Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis Chapter 35

Republisher’s Note: A time jump and then flashbacks as the story picks up steam. The timeline is a little confusing we start jumped probably 4 years ahead and then flashback to where we were and then back ahead 4 years again.

Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis – Chapter 35

    Danny opened his briefcase and pulled the newest picture of his son out and sat the frame on the desk. The array of pictures displayed the family history from the collage of Michelle’s pictures to their three children. The latest addition, Lance Pascal Santos, was celebrating his six-week birthday today, October 31.

 The last remnants of the late fall hurricane had swept through the lower east coast dumping the torrential rains and moving up the coastline to dampen all the young at heart with the loss of the yearly Trick or Treat outing. Pascal still refused the supplementary bottle of Michelle’s breast milk, which prevented Danny from feeding the newborn son. The little fellow was only content to be at his mother’s breast. It was looking doubtful that Michelle would be back in the residency program unless Pascal stayed at the childcare program at the hospital. Danny was resisting Michelle’s suggestion of Pascal spending anytime outside of their home.

 Olga and Danny had fed the twins with the eyedropper until they had grown to accept the bottle when Michelle was at the hospital. Danny was the parent that watched his first son learn to turn over in the portacrib and when they both stood up the family room to walk holding on the edge of the sofa. Danny wasn’t about to let Pascal slip out of his reach. The joke in the apartment was Michelle always kept Pascal in the front baby carrier so that he could nurse at demand and it was Michelle’s nature to try and regain the lost time, which she had with the twins.

After breakfast, the twins had their last year Halloween Costumes on modeling for his approval. Michelle had instructed them to keep their new costumes a secret until Danny returned from the office to take them over to the Tiny Tots for their Halloween Party. Michelle had the kitchen set up with the two stools to make Halloween cookies and popcorn balls with the twins when he closed the door to his office shutting out their temporary distractions.

The two older children had begged to come into his office off their penthouse apartment where they had lived the past two years in downtown Philadelphia. Michelle had come to his rescue with reminding the twins that the office was Daddy’s space and how lucky they were to have their Daddy so close by. If it quit raining so hard, they could go out with Danny in their raincoats and boots to stump and splash in the puddles of water over in the park across the street from where they lived.

The park was their special place to go out to run off energy each day by running in the grass. They had learned to swing and climb up the slides together with one leading the way for the other to share and experience the fun. In the park, they discovered that other children could play with them but the twins still used their own special language to communicate with each other when they sensed the other needed comforting. Danny and Michelle never understood what the words meant but they saw the development of the language as soon as they started cooing to each other in the Pirate Bed. It amazed their parents that the twins tended to use their language routinely when they went to bed.

 Michelle had insisted during the last year, they spend their mornings attending the Tiny Tots program at the hospital where Michelle was doing her residency in Pediatric medicine. They ate lunch at the center before coming home with their father to take a nap, which grew to be a daily argument about their refusal to go down for the ritual nap and staying in separate beds.

Danny moved from his desk to the window and watched the outside rain beating against the glass. This type of rain never failed to trigger memories of the night the twins were born in San Juan and the unexpected friendship materializing with the Parisian Dr. Henri Pasteur. He could count on his fingers the number and names of hurricanes in the past four years. It had become a strange hobby of his after the twins’ birth.

The labor pains had interrupted the small private party New Year’s Eve Party. At the University Hospital, the elderly Frenchman shook hands with Danny after he introduced himself as the doctor covering the Labor and Delivery suite for the New Year’s Eve. From the moment when Dr. Pasteur listened to Michelle’s troubled pregnancy, the doctor wrote the history on the yellow note pad in a neat and precise penmanship indicating his professional traits, which Danny would soon learn to respect.

 Wasting little time, Dr. Pasteur was on the phone with Dr. Sedgwick in Springfield. They exchanged their professional greetings before getting to the main reason for the phone call. Michelle was in the early stages of labor with her cervix being 3 to 4 centimeters dilated. Dr. Pasteur’s concern was Michelle’s insistence to have a natural childbirth without any medication. She had agreed to have a local for the episiotomy. In his discussion with Dr. Sedgwick, Henri Pasteur wondered if the complications of the pregnancy had been reviewed with Michelle and her husband.

The startling news of Michelle being in medical school and coming from a family of physicians reinforced his desire to do the best for his young colleague. Dr. Sedgwick gave him an annotated history of the young woman marrying the handsome mob boss. From the beginning, Dr. Sedgwick had felt the stress of Michelle’s new family life had caused the toxemia. Michelle had struggled to maintain a life of normality and for that reason Dr. Sedgwick had put off discussing the pending complications. Assuming Michelle had read in an OB-GYN book of the possible complications of delivering the twins early. Dr. Sedgwick’s final instructions were to convince Danny to get on board with Dr.Pastuer’s medical advice and prepare Michelle for the possibility of having to have an emergency Caesarean Section. Both Doctors agreed the maximum labor time shouldn’t exceed twelve hours.

Placing the phone back in the cradle, “The best timed call that I have ever placed, the connection faded out from Springfield. Springfield is having freezing rain and we are certainly getting plenty of the liquid variety.” Scrutinizing the young man in the leather chair sitting beside his desk, “Mr. Santos, you and I have our work cut out for us tonight. Before we return to your wife’s room, you and I are going to put all our cards on the table. You are going to have to follow my instructions if you want to leave this hospital a happy man without a grudge to settle.”

Danny sat up and leaned toward the glass top desk. “If you do what is right by my wife, there will be no reason for a grudge. I want to know about these other complications.”

Pouring the coffee into the cups for both of them, “While the time is calm and you are able to process what I am about to explain to you; you have to understand the birthing pains are excruciating and the time will come when you may doubt my professional abilities. You are going to have to trust me in my medical advice. Dr. Sedgwick isn’t sure if your wife has comprehended the possible complications and from your last statement; I have to say that you are ignorant of them yourself.”

Swallowing the sip of coffee, “It has been along time since anyone said I was ignorant to my face. Michelle and I did attend a couple of Parents Of Twins meetings but they focused on the importance of raising them as individuals and taking pictures of each child separately. I felt it was more of a support or cheer leading group with a social function. Michelle has been the one going all out to prepare for being a mother and continuing her medical career. Truthfully, I have focused on taking care of Michelle. We had started the birthing classes early as directed by Dr. Sedgwick.”

“The labor and delivery of the first baby can be normal but the second baby is always the annoying one. It is generally a breech birth unless he turns or we have to turn the baby. It can be five-ten minutes or up to a hour after the first birth before the second delivery. I can assure you that I am a patient man but the first sign of distress and the child will be delivered by Caesarean Section. We have to be prepared for the unexpected and I’m suggesting an epidural for pain management and the likely Caesarean Section.”

“Now Mr. Santos, your work is ahead of you tonight. If the circumstances turn unfavorable, I want your support and Michelle will be sensitive to any wavering of opinions. Your focus is to support and encourage her to persevere. We aren’t going to panic. We have a plan for a normal delivery and a back up plan for the unpleasant. I will caution you that during the last stage of labor, the women tend to be rather nasty of the mouth and utter words, which normally isn’t in their vocabulary and would never repeat in a closet.”

Standing up and indicating the meeting was over, Dr.Pasteur asked Danny if anyone was with him at the hospital?

“Yes, my mother is in the waiting room with a chauffeur.”

“Good, you have a loved one to support you also.” Pointing to the window, “Unless she is planning on staying for the duration, I would suggest that your mother return home before the hurricane hits the island with the full impact of the winds.”

Thanking the doctor for his candor, “Will you tell Michelle that I’m visiting with my mother and I’ll start working on convincing Michelle about accepting the epidural.”

Crossing the room to his mother, “Mamá, you have to leave now and return to the villa. Abuellá is alone.”

“Danny, I want to be here when my grandsons are born. Manuel can return to the villa tonight. How fitting that the next generation of Santos will be born on New Year’s Day. The whole world will celebrate their birthdays. I never thought the day would come when I would be sounding the praise of an Anglo bringing new life into the La Familia.”

 “Carmen, Michelle is my wife and a part of the Santos family. Don’t ever show disrespect toward her.”

Touching her son’s face, “I understand perfectly your love for the girl. Michelle has your heart and it is scary when I see and wonder how much control she has over our future. In hours, your sons are going to be born and you will know, which son is going to lead our family just as I did with you and Mick. You were the loner and chose books over having friends. All the hard work will be worth it all when you see the sons, which you created. You have increased and stabilized our families. Now the other families will see the next leader. Your father would be proud of you. Now, Danny go and be with your wife.”

“Carmen, please do this for me. The hospital isn’t a cozy or snug place to be by yourself. You are vulnerable without Manuel! Michelle may still be in labor for another ten hours and I’ll be worried with you here by yourself.”

Kissing her son on the cheek, “I will go back to the villa and Abuela and I will return in ten hours if we haven’t heard from you before then.” Motioned with his two fingers to his cousin, “Make sure that you get my mother home safely. Mamá, you have always being able to guide and comfort me.”

Leaving with Manuel, Carmen turned to Danny, “Tell Michelle, I will be praying for a safe delivery for my grandsons.”

Sprinting back to Michelle’s room, Danny removed his black coat and pushed up the sleeves to his gray shirtsleeves. “Hey Babe, they have a few wires and tubes connected to you.”

Rolling her eyes up to the ceiling, “Yes and they are confining.”

“Dr. Pasteur and the nurses must have heard about your feisty and spontaneous reputation.”

“Just what did my husband tell the good doctor and nurses?”

Holding her hand in his and kissing the tips of each finger, “Never to place a bet with a beautiful woman wearing bare-ass underpants.”

“Keep your mouth shut, they think that I’m an angel.”

“No, I was thinking about the night at the lake house when you had decided to swim the lake to escape my confinement.”

“Danny, how did you figure out what I had planned for that night?”

“It was your love for long distance swimming and your determination to get as far away from me as you could get.”

“We have come along way from that night. Where is Carmen?”

“I sent her back to the villa but they promise to be here for the big event. We need to change subjects, Missy. Did Dr. Pasteur talk with you about the possibility of performing a Caesarean Section if the babies aren’t born by 9am?”

Looking down at the IV tubing running fluid in her hand, “Yes.”

“How do you feel?”

“The pains are mild cramps, which are radiating to my back. It is more comfortable laying on my side.”

“Honey, did you remember to bring the book of poetry?”

“It is my coat pocket.”

“Will you read the poetry to me?”

“Why don’t you try and rest and when the contractions are 8-10 minutes apart, I’ll do my part to distract the pain.” Rubbing Michelle’s hip, “Who gave you the idea of having poetry in the Labor Room?”

“One of the ladies at the La Leache League. It sounded so romantic at the time. She loved the idea of having to focus on the words in the poems. It helped to relieve the anxiety and pass the time between contractions when time seemed to sit still. Plus it gave her loving husband something to do rather than drink coffee.” Danny massaged Michelle’s back until she drifted off to sleep. Every thirty minutes, either Dr. Pasteur or one of the nurses checked on Michelle’s progress. Danny dozed in the wingback chair while Michelle caught short naps until 2am when the contractions increased in frequency and duration. The quick examination verified what Dr. Pasteur was waiting for to develop.

Patting Michelle on the knee, “My dear lady, you have crossed the threshold of rest to serious labor. I saw your book of poetry on the bedside stand. Over the years, I’ve collected poems and ditties to give my patients. While you slept, I saw these two poems evidently written by a parent of twins. The reason why you and I are spending this eventful time together is adequately expressed in the words written in the poems.”

                Your Twins

            The heavens were excited-

              (statistics were just right)

        “Gather ‘round, “the wisest angel said,

              “God’s designing twins tonight.”

                It’s quite a marvelous process,

                  As anybody knows-

          Two separate souls begin their lives

            As His love just overflows.

            Perhaps he’ll make them just alike,

            Or as different as can be,

               But that is the way He wants it-

              He’s planned it that way you see.

            He must then find a loving Mom,

              A very special Dad-

             For twins take special parents,

               And the best just must be had.


         So many good things come in pairs,

        Like ears and socks and panda bears.

            But best of all are sets of twins,

         With extra laughter, double grins.

         There’s so much fun in having two

          With twice as many points of view.

              So much alike, forever linked,

         And yet they’re also quite distinct.

         They share a birthday and a name,

           But moods and tempers aren’t the same.

        Although at times they may dispute,

               Their loyalty is absolute.

        From days of youth till life is done,

         It’s one for both and both for one.

         We’re all quite novel and precise,

             But special folks~

               God made twice.

                By: Larry Howland

Searching for the right moment after the two parents had read the poems, “I’m particularly fond of the last poem.” It seems that you get double fun and double trouble with twins. Also, the time appears right for me to offer you the option of having an epidural to stop the draining of energy from your body. In these days of modern medicine, the epidural is a common method of pain management. In addition to allowing the mother to stay awake and alert during the birthing process. The epidural allows us to transition from a vaginal birth to a Caesarean Section if an emergency arises.”

Michelle declined the offer and assured Dr. Pasteur with “I’m OK for now.”

“Mr. Santos, what can we get you to drink? Michelle has ice chips, surely you are thirsty.”

Following the doctor’s lead, “Honey, do you mind if I drink a cup of coffee?”

 “No indeed, but remember I want a cup of caffeinated coffee after the babies are born.”

Smiling at his wife, “You can have the entire carafe.”

In the corridor, Dr. Pasteur motioned Danny to follow him to the lounge. Closing the door behind Danny, “I didn’t want to alarm you in Michelle’s presence but Baby B has turned and is in a transverse position. It is urgent that you convince your wife to accept the epidural. Chance of a safe second delivery has dramatically decreased. I want to speak as clear in terms, which you can understand. We are facing the two of the worst scenarios. I held back some of the complications when we talked earlier. Twins overstretch the uterus as a result, twins usually are born prematurely and are small. The contraction of the uterus after the first twin is delivered closes the blood supply to the placenta of the second twin. Resulting in the second twin having more problems during delivery and higher risk of damage or death. The second problem in all births is uterine bleeding. The proper name is Afibrinogen Disease. The clotting mechanism fails to activate properly.”  Continuing to explain the gloomy details, “the blood vessels are opened when the placenta separates from the uterus. The contractions of the uterus helps close the vessels until they can heal. In some instances, the overstretched uterus doesn’t contract well after delivery causing bleeding in the mother. You wife’s blood pressure has increased with the pain of the contractions. You see Mr. Santos, you can have one child and lose one child or you may lose one child and your wife.”

Dropping his cup of coffee, “Lose Michelle?! I can’t lose her! Michelle is my life!” Feeling the anger inside of himself, “Do you expect me to go back in Michelle’s room and drop this crap on her?”

“No Mr. Santos, I’m telling you that we must be prepared for the complications. We have a small time frame to play with and may I remind you of the hurricane off shore. Steady yourself man. When you go back into her room, you must be strong as steel or she will pick up on your demeanor.”

With the Styrofoam cup in his hand, Danny returned to be with Michelle. Taking a sip and offering the cup to her lips, “One sip can’t hurt you, baby.”

Pushing the cup away from her lips, “Nope, I’ll stick with the ice chips. How did we get so lucky to have a nice doctor like Dr. Pasteur?”

“It had to be that your God sent him your way tonight.”

“Danny, He is your God, too….. Danny, I think you picked up the wrong book of poetry. You have a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems. His works are morbid and he expresses his love with exquisite arranged words but I was expecting to have you read the Portuguese Sonnets. Which one are you going to read to me?”

Gazing through the contents, “There is The Raven…ugh… I recall in American Literature class reading and the lively discussion of Annabel Lee. Did you have to memorize the poem? Let’s see how good your memory is this morning, Missy.”

Together, Danny read and Michelle repeated the poem.

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of ANNABEL LEE;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea;

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulcher

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me-

Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we-

Of many far wiser than we-

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,

In the sepulcher there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea

Closing the paperback book, Danny leaned up to Michelle’s face. “Hey, you are good. Have I told you lately how much I love you, Missy?”

“Really, you have been on the lower end of the scale lately but last night when we made love was the last time.”

“Is this another one of your detailed items, which you keep in the daily journal?”


“Honey, I need to go and call Carmen. I won’t be go very long.”

Rushing to the nurse’s station, “Where is the nearest Chapel?”

Laying the chart in her hand down on the desk and pointing down the hall to the nursery, Michelle’s nurse said, “We have one outside the door to the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.” Rechecking the monitor, she didn’t understand the man’s urgency to visit a chapel.

The other nurse commented about how differently men reacted to becoming fathers. “The guy is handsome; maybe he is confessing his past infidelities.”

Knelling in the small chapel before the small gold tone cross, Danny tried to hold back the tears but they flowed down his cheeks to be wiped away with the sleeve of his shirt. “OK God, you have my undivided attention. I’m listening!” Screaming at the cross from the emotions of being helpless, “You are willing and have the power to take what I want the most from me. Tell me what you want me to do. I promise to do what ever is required but please let Michelle and the babies live. I didn’t pick up the poem’s of Edgar Allan Poe’s by mistake. The book isn’t mine. You used this opportunity to show me who is in charge. Now, I’m asking you to reveal what you want of me.” Crossing his body, Danny left the chapel.

Using the public telephone, Danny dialed the villa. “I think it’s time for Abuellá and you to come to the hospital if you can make it back. There may be problems!” Shifting from one foot to the other foot and estimating how long he had been away from Michelle, “What is the latest news of the hurricane?” Carmen turned the volume of the TV up to hear the weatherman release the new bulletin. “The storm has turned northeast and is going to miss the island. We will experience high surf and bands of rain. El Yunque has sent the hurricane back out to sea.” Startled to hear his mother’s words, Danny saw the sign differently.

“Daniel, go back to be with Michelle. She is so lucky to have you with her. Miguel was never allowed to be there when either of his children were born.”

Nothing else mattered but the safety of his wife, his love…his Michelle. Danny’s shackled thoughts dwelt on the impending pain, which he had no power to relieve. He stood at the door watching Michelle squeeze the bedside rail. Whirling his body back out in the hallway, Danny once again approached the nurse assigned to Michelle. “I want to speak immediately with Dr. Pasteur.”

“He is resting in the lounge. Wait here.”

Dr. Pasteur emerged from the lounge in his wrinkled green scrubs. “I’ve made the decision. Michelle is going to have the epidural before I become a raving madman. Call the Anesthesiologist. Michelle may be cranky after I explain my decision but I can’t risk losing her knowing she wasn’t given the best medical care. Give me a few minutes to talk with her.”

The twinge of all doubt left Danny when he sat on the edge of the hospital bed. “Hey Missy, this lacks the enjoyment of creating the babies.”

The expression on her face was priceless. “I’m not exactly in the mood at this moment to address any sexual innuendo.” Bobbing her head up and down to find a place to reposition her aching body, “I don’t think I will ever forget this pain. Matter of fact, I will never have sex again with you. Can you tell me why is it that the man has all the enjoyment but the woman has all the pain?”

Michelle grabbed his hand when the next contraction started. Squeezing Danny’s hand, “I can’t imagine how much worse the pain will be. I want the pain to go away.”

“Michelle, you are the one that wanted to this natural birth thing. There is a remedy!”

“Forget it buddy, I’m refusing to take any medications, which can depress the babies respirations. We don’t know if their lungs are developed to breathe on their own.”

“I understand your reasoning with the major pain killers but refusing the epidural is plain foolish. I have gone along with your wishes but this is killing me to watch you suffer. I have assumed having a baby to be a normal event and without complications. But you knew the dangers and you have either refused to acknowledge the complications or been in denial of your medical senses.”

“If I understand the birthing process, we can lose the second twin and you from hemorrhaging. You know me well enough to know how sensitive I am to omens. From the moment when I read the damn poem Annabel Lee,” shaking his head in disbelief,” I saw the black raven and the sepulcher by the sea as a warning. I’m taking control of this nightmare before it turns to a real hellish problem. I’ve authorized the doctor to insert the catheter for an epidural.”

Sitting up in the bed with her legs crossed Indian style, “You did this without discussing the epidural with me?”

“We have just done that for your information.”

“When are they going to do the procedure?” Looking beyond the door, Michelle saw the man standing with a disposable tray. Gritting her teeth, “I will never forgive you Daniel Miguel Santos.”

“Baby, you can be mad as hell with me but this is in the best interest of three people.”

Waiting for Michelle to respond with her pleading eyes instead she pleaded with Danny to help her focus and find the zone to block out the pain. The next contraction sent Michelle’s heartbeat and pulse up to the level where the monitor alarm system activated. Motioning with his two fingers on his left hand to the anesthesiologist, “Let’s get this epidural done.”

Positioning Michelle on her side, Danny helped to pull Michelle’s knees up to her chest. The tiny vinyl catheter was inserted through the metal needle with the syringe pushing the medication into the nerves blocking the pain. Taping the tubing to her lower back, the anesthesiologist spoke reassuring words to Michelle.  “This is excellent pain management.”

 “In less than an hour, your babies are going to be born. A new generation of female doctors coming out of the medical school these days. You have to be a very determined young woman taking on medical school and the motherhood of twins. How do you plan on managing medical school?

“I haven’t done very well since the middle of December but my husband’s family have exerted their power to keep me in good standing.”

Picking up on the tone of animosity from the young woman, “It never hurts to have someone in your corner. My family has supported me in the past with my desire to be a doctor. When are you going back to school?”

Danny listened for her answer. “Six weeks.”

“You will learn to juggle schedules and prioritize what is important in life. You have a husband invested in your best interest and he will be there when the days of being a doctor are lacking their glamor.”

“How can you tell what is ahead with Danny?”

“He stood up to your silly demand and put your welfare first. He did what was in his control to protect you and his unborn children. There are two areas in the hospital where you see all the raw emotions of human life. The ER and Labor-Delivery. Death and the birth of life can occur in both places. The angel which breathes life into the babies, sometimes is the angel of death that insists on returning the baby’s soul to heaven. Do you understand what I am saying?”

Whispering a yes to a fellow colleague, Michelle smiled with a new light shining in her big brown eyes to the man dressed in black pants and the gray shirt.

The rays of the rising sun danced through the blinds in the delivery room when Michelle’s bed was wheeled and locked in place. Inside the changing room, Danny pulled the drawstring of the green scrub pants to secure them on his hips. Dr. Pasteur handed him the disposable shoe covers and proceeded to watch the covers be partially torn as they hurried to get to the delivery room.

The bottom of the bed had been dropped and Michelle’s legs strapped in the stirrups. The sterile drapes covered Michelle’s body with the spotlight and mirror adjusted for the parents to see the births. Danny would later remember how he had almost fainted when he saw the crowning head of the first twin. He turned his head when he saw Dr.Pasteur place two fingers beside the small head. The sight of the needle and the scissors near Michelle’s body caused him to feel the first of many pangs of nausea.

The clock on the wall seemed to stand still until the two teams from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit arrived. Ready to receive the first twin, Dr. Pasteur instructed Michelle when to push and after thirty minutes their first son was delivered. The suction catheter cleared his tiny nasal passages and mouth stimulating the crying and first exchanges of air. The little blue wrinkled body began to turn to a shade of pink in the green towel holding his slippery body. Satisfied with the respirations, the baby rested on Michelle’s abdomen where Danny took the scissors and cut the umbilical cord with the veins and arteries. After the special moment, the pediatrician picked up the tiny bundle and placed it in the warm isolette. Accessing the baby’s respirations, heartbeat and response to stimuli, he mentally gave the baby a good apgar score for being a preemie.

The immediate attention was turned to the next twin. Dr.Pasteur watched and waited for the position of the Baby B to change. The critical stage was present and his judgment waited to be tested. Watching the abdomen, he saw the body turn to the head-face down presentation. His prayers had been answered. The fingers of his hand touched the head. “Now, we wait to see if this baby wants a theatrical entrance.” Twenty minutes later, Michelle’s final push delivered the silent baby.

Working quickly after the suction catheter failed to stimulate the crying response, Dr.Pasteur clamped the cord with the two plastic clamps and cut the space in between the clamps. Turning to the pediatrician from Team B, “Our angel needs some attention.” Pulling his mask down, the specialist placed his mouth over the mouth and nose and gave two puffs and moved his two fingers to the tiny diaphragm and pushed down to pump the heart with five smooth depressions. Repeating the cycle of puffs and depressions until the nurse with the stethoscope heard the weak heartbeat. Pausing to count the heartbeats, “Now, little one let’s have a good healthy cry. Your brother did better than this for his first act.” The weak cry was barely heard in the room at first but the involuntary movement of her tiny arms and legs told the Team B that she was here to stay.

Michelle lifted her head to find the activity where her daughter was struggling to breathe. “Is she breathing on her own or did you have to place an endotracheal tube in her airway?” Lying back down, Michelle’s emotional out burst spoke the feelings of all the occupants in the room.

“She’s doing the breathing on her own but will monitor both closely in the NICU.”


The buzzing noise on the in house intercom drew Danny out of his daydreaming. Michelle’s voice asked if the troops could enter his sanctuary. “We come with goodies and a cup of coffee.”

“How could I ever refuse an offer with goodies?”

“Danny, you may want to be prepared; they are dressed to go to the Halloween Party at Tiny Tots.”

“I’m ready for the goblins.”

Michelle opened the door for the twins. The two came running in carrying identical saucers with a cookie and popcorn ball. “Oh my goodness, did you bake these for me today?”

Bethany Joy spoke first after Gabriel dropped his cookies on the floor. “Mommie wix the daw, Gabby poot the waisins in and mee wropped the wuts in the daw.”

“Un huh. Dare I ask, who made the popcorn balls? Gabby did you help make the balls?”

Nodding his head, “Mommie puut wutter on my wands and Joees wands. Than wee woll the wopworn.”

“What did Pascal do to help Mommy?” Giggling to themselves, “Wascal whit out the daw.”

“Why did Pascal have cookie dough in his mouth?”

“Your daughter thought Pascal might like to sample the raw dough.”

Raising his eyebrows at the mischievous little beauty, “Come here Bethany Joy, what did Daddy ask you to do to help with Pascal?”

“Welp Mommie.” Kissing her cheek, he sat her on the desk and then reached down to lift Gabby up to sit along side his sister. “I like your costumes. I have a little island girl and a little pirate. Gabby, why do you have one pink and blue flip-flop on your feet?”

“Joee wanted my boo won to watch her wowers in jer hair.”

“Gabby, I told you that you shouldn’t listen to your sister all the time. A Santos pirate doesn’t wear a pink flip-flop. Boys wear blue and girls wear pink. Bethany Joy give Gabby the blue shoe back and Gabby give your sister the pink shoe.”

“Michelle, you out did yourself! When did you make the costumes?”

“I bought Gabby’s at Toys R Us and the grass skirt was an old one from when we went to Hawaii last year.”

“Do you remember the night when we decided to have another baby? I do and Pascal came home with us from Hawaii.”

“Danny, watch what you say in front of the four ears; they will blast the news all over Philadelphia.”

Danny laughed because he had experienced the twin’s blabbermouths in public. The day at the grocery store when they had announced to the world that their mommy and daddy took off their clothes and kissed in the shower.

Michelle took the camera out to catch the special moment. The viewer lens clicked and captured the moment in the digital camera. Later in the day, the print would be traveling through cyber space to Carmen’s computer. She would see her granddaughter in a pink swimsuit and grass skirt with her pink flip-flops. The dirty blonde hair was halfway down her back with the pink and blue flowers in a wreath sitting on top of the Santos curls. Gabby, the obvious favorite, was all Santos. His dark curls and olive tone skin matched Danny perfectly. The black costume paint created the illusion of a patch over one eye. In his hand, Gabby carried a plastic sword. Both twins had their arms wrapped tightly around Danny’s neck.

The second print was one of the three grandchildren. Lance Pascal sat in a big artificial pumpkin. Each picture of Pascal demonstrated the uncanny likeness of Mick. Danny sent a detailed message of the Halloween fun seen through the eyes of his children. “I have never been happier!”


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2 Responses to “Mob’s Cardinal by Phyllis Chapter 35”

  1. Halloween Roundup « Glmanny's Blog Says:

    […] Mob’s Cardinal Chapter 35 […]

  2. Halloween Roundup 2013 | Glmanny's Blog Says:

    […] Mob’s Cardinal Chapter 35 […]

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