For years, I pushed aside the task of writing this story, ever since its original conception in August of 2004. The thought of it caused painful emotions among people I love dearly. It wasn’t until the passing of my Grandfather, Marion Dalene, that I truly understood the significance of my origins and how they contribute to my inner peace.
11 April 1986
With a heavy sigh, Carrie climbed into the green family truck, her pregnant belly making the task more cumbersome than it used to be. The warm Utah spring air brushed against her face as she started the engine and pulled away from their modest home. She was on a mission – her thirteen-year-old brother, James, had managed to get himself into another accident on his buddy’s dirt bike.
“Of course,” she muttered, rolling her eyes. Carrie thought about calling her parents, but they were attending a friend’s wedding reception and she didn’t want to interrupt them. Besides, she couldn’t blame James. With the weather being so pleasant in the mid-fifties, who wouldn’t want to mess around on a dirt bike?
Carrie contemplated rolling the window down further, feeling the cool breeze on her skin as she wore her jeans and tee. Her large blue eyes scanned the landscape ahead, searching for her brother. And then she found him.
“James!” she called out, spotting him waiting in a field not far from their home, just like his friend had said. “Are you okay?”
“Hey, Carrie. Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Just a bit sore, that’s all.”
“Let me help you up,” she offered, maneuvering herself out of the truck with difficulty. As she helped her brother into the vehicle, she felt an unusual sensation – her water breaking. The contraction followed almost immediately, causing her to wince in pain.
“Carrie, are you okay?” James asked, concern evident in his voice.
“I’m fine,” she lied, focusing on getting her brother settled in the truck. “Just need to get you home and make sure you’re comfortable.” The truth was, part of her knew she should go to the hospital, but the thought saddened her so she was postponing the inevitable.
“Thanks, sis,” James mumbled, wincing as he shifted in his seat. “I’m sorry for being a pain.”
Carrie just smiled at him, her dark brown hair framing her face as she turned the key in the ignition. “Don’t worry about it. You’re my little brother – that’s what I’m here for.” And with that, she drove them both home, putting his needs first, despite the growing discomfort and sadness.
Carrie gritted her teeth, the pain of the contractions growing too intense to bear. She knew she couldn’t avoid it any longer; she needed to go to the hospital. With a steadying breath, she drove to the wedding reception, her blue eyes scanning the crowd for her parents.
“Mom, Dad,” she called out as they hurried over, concern etched on their faces. “I need to go to the hospital. The baby’s coming.”
Zella immediately snapped into action, pulling out a small notebook and pen from her purse. “When did the contractions start?” she asked, her voice calm and focused.
“About an hour ago,” Carrie managed through clenched teeth. Zella began timing the contractions, her eyes never leaving her daughter’s face.
Rick, meanwhile, took charge of gathering everything they would need at the hospital. He made sure the overnight bag was packed with essentials, while also taking the time to scold James for his reckless behavior. “You need to be more careful, son,” he admonished, even as he carefully iced his youngest child’s ankle. Reminding James yet again that he needed to have an adult present when he was fooling around on a dirt bike.
The family arrived at the hospital just before 6:00 pm, and the receiving nurse quickly ushered Carrie into the delivery room, Zella close behind. As the nurses helped her onto the operating table and prepped her for delivery, anxiety weighed heavy on her chest like a boulder. She thought of the life she had imagined for herself, how different it seemed now.
“Everything will be alright, sweetie,” Zella whispered, holding her daughter’s hand tight.
But the thought of giving her unborn child up for adoption filled Carrie with a sadness that threatened to consume her. She felt numb, detached from reality as if she were watching the events unfold from afar. As the anesthesiologist administered the epidural, a small, sharp sting in the lower center of her back sent tingles throughout her lower body. Gradually, her muscles began to relax, and within minutes, the pain subsided. Carrie felt a small measure of comfort amid the emotional turmoil.
“Rest now,” Zella murmured, brushing unruly strands of dark brown hair from her daughter’s face. “We’ll be here when you wake up.”
With her mother’s soothing words, Carrie allowed herself to drift into a peaceful sleep, momentarily escaping the whirlwind of emotions that had taken hold of her heart.
12 April 1986
7:11 am arrived with a quiet announcement from the physician. “It’s a healthy baby boy,” he said, his voice a gentle whisper in the sterile room. The words hung in the air, heavy with meaning and emotion.
Carrie stirred, her large blue eyes fluttering open as she tried to focus on the scene before her. A tiny baby boy, swaddled in soft, white blankets, was being placed into her arms by a kind nurse. His huge blue eyes, so much like her own, glanced up at her with an almost palpable sense of wonder.
“Hello there,” Carrie whispered, her voice trembling with a mixture of love and sadness. She traced her finger along the peach fuzz covering his delicate head, marveling at his perfect little features.
“Take your time, dear,” Zella encouraged, her hand resting gently on Carrie’s shoulder. “He’s beautiful.”
As the baby’s eyes continued to roam around the room, Carrie couldn’t help but feel a tightness in her chest. Her heart ached as she thought about the life this little boy would have without her. She knew that placing him for adoption was the best decision, but the pain of letting go felt unbearable.
“Carrie,” Rick said softly, stepping closer to his daughter and grandson, “you’re doing the right thing. He’ll have a great life.”
Tears blurred Carrie’s vision as she looked down at the baby in her arms. With every breath he took, she felt a surge of love and a pang of loss. In that moment, she knew that no matter where life took them, there would always be a bond between them – one that could never be broken.
“Goodbye, my sweet boy,” she murmured, pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead. “I’ll always love you.”
And with those final words, Carrie held him close, etching the memory of his tiny face and the warmth of his fragile body into her heart forever.