Copyright© 2016 by Joesephus
The next two years sort of evaporated. I never knew life could be so full. Cindy might have been a minister, but even with two babies at home she was anything but stodgy. Her energy and joy made each new day a wonder. Oh, and who would ever have thought a guy like me could learn to have so much fun at church parties?
Cindy loved being at home with the twins, but still found time to do a fair amount of writing. She also loved to fill in on Sundays for ministers who, for one reason or another, couldn’t be in their pulpit. Cindy, bless her, didn’t recycle sermons, and it was inspirational to listen to her preach. I also didn’t mind the tradition that the visiting minister was always taken to lunch at the best restaurant in the area. It wasn’t much in the way of pay, but it did introduce us to some great places to eat.
It’s odd, I’d gotten a promotion to area technical sales manager, with great pay, so I traveled some and ate out all the time, but even though I loved Cindy’s cooking, I also loved to eat out with her. I think part of it was that she was just so interesting. As I’ve said, I’m a pretty smart guy, but Cindy just dazzled me.
She studied scripture in the original Greek, Latin and Hebrew. She read all the great philosophers, and corresponded with many of the current leaders. Yet when we’d go out to lunch with folks who never finished high school, she could make her points in ways they understood.
I admit that I was a little bit of an intellectual snob, but being around the various church folks cured me. It didn’t take a sheepskin to make someone smart and life experience teaches more than I got in any classroom.
I don’t want to give the impression that life was perfect, it wasn’t. There were several clouds, “no bigger than a man’s hand in our life.” The first was that, it was rare to come home without finding several cars in our driveway. Cindy loved people and there were always people “just dropping by.”
I did a slow burn for a year or so then I blew up. Cindy’s response was typical, “Why didn’t you say something? I’ll take care of it.” I don’t know how she did it, she continued to collect friends like kids collect stains, but it was never a problem after that.
Recently a new cloud appeared. She’d begun talking about our other “children.” She was doing so well that she was able to cut back on many of the drugs that transplant patients have to take and was beginning a campaign to be allowed to have the two remaining embryos implanted in her. It scared me to death.
It was true that she was a model patient. The heart turned out to be so compatible it might have come from her twin, but it wasn’t a perfect match and she needed the drugs to keep her as healthy as she was.
I think that’s what was so hard on her, she just felt so good, better than she’d felt, in some ways, than before she went to Africa. This led to some knock-down, drag-out fights ... OK it led to a lot of yelling and hand waving on my part and serene smiles on her part as she argued “reasonably.”
The crux of her argument was that the embryos were humans and we couldn’t just leave them forever frozen. We argued about what made a human and when cells acquired a soul. Her argument was that while we didn’t know exactly when a group of cells became human why risk it. I’d been raised pro-choice and believed in a woman’s right to choose, but even I had to admit that it didn’t make a lot of sense to make the cut off point when the baby was born. I was inclined to say when the baby became viable outside the mother. That was human enough for me, and at that point the baby should be protected. I suppose that would be about the last trimester ... isn’t that what the Supreme Court said in the original Roe v. Wade?
In one argument I pointed out that the Methodist Social principles supported abortion to preserve the health and life of the mother. Have you ever heard the term “bringing a knife to a gunfight?” Never argue theology with theologian! I have no excuse. I knew she was published, the sale of her books created a healthy trust fund for the twins, but the words she used! If you do decide to argue theology with a theologian, at least make sure you know enough Greek, Latin and Hebrew to know if they’re making points or swearing at you. Bottom line, I think her theological arguments were just cover. She had a deep tie to those embryos. Her response was far beneath the emotional level of logic. Those were her babies and she wasn’t going to let them languish in some frozen jar.
I’ll never forget the Sunday afternoon that I sat her down on our bed, looked deeply into her eyes and said, “Honey, I will never allow you to carry those babies. You’ve always said that theologically I was the head of this family, and I’m saying this is final.”
Do you know when you’ve been had? She gave me a big sexy smile and said, “That means if I can find the right person to carry them we’ll have two more babies?” I knew exactly how Br’er Fox felt after he’d thrown Br’er Rabbit back in to the briar patch as a torture, only to find that he’d thrown him into his favorite place.
I might have caught on sooner, but she’d immediately began using her best argument ... her hands had magically appeared inside my pants. Almost before she finished her sentence she had put her mouth to better usages, no doubt so I wouldn’t see her gloat. All I could do was moan was “YES!” I was not giving my permission for her to find another surrogate mother ... but that point could be disputed by an impartial jury. Besides, I knew that Sandy was no longer physically able to carry more children and who else would do that for us? Isn’t a man’s logic silly when he thinks with the wrong head?
Two months later I came home on a Friday night and Cindy was wearing one of her sexiest outfits. She had my favorite dinner prepared ... chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and English peas. Then she sprung her first surprise. She’d just signed a contract to do a series of seven books over the next 10 years. The amount of advance check staggered me; she’d be making more than I did, and only working part time at home! I knew exactly how she wanted to celebrate when she asked me to take the twins to one of our friend’s house while she cleaned up after dinner, so we could “discuss what this meant for our future.” I loved the way she could, uh ... discuss!
She promised to have everything ready before I got back, and as I was leaving she said, “Wait ‘till you see what I’ve got for you when you get back... ‘Big Daddy’!”
I didn’t speed. Okay, I didn’t speed while the twins were in the car. The round trip normally took about just under an hour. Even with the time settling the twins and getting all their stuff unloaded, six interminable red lights and a jerk who farmed both sides of the road as he drove, I was pulling into our driveway forty-two minutes after I left. When Cindy went all out ... well I do believe that the angels wept that they weren’t one of us.
Oh God! As I got to our bedroom, the first thing I saw was the votive candle that heated the little glass bowl of scented oil. The smell was powerful, and until that instant had been my favorite. There were other candles around the room, giving a soft glow to the darkness.
Cindy was in her sexiest Victoria’s Secret outfit and laying on my side of our bed. She had the sweetest smile on her face. It was the one she had when she would tell me how much she loved me, but I knew it wasn’t for me. It was for the only one she loved more than me. Even before I touched her I knew she’d never smile like that for me again.