When She was Born

She was born on the day her mother died.

Both her birth and her mother’s subsequent death made national press because her father, Dr. James T. Chapman, was a former civil rights activist turned famous evangelist who now traveled the globe to preach to hundreds of thousands of people at once for a sizable donation made to the Chapman Foundation.  

On the night of her birth, the good Dr. Chapman had not been in the birthing room, however. He had been busy signing autographs in the lobby and getting the phone numbers of some of his younger and more attractive fans. He had promised he would call them and stay in touch. Dr. Chapman had always kept his promises to his younger and more attractive fans. 

When the nurse came to the lobby that night to break the news, Dr. Chapman first looked annoyed and then confused. He had always loved and adored his wife. She had been a young and attractive fan after all.  

The engagement had been a short one, but Dr. Chapman’s public relations firm had embellished the courtship to make it appear as though the two were in fact truly in love.  Sexual relations out of wedlock was a sin, and if there was one thing Dr. Chapman did not do, it was sin.

The maternity ward was chaos when Dr. Chapman entered. He could see nurses rushing in and out of his wife’s room. Many of the nurses coming out of the room had blood stains on their scrubs. A young midwife was weeping alone in the corner of the ward.  By the time Dr. Chapman entered the room, his wife’s obstetrician was looking at her watch and calling the time of death.

Dr. James T. Chapman was handed his newborn girl and given several condolences as the room cleared.

After a few moments of holding the crying infant, a nurse came to take the baby away.  Another nurse directed Dr. Chapman to a small office next to the hospital’s multi-denominational chapel. The office belonged to the hospital’s chaplain who explained that the cause of death was postpartum bleeding due to complications from a previous abortion.

Dr. Chapman had paid several thousands of dollars for his wife’s discrete abortion fifteen months ago. Now he wished that he had paid several thousand more and worried that this information may leak to the press. Before he could reach his cell phone to send a text to his public relations manager, the chaplain began explaining that the hospital still needed information for the birth certificate. The child was still unnamed.

His fondest memory of his wife was at a concert of her favorite singer/songwriter. It had been after Dr. Chapman took his wife to this concert that the two had made love for the first time.

“Tracy,” Dr. Chapman said.