Well Hello! Please, come in & have a seat by the fire. It’s so great to see you; Niko and I have been anticipating your arrival. He’s actually napping right now; but, he should be making his presence known in a few hours. The weather is quite aggressive this evening, isn’t it? I’m so glad you’ve made it safely.
I’ll take your coat to the guest room. It really is such a pleasure to have your company. As much as I love living in the country, it can be uncomfortably quiet at moments…. Oh yes, of course you may use my restroom. If you go through the kitchen, turn left and it’s the second door on the right. The sink handles are reverse than the standard order, so the hot is on the right.
Would you like some hot chocolate or coffee? The kettle is whistling; and I’ve just pressed some of the best Arabica beans. I have milk, International Delight Peppermint Mocha creamers, and Dunkin Donuts original. I also have sugar. Unfortunately, I can’t do the artificial sweeteners though; they give me a headache.
Hot tea? Yes, absolutely. I have this amazing blueberry organic tea! I’ll go get a cup ready for you. Here you go; be careful now. It’s quite warm.
On that note, I will go get Niko. I hear him fusing in his crib. I imagine he’s plenty ready for a drink, himself. Now that is a boy who can eat.
Here he is, Mr Nikolas Cain Velazquez. He’s my little champion. Would you like to hold him? He’s really the light of my life. Isn’t he big? I can’t believe how fast he’s growing. We went to the doctors last week, and he weighed in at 10lbs.
Jason grew silent. It was abruptly, and Mr. Lawrie noticed immediately. A minute turned into two, and two became five. Jason, then, quickly ran the back of his hand over both eyes, and made a few quick sniffles. He wouldn’t allow his guest see his tears, that’s for certain.
I’m sorry. Talking about my wife is still painfully too much, though it’s been four months. Niko is the very best thing that’s ever happened to me; but, he came with a big cost.
His mother was 29 when she got pregnant. Her doctors had always told her natural childbirth may not be in her cards. She had irregular periods, growing up, and an irrefutable optopic pregnancy shortly after we were married. The loss of our first completely devastated her. She cried out in agony, both physical and emotional. The entire week and a half upon leaving the hospital, she laid in bed, lights off and curtains closed. She locked the door to our bedroom, and only came out to use the restroom and grab an occasional glass of water.
Jason’s voice began to quiver; and a few tears trailed down his cheek. He couldn’t stop them, and his therapist suggested he need not try.
When we found out she was pregnant a second time, we are elated!! She worried ruthlessly about being careful so that we wouldn’t lose this baby. She took her prenatal, exercised, slept adequately, ate the assortment of food groups… And did everything according to the book.
Suddenly, Mr Lawrie pointed out a significant detail.
Oh? There’s what in the tree? Jason looked puzzled.
Mr Lawrie motioned him down the hallway to go see.
Did he put it there? What? Maybe he’s just very tired from the trip.
Finally, after what felt like six years, Jason made it to the tree.
There it was, just as Mr. Lawrie said. I searched for answers as to how it got there; better yet when. I’ve been up and down this hall way a million times since putting up the tree. I just put it up two days ago. That’s not even the beginning of mind-blowing this is!!! Mr. Lawrie said the mail was from Chelsea. Oh my God….. Oooohhhhh my God. This is really happening.
The waterfalls had already began. Life went from tolerable to extreme chaos in a matter of a few minutes. The human mind can’t process such a pace.
Ok, I need to take it out of the tree and read it. Oh man, I can’t believe this. My heart is full of so many different memories. My mind can’t begin to comprehend what’s going on. Oh my God….. Chelsea, baby, what did you do? I need to do this before Little Man needs his next drink, so roughly in the next 94 minutes.
I’ve not been this nervous since that day it happened. I was at work, right in the middle of an oil drill, when my phone rang. I called Rick, my lead day shift supervisor, to finish, and I answered the second call.
My mother informed me that Chelsea was on the way to the hospital; that she was in labor.
After eighteen hours of labor, little Nikolas was here. There were complications after the birth. Chelsea ended up developing a blood clot in her leg. She passed away six hours later.
Jason came back to the present and picked up out the letter from the tree.
The letter read :
22, December, ’24
My Dearest Boys:
By the time you receive this letter, I will be the Lord. Please don’t cry because of me; you deserve a lifetime of love and laughter. I didn’t expect to pass shortly after childbirth; but, my daddy always taught me to be prepared. For that reason, I took time to write you, my loves! My heart breaks at the thought of not being physically there with you. Know that I am always sending signs of my presence. The sign might be a feather, a significant song to us on the radio, or a sudden change in the midst of clouds.
My Sweet Niko:
I will love you forever and always my sweet boy. I prayed and prayed for you. God knew the bigger plan; daddy was going to need you so much. From heaven, there’s nothing more breathtaking than to see you and daddy together. My heart overflows with so much love for you both. You have the most precious rosy cheeks and precious brown eyes.
As you grow, and come to call another woman “mom”, always remember love always overcomes death. Even in my passing, my love for you can not change. One day, we will see each other again.
For now, I will watch you grow and make your own mistakes. I will watch you try out for sports teams. Sometimes, you will make the team. Call your dad and celebrate every victory, no matter how small. That builds confidence. Sometimes, you’ll hear try out again, next year. When next year comes around, you get in there and try out again. That’s the definition of a winner. A participant, in this game called life, that never give up. When you hear no, you build character like persistence and dedication.
I will watch you grow and start dating. Your father is the best man to follow when it comes to an example. I would teach you to treat every woman, or man if you prefer, with utmost respect and honor. Loving someone is the biggest risk in life. It’s choosing to willingly hand your heart over to someone and trusting they’ll take care of it.
And when the tears fall, my precious, I will catch every one. I’ll never leave you, You are my greatest joy and proudest accomplishment.
My Love & Best Friend :
I love you so much. I was so blessed to have had the fifteen years I did, with you. You are an amazing man and even more importantly, an incredible father. I’m so happy you boys have one another. This plan is God’s, and He must have needed me more.
As time goes by, and the pain lessens, please promise me you’ll find someone else. You are to genuine and true to be alone. Love is the promise of life and purpose of living.
I will love you forever and always my true love! You both are my pride and joy.
Forever your Love,
Jason was visibly trembling. He sat down and reread the letter over and over.
These were her last words to us. How do I not remember her writing it? Where was I?
I don’t know but I’m thankful for some kind of closure. We never really got to say
Mr Lawrie, I…
He was nowhere to be found.