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A Father's Day

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My husband falls in love with the most unlikely things. Beside myself, he loves old bits of line, chocks, blocks, broken bikes and his miserable, stinky, ratty old leather shoes.

His is an affinity with the ragged and tattered and misused. His is the ability to love them into shape and rebirth them as something new and fascinating.

I tend to forget the good times and his talents when he is driving me crazy or his shoes are so unbearable that all I want to do is put them out of my misery.

This month as we prepare to move to a new state, I am 15 weeks pregnant and life is topsy-turvy we have bickered something awful

A few days ago I was scheduled for the initial sonogram on our fourth child. It was a routine thing to check the due date, but I was nervous. Truth be told I was downright irrational.

While my husband showered I stood in the doorway and told him I didn't want to go. "I think they'll tell me I have a tumor or Cancer or something," I said.

He stood there dripping and told me in no uncertain terms that I was being absurd, hormonal and generally ridiculous.

I was miffed and said a curt good-bye and headed out, alone, to the hospital.

I am never right. That is my husband's province. It is simply understood that he is always, maddeningly on target.

It stinks that the universe picked this day to make me right. The scan showed a tumor in me, but not on me. It is on the baby. It is at the back of the baby's neck.

The technician called a doctor and both looked grim as they told me not to worry. It might be something that goes away as baby grows - a water-filled tumor. It could be a harbinger of Downs Syndrome.

They told me this, handed me two printouts of images of the baby with the words "Hi Mommy and Daddy" typed on them.

I walked out of the dark cubicle and became instantly, uncontrollably hysterical. Holding the images in one hand I groped down the hall sobbing until I found a wooden bench and cried a puddle on the linoleum.

A nurse came up and asked If I was there alone and as I tried to answer, a pair of miserable, stinky, ratty old leather shoes stepped into my tear puddle.

Oh my God how I loved those shoes. No doctor would ever wear them. Only one pair of stinky feet belonged to them. He was there. He guided me out of the building and home.

Tomorrow he will be with me at the high-risk pregnancy specialist as the next level of tests begin and we learn what we must face.

 At the end of the day I may wish that I were in someone elses shoes, but I will never again in my life, wish for someone else to fill my husband's.

Written by Lisa Suhay June 8, 2003