Bob and his wife Nancy struggled to have a baby until he stopped wanting one. One night they quarrelled about it and she left, never to return because of a car accident. When Bob visited her grave a few days later, he saw a little boy who shook him deeply.
Bob got out of the car and headed for his destination. These were hard days for him, and after the incident a host of regrets flashed through his mind. He took a deep breath and reflected on the last few years of his life as he paced the green grass…
Bob and Nancy were married in their twenties, and for many years they had both been focused on their careers. They had just graduated from university and needed money to start their lives. So children were relegated to the back burner. But over time, Bob felt that having children was a waste of time and money.
Meanwhile, Nancy really wanted them, so they started trying to have a baby in their 30s. But nothing worked. They went to a specialist for Nancy, who prescribed all sorts of fertility drugs, but it still didn’t work. Bob began to worry that he himself might be the problem. However, he did not want to see a specialist himself.
It was a matter of his pride. The more they tried and failed to have a child, the less he wanted one. He started reading about families who did not have children and considered this option for himself. They were rich and could do whatever they wanted. So he decided that a child would be a hindrance to him.
But more than anything, Nancy wanted to be a mother. She would stop at the baby products and toy shops they passed and say: “Wouldn’t it be fun to play football in the backyard with our baby?” and Bob would barely audibly hum when she said things like that.
Soon Nancy got tired of being ignored and never mentioned it again. Bob thought she had finally accepted their fate as a childless couple, but he was wrong.
At some point Nancy started coming home late from work, and Bob suspected something was wrong. She had never done that, even during the most difficult times of her career in her twenties. She was well established at work and held a high position in her company. So Bob was sure she was cheating on him and preparing to leave him. This led to the worst night of his life.
Nancy had just come home after another late night, and that was enough for Bob. “Where the hell have you been?” – he shouted to her as soon as she walked in.
She was stunned by his attitude. “What do you mean? I was at work.”
“That’s a lie! Tell me the truth!”
“What? I’m not… lying,” Nancy said, but looked away and Bob noticed her hesitation.
“WHAT ARE YOU hiding from me?” – He shouted, making her flinch.
“Stop shouting, Bob. I’m not doing anything wrong,” she began. But Bob was so angry he didn’t want to hear any more.
“HOW COULD YOU? YOU’RE A TERRIBLE WOMAN! I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT AFTER SO MANY YEARS YOU CHEATED ON ME AND FOUND A MAN WHO WOULD GIVE YOU CHILDREN!”
Hearing these terrible words from Bob, Nancy finally exhaled. “I will not tolerate you insulting me in my own home!” she replied.
“AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE A WOMAN CHEATING ON ME!”
Nancy took offence and jumped out of the house.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING? COME BACK! WE’RE NOT DONE YET!”
“I’ll be back when you calm down!” – she replied, getting into the car and driving off.
That was the last time Bob saw Nancy alive. She had died that night in a car accident, and now he was visiting her grave, and he was choking with pain, with regret that nothing could be fixed. He could have done so much and become different. He shouldn’t have blamed her, but he had no other explanation. And now he would never know the truth.
He approached the grave, but stopped where he was when he saw a small boy sitting on the grass in front of the gravestone, talking to it. A few feet away he saw two adults looking at the child, waiting for him to finish. Bob did not understand what was happening and walked over to the child.
The child looked up, noticing someone else, and Bob hesitantly greeted him. “Hello, little one. What are you doing here?”
The child pursed his lips for a moment and looked at the tombstone. “That’s my mother.”
Bob’s eyebrows rose and he almost fell over, but he pulled himself together and asked: “Really? Because she’s my wife and we didn’t have any children… I think,” he added, trying to put a humorous spin on his words.
The boy glanced sadly at the grave and continued: “Well, she said she was going to adopt me soon. And she told me I was going to have a daddy, too.”
Finally, Bob noticed two adults who were a few feet away approaching him. “Hello, sir. Are you Bob McLean?” – One of them asked.
“Yes, I am,” he replied, still confused.
“Hello, sir. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We work at a local orphanage. I’m Sarah and this is Stanley. Nancy McLean visited Kurt in the weeks before she died. She told us she wanted to adopt him, but she always said her husband wasn’t sure about it yet,” Sarah explained, and things finally fell into place for Bob.
Nancy never cheated on him. She had visited a boy in an orphanage in their town in Oregon, wanting to adopt him. He was shocked, but it was better than thinking she had been unfaithful in their marriage. Still, she had to tell him.
“I didn’t know what she was doing,” Bob said, surprising the shelter staff.
“Oh, I see. Well, we heard that she died and it was difficult to explain it all to Kurt, so we brought him here. I hope it’s okay,” the woman continued. “My deepest condolences, sir.”
Bob thanked her and watched the boy talk to his wife. A few minutes later he made an important decision which, was a tribute to his wife and would make amends for what he had done on the day of her death.
With Sarah’s help, he began to visit Kurt, and the child enjoyed telling him about his visits to Nancy. He was soon confirmed as a foster parent for Kurt, and years later officially adopted him.