wide awake and uttered not one cry or sound but began chewing on her fist happily. She turned her head to look up at me as She lay on my stomach, fully taking me in with her bright, pretty eyes. She watched me cry as the wish that was too impossible and too utterly wonderful to say out loud had come true. I had a daughter.
She had the face of an angel. She WAS an angel. She was an angel who was sent to me so that I could cope, I could persevere, I could survive and rise again. This angel was sent to me as covenant, much as God sent Noah a rainbow, so that I would know I was going to make it. And my little boy and I were going to be okay. On that day, my life changed forever.
I named my little bright-eyed rainbow Angela.
The 'Kan EWA