I was just pulling out my credit card when the conversation from the two girls behind me broke through the fog in my mind.
“I couldn’t believe it either!” The two young ladies giggled with laughter.
I glanced over my shoulder at them as I shoved my credit card into the chip reader.
“Are you sure?” The slightly taller one asked as she ran the arm of her sleeve over her cheek wiping off the hysterical tears.
“mhmm.” The other nodded. “I counted back Thirty-five weeks from our birthday.”
“But a pregnancy is forty weeks long. So that can’t be right”
“Yes,” she answered. “But you forget we were three weeks early.”
As I took my receipt from the clerk’s hand, my mind shifted to my own birthday. The only thing I knew about my birth was that my father left my mother and me six years later.
I walked to the car with a bag of groceries in arms and tears streaking down my cheeks. My father hated us. I had heard the stories from my mother all my life. Oh sure, my mother had told me it wasn’t my fault and I knew in my head this was true. But my heart still ached. Did my father ever love either of us?
As I drove home my mind drifted back to the two girls in the store. I assumed they must be twin by how much they looked alike and by how the one had used the phrase “our birthday.” I wondered what event they were both aware of that had brought such surprise and mirth in their eyes.
As I pulled up to the red light I pressed down on the break and lifted up my right hip just enough to pull my phone out of my back pocket.
“I’m not distracted,” I assured myself as I glanced back and forth from my calendar app and the stoplight. “Two weeks early,” I mumbled, counting backwards.
My mouth dropped open as I finished. A car horn honked waking me from my shock and amazement. I tossed my phone onto the passenger’s seat as I pulled into the intersection. The sides of my lips began to unconsciously draw themselves up into a hesitant smile.
My life had begun in love.
People make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes cause an ache that is hard to recover from. But somehow, knowing it had all began in love, wiped away much of that pain and replaced it with warmth and strength.