“Mar, we’ll get there before too long. Are you okay?” promised Joe Abraham. He was right to be concerned about his wife. They had married at a young age and before long it became apparent that the child to come had pushed their wedding plans along faster than was planned. Even now, she shifted uncomfortably on the car seat as they drove from their home to her parents home in Bethlehem, KY. They had unexpectedly run into a problem with their taxes and had just received the dun letter stating that they owed another $1500 to settle the final amount owed, but for them it may as well have been fifteen million. Marne’s obstetrician had advised them not to leave the area since she was due to deliver any day, but the need for additional money was urgent and they had no choice.
“Joe,” she replied patiently, “You’ve asked me that every five minutes for the last three hours. I am nine months pregnant and there is no way for me to be comfortable, but I am just as fine as I was five minutes ago.”
They traveled from the mountain area of Georgia and finally neared the small town of Bethlehem. Mar was glad to be near home, but even more she was glad that the six-hour trip was nearly over. It would feel so good to stretch out for a while and let her body and baby truly rest. Even now, the child’s backbone felt as though it were directly scraping her’s, as though it were scratching an itch, while it kicked a steady beat on her bladder.
Joe breathed a sign of relief as he saw the sign welcoming them to Bethlehem knowing that they were within ten miles from their destination. Glancing over at Mar, he saw that she was finally relaxing with her head laid back on the headrest and her eyes closed. Her even breaths told him she was napping. He looked up at a sky so filled with stars that it was dazzling and he could only stare at it until the light turned green. The day before had brought a blizzard and he was thankful that the roads and streets were cleared. Piles of snow lay along side the streets leaving Joe with just a view of the tops of the one-story buildings with their Christmas lights gaily lighting the night. It was quite a welcome for the two weary travelers.
Joe eased the car into the Gateway Bed and Breakfast driving past the parking lot and front of the three-story building Mar’s folks owned past the filled parking lot around to the back yard where he parked. The B&B was decorated front and back with candles glowing from the downstairs windows illuminating the wreaths that hung above each candle. He could see the Christmas tree in the front hall that he knew held ornaments from all the years that Beth, Mar’s mom, had collected them. He knocked on the back door hoping that someone was still up. Before long, he heard quick, scuffling steps coming closer before the door opened and Joe was engulfed in a long, hard hug.
“Boy, I thought you would never get here. Everything is so messed up from the weather that you getting here is quite simply a miracle,” shouted Zack. He was a big, burly man his six-foot five frame towering over Joe enveloping him in the warmth Zack found as he sat by the fireplace before answering the door.
“A little lower, Zack, you’ll wake Mar and I want her to sleep until I get us settled. Which room is ours?” asked Joe.
Pulling at his lip, Zack almost blushed staring out at the mounds of snow covering the back yard. “Well, there’s a little problem. When the storm hit, people started getting off the interstate and every room in town is filled to capacity. Some of the local folks even rented out rooms in their house. Joe, we only have one space and it’s not what I wanted for you or Mar, especially with Mar so close to delivery. It’s a room built inside the barn. It has heat and water and you’ll be fine but it’s pretty bare. ”
“Zack, I really don’t care right now. Mar needs a place to lie down and rest. Show me the way. This snow has me all confused as to directions.” So it was that this young couple found themselves in a stable room at the inn where she gave birth to their first-born son. They could hear the nervous shuffling of the horses and sheep nearby with the occasional baaing of the lambs. The stars, one in particular, shone brightly that night. They were blessed by this birth and the child was adored.