On May 24th, 2011, triplet boys were born to Hattie & Harold Miles at Sunset Hospital in the small community of Clayton. The announcement of their midnight arrival was the topic of conversation in every business, home, and place of worship in the immediate area. Miracle was the word being fluently passed around to describe the blessed occurrence, because the town had never had a multiple birth delivery.
Malcolm, Mathew, and Mateo Miles entered into the world weigh less than 5 lbs each, but they were strong, healthy spirits. All of them arrived kicking and screaming their tiny lungs out which was an indication of warrior strength in their father’s eyes. The entire ward of the nursery was filled to capacity with excited family members, supportive friends, and hordes of intrigued onlookers. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the infant trilogy whom was now part of their quaint, diverse, and peaceful little town.
After two days of absolute chaos, the constant flow of spectators started getting tiresome to the new parents. The fascination they had was understandable, however, the continuous invasion on their family’s privacy had to cease. Enough was enough.
That afternoon, after a lengthy conversation with his wife, Miles met with several members of the hospital staff to express his and his wife’s discomfort. They assembled in a spacious conference room located on the second floor of the ten story building. Twenty, plush, gray, high-back, leather office chairs surrounded a long, well-polished, oval, oak table. Including Miles, there were five others representing the medical team present. He wondered, briefly, why they were meeting in such a large room.
He seated himself in one of the chairs closet to the door, and once he had gotten settled into it, he quietly began scanning the room with his eyes. There several photos promoting health and wellness, procedural instructions, a multi-button wall phone, and a stainless steel control box that looked to be some sort of internal intercom system.
His shallow inspection of the room was only a distraction that allowed him time to compose his thoughts. He knew he needed to keep his emotions contained, because getting angry would only, quite possibly, overshadow his main reason for calling the meeting. He was there to address the hospitals inability to control the crowd, and their lack of professionalism.
“What is this, a zoo? You have no idea how stressful this whole ordeal has been for us. My wife is exhausted, and has not been able to rest since deliver,” he said sternly.
“Mr. Miles, Clayton has never witnessed anything as exciting as your triplet boys. Nothing like this has ever happened here before. Their enthusiasm is just harmless interest,” the red-haired, freckled face, physician replied, clearly unmoved by what he had just said.
The way she looked over those, black-rimmed, common-looking spectacles resting towards the end of her nose didn’t sit well with him. Was she looking her nose down at him? The blatant disregard was unnerving, and he couldn’t help but wonder if everyone around that table shared those same sentiments. Who in the hell did they think they were? He was appalled at their audacity to sit there in those expensive seats with arrogant smug faces, trivializing everything he had just said, as if his and his wife’s feelings didn’t matter. When he reflected on that day he still felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
Fortunately, the melee surrounding the birth of their sons wasn’t anything that they had prepared themselves to deal with. Eventually, though, all the hoopla died down and everyone returned to their normal, everyday, routines. Unfortunately, the peace didn’t last forever because their son’s were extremely gifted youngsters. They excelled at practically everything.
Malcolm the eldest, just by 4 minutes, was a mathematical genius. He was solving physics equations by the time he reached the sixth grade. College recruiters from Ivy League schools across the nation started sending letters of interest, offering fully paid four year scholarships that including free housing and books.
Mateo, the second born, 2 minutes later, was a scientific whiz. His lab experiments were so complex that it drew the attention of professors from all over the world. They made visits to discuss his astonishing theories. Like his older brother, he started receiving letters of interest from colleges offering full scholarships. Unlike Malcolm, Mateo knew the school he wanted to attend, and even knew the area of science he wanted to study. His intellect and maturity exceeded a child his age, and it amazed both parents.
Matthew, born 5 minutes after, ran like the wind. His physical prowess was being compared to many of the great players in basketball, football, baseball, as well as, those in track & field. He could out dribble, out catch, out swing, and out tackle everyone in his league, the next one, and even the next. His scholastic accomplishments were well above average, but athletics are what made his eyes light up. Scholarship offers began pouring in for him, just like they were for his older brothers.
Hattie’s joy was spoiling her wonderful boys. She loved tending to their every need, and Miles quickly learned not to argue with her about it. Every once in awhile he’d step into forbidden territory and she we close him down instantly. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do for my sons!” she’d say, and that would the final say – at least for that moment. Being in the middle of an adoring mother and her triplets was no place for any father to be.
Their eighteenth birthdays saddened Hattie, because she realized that her sons would be leaving the fold. She felt like she was losing them to the world, and knew that there was nothing she could do to prevent the inevitable, so she forced herself to smile through all the hugs and goodbyes until her last son boarded his plane. Then it was on.
Tearfully, she looked at her husband asked him, “Now what?”
“Life; it’s time for us to start living our lives. Our sons were loaned to us by God to look after for a little while. We’ve done a great job doing that; you’ve done a great job being their mother, Hattie. They’re men now. Remarkable young men with destines all their own to follow,” he told her, with pride beaming in his grin.
“They were my destiny,” Hattie weakly said, as she buried her plump, grief strained face, into the right side o f her husband’s strong, firm chest.
“Hattie, the adventure has just begun. We’re going to travel, girl; see our young men entertain and amaze thousands of people. This a time for celebration, not sadness, because get the chance to watch them become everything we hoped they would be,” he said, as he gently wiped her tears away. Without missing a Motown-beat, he planted light kiss on her forehead.
One year passed quickly, and all three boys seemed to be adjusting to their independence and life away from home extremely well. During holiday visits, Hattie made up for lost time; performing all the tasks she enjoyed doing for them during their childhoods. When they objected to her maternal smothering, it fell on deaf ears and, after awhile, they just let her do her thing – as long as it made her happy.
Whenever they left and returned to school, Mattie would fall into a debilitating funk. It didn’t take long for Miles to notice that the depressive episodes were lasting longer. He voiced his concern and tried to get her to see a doctor, but she adamantly refused.
“I’m no crazy woman, Miles. Only crazy people see psychiatrist,” she told him, definitely.
“Seeing a psychiatrist doesn’t mean you’re crazy, woman, sometimes folks just need to talk things out,” he told her, flustered by her refusal to listen.
“What makes you think I need to talk to somebody? Why can’t I talk to you, aren’t you my husband?” she asked, in a condescending tone.
“Yes, I am your husband, and as y our husband I’m telling you that something isn’t right! Stop being so stubborn, can’t you see I care? I’m only trying to help,” he shot back.
“Help do what, have me committed? A mother missing her children is normal, and I don’t need some nut getting into my head telling me how I should feel!”
In her heart she knew he was right, but generations of pride, compounded with personal denial would not allow her to admit the truth. She purposely withheld information pertaining to her mother’s struggle with clinical depression, because she refused to believe that the illness could be passed on.
It was a painful experience watching her mother’s vibrant spirit slowly deteriorate before her eyes. She vividly remember show it destroyed her parent’s marriage, and how it ripped apart their entire family unit. The horrifying recollection was paralyzing. She prayed that her family would not have to succumb to the same fate that her mother’s did.
Fear riddled her mind with the possibility of history repeating itself, and that reality was something she could not ignore. If she did nothing she would be surrendering without even putting up a fight. She had a decision to make, and if her family truly meant anything to her she needed to find the courage to seek help.
It was both a defining moment and a leap of faith that she was willing to take. No one in her own family had ever acknowledged their mental ailment, and they were living dysfunctional lives. They were causalities of an ignorance instilled in them at an early age, by misinformed elders too narrow-minded in their thinking to see depression for what it truly was, a legitimate disease that, if left unchecked, could lead to fatal consequences.
Hattie’s personal fears and reluctance were not strong enough to overpower the profound love that she had in her heart for the husband she adored, and their three, brilliant boys. As a loyal wife and devoted mother, she would let faith be her guide as she took those courageous steps through darkness into light.
“Please, be patient with me, darling,” she said, in a soft, tender, tone of surrender.
His supportive smile grew wider as he inched closer towards the woman he cherished as much as the air he breathed. Warmth raced throughout his extremities like distant meteors racing across a night’s sky. It flooded his heart in ripples mimicking ocean tides, and when he embraced his majestic queen, he transferred some of that force into her wounded spirit, and it comforted her like a skillfully crafted quilt.
(To be continued…)
Author G D Grace’s Literary Links:
Barnes & Noble
Blogs & Miscellaneous Author G. D. Grace Info
“A Touch of Grace” Blog Talk Radio Show:
CALL IN NUMBER TO SHOW: (347) 215-6245
Author G. D. Grace reserves all rights and reproduction without written permission is not permitted. If found, legal action will be taken against the person(s) or company(s) that have cut or pasted (Plagiarized) any portion of this written document. Author, G. D. Grace; Published © 2012 February