Dec 13, 2010

A Promise to Keep

A young couple lay in bed together one night; nothing special about this night, just a regular week night; it’s Wednesday. The wife is 33 weeks pregnant and tired. She has to get up early for work in the morning. Her husband is resting his head on her round belly and talking to his unborn child. His wife wishes he would stop so she could go to sleep, but is equally touched by this tender moment, so she lets him continue.

He keeps his hands on her belly and looks up at her. “I know we think it’s going to be a boy, but just in case it’s a girl, promise me you’ll name her Stephanie.”

“It’s a boy.”

“But still, seriously, I mean it; promise me!”

“What is up with you? We can make these decisions together, so don’t stress!”

“I’ve always thought that Stephanie is a pretty name, so if it’s a girl, that’s what I want her name to be, OK?”

“OK! But it IS a boy.”

“Buuuuuuut, if it’s not?”

“Right, OK, geeze! Stephanie it is. I promise, cross my heart.”

“See! Was that so hard? Thank you!”

She smiled as he kissed her once on the lips and again on her belly and then they went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, he awoke and went into the kitchen. He was usually a sound sleeper so when he left, it woke up his wife. She rolled out of bed and found him in the kitchen making a giant sized sandwich.
“What are you doing up? It’s 2am!”

“I have no idea! I woke up absolutely starving. I feel like I’m going on a long journey and I need to stock up.”

“A journey? What the hell does that mean?”

“Again, I have no idea. All I know is that I wanna eat this wicked 'wich, and then I’ll come back to bed; don’t wait up.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.” 
And she went back to bed.

The alarm clock screamed in their ears for the fifth time on snooze rotation; they had over-slept. They frantically got ready in their tiny apartment, trying to make up time and constantly fumbled around each other. As usual, she was ready first and dashed out the front door to catch her bus. She had hobbled half way down the hallway of their apartment building when her goofy husband burst out their door and into the middle of the hallway wearing nothing but his underwear and his toothbrush hanging from his mouth. He took it out and waved it in the air like a wand while proclaiming, “Baby! Have a good day! I love ya, sweet cheeks!”

She rolled her eyes and laughed in both admiration and embarrassment, “Love you too... now for God’s sake, go put some clothes on!” She turned back to leave and get into the elevator; she could still hear her husband’s pathetic singing voice muffled off in the distance, “Llllooveeeee yoouuu!”

She was able to catch the bus and even got a bit of sleep on the 1/2 hour commute. When she got off at her stop, her mother was waiting at the front steps. She wasn’t overly close with her mother and the sight of her waiting at the place where she worked gave her a sudden and overwhelmingly sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“Sweetheart, I need you to be calm.”

“What’s going on? Tell me now! Why do I need to be calm?”

“It’s your husband. His dad went to pick him up for work and found him in the bathroom... on the floor. He tried everything to revive him but...”

“OK. Did he have a seizure? He hasn't had one in forever, but still...what's the big deal?”

“Honey, he’s at the hospital now; they are waiting for you... but... darling... he didn’t make it.”


This post is in memory of my father, who passed away 33 years ago this week. This is a true recollection of the night before and the morning of his passing, according to my mother. I was that baby girl and my mother kept her promise to him and named me Stephanie. I was born 6 weeks later, on what would have been his 25th birthday.


  1. Oh my.

    I am almost lost for words, your father sounded like a fabulous man, such a shame you never got to meet each other.


  2. Wow, what a loss I am so sorry she and you had to go through that. This was very well written and I have to be honest and say I cried.

  3. Wow, thank you so much for posting this BEAUTIFUL story of your life. I am so glad that I found you in time to be blessed this morning by this piece. Not only is this story personal, heartfelt, & touching, but your writing is amazing...

    Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your history...

  4. Thanks ladies. It's actually adapted from a screen play that I am working on about my mother :)

    Even though I never met my father, I still feel close to him - apparently our personalities are A LOT a like and apart from the boobs, vagina and minus facial hair, I'm his clone... and share a birthday. haha.

  5. I didn't know you shared a birthday with your father. I remember the photo you cloned of the two of you together, back in high school. I'm sending you and your mother big hugs for this week. I know it must be heart breaking still, even after all this time. I'm glad you are able to feel close to him. Know that you are a VERY special individual and have touched many with this story. You still awe me with everything you manage to do with such a busy schedule. xoxox c.

  6. Damn you! I just put make up on!!!

    In all seriousness. What a touching story, and what a way to honour your father with sharing it in this way. It's funny for me to say that he would be proud of you given the fact that I never met the man, but that's how I feel.

    Good luck with the screen play. I would love to see it in action.

  7. What an amazingly sad yet beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I literally stumbled on your blog this am. I'm now following x

  8. I forgot to mention - although this post is about their last moments... this earlier post is about their first - also a pretty good story...and is also in the ever-evolving screen play!

  9. Wow. That brought tears to my eyes. Good thing I'm at work, or I would be bawling.

  10. This is such a tragic story. It stinks that you never had a chance to meet your dad, but it sounds as though your mother has told you all about her life with him.

  11. WOW- this is intense. Thanks for sharing.

  12. So very sad but beautifully written.

  13. You continue to surprise me girlie. What an amazing story. Can't wait to read more.

  14. I truly don't know what to say. This is so beautifully written. You have a real talent. I only wish it were a fictional piece. xo

  15. Oh my goodness.
    What a moving post.
    Thank you for linking it up with us. I agree with Pamela - I wish this was a fictional piece.
    Man, can you write.
    - Ado

  16. Oh my God... that's deep. I wish I had a better response, but I don't. I'm at a complete loss for words reading this.

  17. What a beautifully written story. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing!

  18. This is a beautiful tribute to your father and such a lovely recollection brought to life through your words. This is truly moving. So sorry that you never got to meet your dad.

  19. I'm speechless. Beautifully written.

  20. Tears. Just tears.

    Beautifully written. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  21. oh. Oh my god. Well there goes the rather good job I did with a mascara wand this morning.

    that story touched me so deeply, maybe because I lost my dad when he was 52 suddenly, but Stephanie this story of you, YOUR story of how you lost your dad before you were born was extraordinary and special. Just like you.

    WOW. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

  22. Damn you for posting this again! Gives me chills and tears every time I read it. Still beautiful as ever.

  23. The way you wrote this absolutely captivated me, which is hard to do seeing as I have the attention span of an ADD gnat on speed. Beautiful words for such a tragic situation. You are his Stephanie. He knew.

  24. What a beautiful and tragic story.

  25. Aww. What a sad but lovely story to remember your dad.

  26. I always enjoy your writing and love your sense of humor. But it is when you write items like this, from your heart and your life, that you shine as a writer. A story I wish was fiction but a beautifully tragic story and you tell it so well. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that your day passes quickly.


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