The Contract – Episode 2

Chapter 2 - Nancy

I watched the rest of the game that night but it was a blur.  I just couldn’t get my daughters out of my mind. Their conception and birth had changed my life 23 years ago in ways most parents never experience.

It was late by the time the boys had gone to bed. I was sitting at the kitchen table nursing a beer when my wife, Nancy, came in fixed herself a cup of tea and stood there silently looking at me.

Finally, after a long pause she asked me, “What’s wrong?”

I didn’t know how to answer.

“Why do you think something is wrong,” I asked.

Because you have been disengaged ever since I came home from the grocery store. You were watching the game, but you really weren’t engaged. That’s not like you. Especially a big game like the Raiders.

She sat down at the table and reached across to touch my hand.

“I can read you like a book and something is weighing heavily on your mind so out with it” she said.

OK, where to start. I got home from coffee hour a little late and was rushing to watch the game when the doorbell rang. I opened it to two young ladies. I assumed they were a couple of evangelists. In my haste to watch the game I hadn’t even taken my collar off. So they were immediately taken aback and said, “Oh, you’re a priest!”

That further convinced me they had come to witness to me. I was prepared to blow them off, gently. But suddenly one of them said, “we think you’re our father.”

I started to cry again. It was uncontrollable.

“Honey, they are my daughters.”

My wife, reached over with her other hand and grabbed my hands tightly. Without hesitation she said, “when do I get to meet them?”

We sat there for about half and hour holding hands and letting me release the emotions that had been welling up all day.

Finally, I said, “you know the story of my misspent youth and the contract I made with two young ladies in college. I thought I had put all of that behind me. I have a beautiful family now. A profession I love and the knowledge that God has forgiven me. I am completely torn here. I want to know more about my daughters, but the knowledge of my past could destroy my family and my career.”

Nancy said, “I love you. I love you for your caring heart and your spiritual leadership. I want to meet your daughters. I want them to know what a wonderful father you are. This is not a problem. This is a blessing.”

I was totally taken aback. All day I had been anticipating a barrage of resentment.

Yes, my wife knew the basic elements of the story. She knew that I had fathered two children before we met. She knew that I was not allowed to see them or have any contact with them. She knew that I felt immensely guilty about not knowing my children or being able to care for them in any way, but she did not know the story of how and why they were conceived. The thought of that ugly story coming out could threaten my marriage and send ripples through my congregation.

What was suddenly clear to me was how strong our marriage had become. I stood up drew her into my arms and hugged her more deeply than I had in years.

“So, what do we do now,” Nancy asked?

“I’m not sure. We have to tell the boys. I have to talk to the girls’ moms. They don’t know about this yet, so I have to see if they are going to hold me to the contract.”

“Wait. They don’t know?”

No, the girls – I really shouldn’t call them girls they are young women – they figured this out on their own. Apparently, they had been asking their moms about their fathers and weren’t satisfied with the answers they got, so they took a DNA test and were even more suspicious when it indicated they had the same father.

“But how did they connect it to you,” Nancy asked.

“Remember a few years back we did those DNA tests to explore our family roots. I’m assuming that somehow they connected through those tests and found me. But, I never asked the question. When they said, ‘we think you’re our father.’ I knew. I looked at them and a wave of emotion overcame me. I can’t explain it but I knew instantly they were right.”

So what happened next?

They started to leave but I invited them in. We talked for a few minutes and I explained that I needed to talk to their mothers before I could tell them the story. Unfortunately, in my excitement I blurted out their moms’ names. That’s when they wanted to know more but I told them I needed to talk to their mothers before I could talk about it with them.

You need to call them. Whatever agreement you had with them, it is no longer totally in their control. We need to meet with them and decide how to move forward.

I want to meet your daughters.

To be Coninued..

 

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