“Mrs. Fay? What would you like to name him?” The nurse smiled gently, desperately trying to make Rosie feel better. But nothing worked.
Holding the soft, pink baby boy in her arms, Rosie searched around the room. Her eyes were coated in tears and she was exhausted. She cleared her throat and tried to breathe.
“Gavin, “She said through her tears. “ I want to name him Gavin Daniel Fay.” The nurse nodded then placed a certificate of birth onto the tray table on Rosie’s lap. Rosie silently filled in her son’s name with a shaky hand. The tears continued to roll down her cheeks. For many new mothers’ this was meant to be a moment filled with joy. But of course in Rosie’s situation this was far from it. She looked at the place where her husband’s signature would be but instead of his elegant, flourished signature there was the doctor’s.
“Um-“Rosie whispered after completing her part of the document. “I would like to make a phone call... please...” Rosie looked up at the nurse pleadingly. The nurse instantly understood and gave her a sad, knowing nod. The woman slipped out of the room, leaving Rosie completely alone. Her family had died when she was very young and many of her friends were much too far away to be there with her.
Rosie looked down with a pained smile at her new baby. His eyes shimmered the same deep blue as hers but his hair was the same soft chestnut as his father. It made Rosie burst into tears again.
“Oh Gavin... you are so perfect. Daddy loves you so much. Mommy loves you so much. You are so loved...” Rosie pulled her baby closer to her and sobbed. At that moment the nurse returned. Rosie wiped her eyes swiftly then put on a smile.
“You can use the phone now sweetie.” The nurse said with a heartfelt smile and pulled it from the wall and placed the receiver in Rosie’s free hand. Rosie nodded and smiled.
“I’ll be just around the corner if you need me.” The nurse said and stepped through the doorway. Rosie dialed the number carefully. She knew it was one of Daniel’s phone days but she was still nervous. The phone rang a couple of times then there was a familiar voice on the other end.
“This is staff sergeant Daniel Fay.”
“Hello love...” Rosie whispered
“Oh Rose! I’ve missed your voice so much! Is everything alright? I’m usually the first to call.” Daniel said concerned.
“Darling... it’s a boy...” Rosie breathed.
“Oh... oh my god... Rosie... I’m so proud of you...” Daniel was getting choked up. Rose could tell he was on the verge of breaking down.
“His name is Gavin. Gavin Daniel. Just like you wanted it.” Rosie was sobbing now and Gavin whimpered.
“Rosie... describe him to me... I can’t wait another 2 weeks for a picture...”
“He’s so small... only 6 and half pounds. He’s so quiet the doctors had to rub him for a while to get him to cry. His eyes are blue and Daniel I swear his face is a mirror image of you. It’s like he knew Daddy was perfect.” Rosie said through her tears.
“Rosanne… I love you both more than anything in this world. And that will never change no matter how far they bring me from home. Don’t ever forget that, alright baby?” Daniel was crying hard now which made Rosie cry even harder.
“We love you too Daniel! We miss you so much...” Rosie sobbed
“Rosie put me on speaker… please. I need to tell him something...” Daniel whispered. Rosie pressed the button then set the receiver between her and her baby.
“Gavin... I wrote you something. It’s a song, for you and you’re momma...” Rosie smiled and wiped away a tear with the back of her hand. The sound of the guitar Rosie had sent Daniel for Christmas came softly from the small speaker on the phone. Though the quality of the music coming through the phone was less than great, the music was still beautiful.
“I wish you freedom, I wish you peace! I wish you nights of stars that beckon you to sleep! I wish you heartache that leaves you more of a man... I wish I could be there but I can’t.” Daniels voice was soft and dark just as Rosie remembered it.
“I wish you places that sit so still, where people never ever change and never ever will! I wish I could hold you and make you understand... I wish I could be there but I can’t. Be good for your momma because she’ll need a hand to hold and boy she loves you more than you’ll ever know! There are rhymes and there are reasons and times when nothing stays the same but you know my love still remains!” Daniel sang out. The pain in his voice from his tears had disappeared and his melody was beautiful.
“I wish you wisdom, I wish you years! I wish you armies to conquer all your fears! I wish you courage for all that life demands... I wish I could be there but I can’t. Be good for your momma! Cause she’ll need a hand to hold! And boy she loves you more than you’ll ever know. There are rhymes and there are reasons and times when nothing stays the same but you know my love still remains... I wish we were together! I wish I was home. I wish there were nights when I was never alone! I know I’ve said it but I’ll say it once again... I wish I could be there... but I can’t.” The strumming finished out the song then there was silence on the other end.
“Daniel… Gavin smiled the whole time… just the sound of your voice makes him happy.” Rosie looked down tearfully at the wide-eyed, toothless baby boy who was smiling up at her.
“I’m so glad… Rosie… we’re a family now…” Daniel whispered.
“Yes baby… yes we are.”
“Darling… I’m so sorry… but I have to go now. Send as many letters and pictures as possible these next few days! I can video chat on the 15th of June. Make sure I can see my beautiful family then, alright?” Daniel clearly was torn. Rosie could hear it in his voice, he didn’t want to go. But she just cleared her throat and wiped away another stream of tears.
“Of course sweetheart. I... we love you so much...”
“I love you too. Goodbye…” Then the call was cut. Rosie set aside the phone and pulled Gavin to her chest, sobbing uncontrollably. The nurse tiptoed in and placed the phone back into its place on the wall.
“Mrs. Fay, “The woman whispered in a sisterly, soothing voice. “You really should get some rest. 8 hours of labor can really do a number on a girl.” Rosie studied the woman carefully. She was no more than 10 years older than her, most likely in her mid-thirties. Her gray-streaked blond hair was pulled into a messy bun and her smile was clearly exhausted as well. Rosie glanced casually at her nametag. When she’d entered the hospital, she’d been told her name but with the pain of contractions it quickly slipped her mind.
“Yes... you’re right. Thank you so much Anna for all you’ve done for me… I don’t know what I would have done without someone like you holding my hand through all of this.” Rosie smiled up at the woman as she gently took baby Gavin from her arms and placed him in the basinet at her bedside. Anna took Rosie’s hand into hers for a moment.
“No one should have to go through this alone my dear. “ And then she walked out the door. Rosie soon found herself sound asleep and oddly enough, with a smile on her face.