hearing the news, I floated to the car flooded with questions, wondering how I
was going to tell my husband and worrying about his reaction.
The outcome of the examination I had just completed would definitely change our lives.
When I arrived home, there was a message on the answering machine; he was working late at the office and wouldn't be home for dinner – a reprieve.
Now I had time to plan my announcement. It had to be perfect! After mulling over several ideas, I made my decision and picked up the phone. "What city please?" asked the sharp voice on the other end of the receiver.
"I need the number for Western Union," I nervously requested.
"One moment, please," she routinely answered.
I thanked her, then carefully dialed the number: busy signal. So, while waiting a few minutes, my thoughts wandered to my husband, working at his office in a stock brokerage firm. Surely he'll be able to interpret my message, I thought.
I had affectionately nicknamed him my Pizza Puff because of his unabashed love for the food. A veritable staple in his diet, he could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every night, and still have it as a late-night snack. Whenever we went out for dinner, his first choice would be "a new pizza place" so he could compare the product in his quest for the ultimate pie.
I redialed the Western Union number wondering what his reaction would be when he read this telegram. What would he do first? What would he say? Would he call me right away?
"Western Union, how may I help you?"
I relayed the message while my heart drummed out an Indian war chant: RESEARCH COMPLETED stop. CONFIRMNING NEW ISSUE stop. MINI PIZZA PUFF OFFERS LONG-TERM GROWTH stop. RELEASE DATE SET FOR MIDDLE OF JUNE stop. PREPARE NOW stop. LOVE YA, HELEN.
After supplying all the pertinent information, I asked, "How long before this telegram is delivered?"
"About an hour or two," the voice explained.
I placed the receiver back on the phone stand and stepped back, caught in a whirlwind of joy.
For the next half-hour or so, I paced the floor and watched the clock. I couldn't wait another second. I picked up the phone and called Dan. I made small talk then finally asked, "Has anyone stopped in the office to see you in the last two hours or so?"
"No. Why?" he asked quizzically.
"Oh, it's just that I know someone is supposed to come in and give you something.
"And who might this be?" he asked.
"I can't tell you. It'll spoil everything," I said.
"Helen, I don't want to cut you short, but I am in the middle of things here. Either tell me what's on your mind or we'll talk about it when I get home."
"All right, Dan, I'll tell you. I sent you a telegram."
"Just listen." I read him the message and waited.
The silence was deafening. "So what's that supposed to mean?"
I couldn't believe he didn't understand. "I'll read it again. Think about it!" I tried to stay calm.
"Okay, you read; I'll write it down. Maybe something will click if I see it in writing." He repeated my message. "New Issue. Mini Pizza – hey that's my name! – June – Long-term growth, hold on Helen, there's another call coming in. Be right back."
Business, I thought, always getting in the way of important things.
"Okay, I'm here," came his cheerful response. "Now, let me look at this."
I waited for what seemed like forever, desperately hoping the light would dawn. Finally he commented idly, "Sounds like a new me is on the way in June."
"Yes!" I shouted. "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
"You mean like a baby? Like you're going to have a baby?"
"Not exactly, I mean we're going to have a baby!"
"Are you sure? When did you find out? Are you okay?"
"Yes, I’m sure. Just came home from the doctor's office. And yes, I'm okay."
"Wow, Helen! This is great. Hold on."
I could hear him shouting to his coworkers, "I'm going to be a father. Helen and I are pregnant!" I could also hear the shout of congratulations.
"Helen?" he asked.
"Still here," I said.
His voice cracked, "I'm on my way home!"
All the worries of the evening faded instantly. "Hurry home, Daddy," I whispered into the phone.
"I will, little mother," came his equally hushed reply.