Every mother wants to see her daughter happy and loved. And every daughter wants to live happily ever after. So it was hard for my daughter, Jackie and me when she became a single mom. We both had to face the fact that her life was not the picture we’d had of how things “should” be. And then, as if things weren’t bad enough, Jackie decided to move away with her two-year-old son, Kristopher, hoping to begin a new life. Even though the move would mean that we would be many miles apart and that I would miss her and Kristopher very much, I knew that my daughter had made the right decision.
Jackie was a nurse, and she got a job working evenings in the local hospital. Eventually, she became involved with a young man. “He’s wonderful Mom,” she would report. And even though she sounded fine, I was skeptical. What were this man’s intentions with my daughter? Would he accept her son? Would her treat her with kindness and love, or would he only add more hurt and heartache to her life? No matter how much I tried to put these questions out of my mind, they would not go away.
Then, something every parent and grandparent dreads happened: Little Kristopher became very ill. He cried and complained of leg pain whenever he was carried or touched. After several agonizing days, the doctors diagnosed his problem – osteomyelitis, infection of the bone and it was serious, The infection seemed to be spreading, and he was hospitalized so he could undergo immediate surgery.
After the operation, Kristopher was brought back to his room, and attached to an IV. Tubes ran in and out of his tiny hips to irrigate the treated area. But despite fluids and antibiotics, he continued to run a high temperature. Kristopher lost weight, had no appetite and became a sad-looking little boy. The doctors told us that more surgery was needed to stop the infection, and once again, his body had to undergo the painful procedure. Afterward, Kristopher lay in his crib, attached to so many tubes that he couldn’t be moved, picked up, held or rocked in his mother’s arms.
Each night when Jackie had to go back to work, I would make the long drive to see Kristopher. I could only stay a few hours because it would take me several hours to drive back to home. Each time when I prepared to leave, Kristopher would cry, “Please Grandma, don’t leave. Cause if you do, I won’t have anybody to have.” And each time, it would break my heart to hear his pleas. But I knew I had to leave, so I would tell him I loved him and promised to return.
One evening, as I approached my grandson’s room in the hospital for my night, visit. I could hear someone talking to Kristopher. It sounded like a man’s voice. As I got closer, I could hear the voice more clearly – it was steady and kind, and speaking to Kristopher in comforting tones. Who could be here talking to my grandson like that? I wondered.
I entered the room, and what I saw took my breath away.
There, lying in the crab, was the young man my daughter had been telling me about all along. His six-foot frame was curved as small as he could make himself; his broad back was pressed against the crib bars, and his long arms were wrapped around Kristopher. Cuddling him like a precious bundle.
The young man looked up at me with a gentle smile of explanation and said softly, “babies need to be held. Since we can’t take him out of this crab, I decided to climb in and hold him.”
Tears of happiness filled my eyes. I knew my prayers had been answered. My daughter had, indeed, found a man with a tender, compassionate heart. And Kristopher had gotten his wish: Finally, he had “somebody to have.” Kristopher is now twenty years old and totally recovered. And my daughter’s fine young man, John, became the best stepdad a boy could ever have.
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