The conclusion to a short story, The newborn
Elizabeth Ann's story
It was a beautiful summer day in Chicago. The streets were alive with people rushing to catch the subway. The vehicles on the interstate coming into the city were bumper to bumper.
On a quiet street away from all the buzz, stood a beautiful old gothic church, St. Mary's.
A newborn baby girl had just been placed on the steps with a note attached to a blanket. " I'm sorry. Please take good care of her. Her name is Elizabeth Ann. "
Standing across the street behind a row of tall green shrubbery, a young girl was softly crying and saying her final farewell.
A young nun novice, Carolyn was the first to see the basket on the church steps, As she approached, she heard a soft cry. She quickly picked the baby up, taking it and the basket inside. All of the other nuns came running to see the baby. They were so pleased that Carolyn was the first to find the baby.
They all knew Carolyn's story so well, she had struggled with her decision to become a nun. She loved children and was hopeful that someday she would have a child of her own, but the strong stirring to dedicate her life to God's work was more powerful.
They all took the baby to show Father Franklin, explaining how they found the baby on the church steps.
Carolyn spoke up quickly, asking, " Can we keep the baby? " He answered by asking,. " Do you mean here at the church instead of our orphanage? " Carolyn said, " Yes " Father looked at her and saw happy tears welling up in her eyes. Father Franklin was also fully aware of her struggles between the church, marriage and a child of her own. He then pondered, " Had the baby been given as a gift from God? "
Together they all went to the chapel to pray, asking God's blessings on the baby and her birth mother.
The next week was frantically busy, fixing a nursery, painting the wall a soft baby pink. The perishioners joined in by furnishing the nursery with everything a baby needed. Carolyn was especially happy about the pink rocking chair. She knew she would be spending many happy hours rocking and singing to Elizabeth Ann.
One day about a month later a young girl appeared at the church, going into the chapel to kneel and pray. Father Franklin noticed she was crying and went to her asking, " Is there anything i can help you with? " The young girl tearfully told him she was the mother of the baby left on the church steps, only giving the baby up because her parents vowed to disown her if she kept the baby and didn't return to college to finish her education.
Father told her about sister Carolyn and the joy they all felt having the baby. The young mother, Susan was overjoyed and felt like a heavy burden had been lifted from her young shoulders.
Father told her that she was welcome to come see Elizabeth Ann anytime. Susan thanked him and walked back to the nursery to watch her baby sleeping peacefully.
Suddenly she felt a soothing tranquility enter her heart. For the first time, in a long while, she felt clean and hopeful for a bright tomorrow. She knew for certain her baby would be loved and nurtured by this loving family.
As she was walking away from the church, she looked back and saw Carolyn holding the baby and gleefully waving goodby.