Numbered Days Chapter Four
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the vain days of your life which he as given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.
David had left several messages on Jim’s machine while he was in Connecticut. Jim was sure he had mentioned to David that he would be away, but his mind was more than preoccupied these days. David had taken a nursing management position at the regional medical center near Kelley’s college. It was the hospital he had worked at during the aftermath of Hurricane Toby, and the hospital where he had been transferred to in the wake of the terror attack that nearly paralyzed him. David had been helping Kelley raise the children, now toddlers, while she attended night classes in music therapy and psychology.
David’s father had missed out on such a wonderful child. What a fool the man was to believe that David could possibly be someone else's biological offspring! Jim had always wanted a son, but after Jenny delivered the third child in a c-section that nearly ended her life, they opted not to have any more children. Jim loved his girls, and couldn’t have been happier to raise them. The time Jim spent with David brought a special joy, and Jim could not have been more proud of David if he were his own son.
God had been so gracious in the way He used David’s life to touch Jim, and the way He used Jim to save David. David had been the son that Jim would never have, and Jim would be the father that David desperately needed. Jim’s mother, David's grandmother, adopted the boy, to enable David to live near his mother’s nursing home. Jim used summers and occasional weekends to take David camping and fishing. He would call him nearly every day to see how he was doing and offer advice. Jim had even made the five-hour trip to David’s grandmother’s house to see a few of his basketball games.
The phone calls were a welcome surprise for Jim as he unloaded his suitcases at the door. He pressed the button on the machine.
“Uncle Jim, Kelley and I have some news, and we want to meet with you as soon as you get back.” David sounded excited and breathless. The machine played the second message.
“Uncle Jim, I forgot you weren’t there. I’m sorry, I’ll call back when you get home.” David sounded sheepish, as he laughed at himself.
The third message played. “Uncle Jim, it’s me again. When you get home today, please call me at my house. I’m off of work today, and I need to talk to you pretty badly. Thanks.”
Jim was dialing before the machine quit playing. It was two in the afternoon and the flights had been long, but if David needed him, then he would be there.
“Hello?” Kelley’s voice came through the line like a song. She was a darling girl, and Jim was thrilled that she loved David.
“How’s Mrs. Vancouver today?” He sang back to her.
“Busy as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs!” She laughed. “Seth has learned to climb, and Little Sarah keeps dragging out chairs for him. The two keep conspiring to run me crazy!”
“No classes today?” Jim inquired. He pictured the toddler, Sarah she was called after her grandmother, blonde curls bouncing as she played.He could actually see her giving the brown-haired boy one of the hand-made chairs his nephew had made.
“Night classes. It saves us money on daycare. I can’t stand leaving the kids with strangers! The germs they pick up keep me running to the doctor every week! David doesn’t mind too much, since it’s only two nights a week.” Jim could hear the children in the background, giggling as Kelley spoke. The sound of a chair dragging across hard wood carried over the line as a scream came through the line. “I told you no!” He heard her say.
“Sounds like you two have everything figured out! Is David there?” Jim hated to rush Kelley, but he had a lot of unpacking to do.
“He’s in his shop. I’ll transfer you out there. Hold on one minute.” She quickly hung up. There were a few tones, then David answered.
“Uncle Jim! I’m so glad you called!” He sounded excited as his voice changed pitch.
“What’s the big news?” He was afraid to ask. Kelley and David hadn’t been married long, and she had been through a lot within her last few years.
“Kelley is pregnant!” He choked on his laughter. “I knew it would happen eventually, but this was quick!”
“David, you two didn’t give yourself much of a honeymoon!” Jim was almost angry. “Kelley might not be ready for another child so soon!”
“We talked a lot about it. We both felt lonely as kids without siblings, and we wanted Seth and Sarah to have brothers and sisters. Kelley doesn’t want to use daycare, so we thought it would be best to have them all while she was not consumed by a career. We want at least two more, and guess what?” David was beside himself.
“Please don’t tell me!” Jim was sick with worry.
“It’s twins! She’s so excited! If everything goes well, we may not have to put her through any more pregnancies to complete our family! God is so good, Uncle Jim! We wanted you to know first. Kelley’s dad may not take it as well as you will.”
Was David crazy? Had he lost his mind? Jim would not take this well either!
“Son, do you realize what Kelley has been through? She needs a break! Her body can only take so much before she breaks down!” Jim tried to control his temper. “Those two children deserve to be raised by a mother who can take care of them. She may end up on bed rest before the month is out.”
“Uncle Jim, the doctors here say she is fine! We wouldn’t have gone through with the plan if there had been any doubt.” David was on the defensive. He sounded hurt.
“Do they know that her cervix tore nearly in two with the last delivery? I thought I might loose her for a few minutes there! You saw the blood, David!” Jim was getting angrier by the minute. He had counseled Kelley not to get pregnant for at least a full year after Seth. It had only been.....okay, maybe it was fine. It was almost a year. He tried to calm down.
“I did, Uncle Jim. I’m well aware how bad it was. I told them everything, and they read the records. They did tests to see how well she was healing, and she will be fine. We prayed about it, and nothing said to hold back. In fact, we were given twins!” David sounded as if he might hang up.
“David, I’m sorry! I want you two to be happy. I just hoped that her two kids were enough for you. I hate to see anything happen to Kelley. I’m sure everything will work out fine. How can I help?” He softened his tone and tried to sound like a father instead of a doctor.
“You’re retiring, so we can’t get your help with the delivery. Besides, she wants to stay with the regional medical center since we live close by...and they have more modern facilities. She loves you, though. She hopes she can still count on your advice and support.” David was much calmer now. “I’m going to need some of that too. I was only there for a little bit of her last pregnancy. Tell me what to do?”
“You know what pregnant women need, son! You’re a nurse for crying out loud! Just be a good husband and don’t get too critical of her. If she says ‘jump’, you say ‘how high, and when can I land?’” He laughed, remembering his days with Jenny and her pregnancies. “And pray....a lot!”
“I guess the last pregnancy wasn’t my responsibility, so I didn’t feel this guilty or scared. I knew I loved her, but I never imagined she would go through this with me some day. I feel like I’m flying on air and walking on eggshells at the same time.” Jim could hear David blowing off stress.
“You’ll do well, son. God will take care of all of you. You must believe that, if you consented to and planned this pregnancy.” Jim was beginning to feel more confident as his spinning head stilled down.
“Yes, I did believe it at the time, but now that it is a reality, I’m second-guessing myself. I never knew this would be such an intense experience! I’m re-finishing a chair. The sanding helps to relieve my tension.”
“It’s good to keep busy and relive tension, but don’t abandon her and the kids. Keep the projects short and stay available. I have a feeling she will need you a lot!” Jim was through preaching, now. He was ready to hang up.
“Thanks, Uncle Jim. I appreciate you calling. I’ll try to remember what you said.”
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 Truly the light is sweet and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is comming will be vanity.
The conversation ended with a promise for prayers and congratulations, but Jim had an uneasy feeling that wouldn’t be satisfied. He knew Kelley and David were asking for trouble, but they were not children any more. They would have to work through this with God.