"Your wife has suffered abuptio-placenta. The baby is
now on its eight month but he's in distress; his heart
is beating faster than that of a running dog's.
You will have to make a choice, sir. Shall we try to
save your wife or your child?"
I struggled to assimilate the doctor's words as I ran my
sweaty palms over my hair. Was she asking me which of
the two I had to give up? I didn't have an answer. I
had read somewhere what they would have to do with the
child should I tell them to save my wife. It was
Silently, I shook my head. The doctor compassionately
nodded her head and said, "This is difficult, I know.
Please take all the time you need to think. You may want
to tell your wife about our dilemma."
I entered my wife's room and sat beside her. She was
breathing heavily and pain lined her brows severely.
"What's wrong?" she said breathlessly.
"They say I have to choose between you and our child. I
choose both of you, not either one of you," I cried.
"Save the child, sweetheart. And when I'm gone, promise
to take care of the baby and our four other girls.
I'll be okay," my wife calmly said.
I shook my head again then, slowly turned away. There
was only one other place to go now. I knelt on the pew of
the vacant chapel and faced the cross. At the side, I could
see the images of three Saints: Francis, Raymond, and Martin.
I bowed my head as my tears flowed, saying, "Lord, I may get
the best doctor in the world for my wife and child but if I don't
have Your Blessing, she will not be able to do anything for them.
But I trust that You love me, that You love Teresita and
the baby. Have mercy on us. I promise that though You
may choose to take them both, I will still Love You."
As I wept quietly, I seemed to see the Lord smiling down
at me through my eyes of faith. He stretched out His
hand and held my shoulder. I looked up then. I dried my
tears, stood up, and left the chapel.
As I went to my wife's room, the doctor looked up
expectantly. I smiled at her and said,
"Just do the best you can."
Hours later, at 3:00 a.m., an attendant came in and
roused me from the restless doze I had fallen into.
"Your wife has given birth!" she said excitedly.
"And the child?" I asked eagerly.
"It's a boy! You can see him at the nursery tomorrow.
We have to warn you that he's in an incubator though."
I couldn't say a word. Tears of joy started to pour
down on my cheek and once more, I fell on my knees
saying, "Thank You, Father. Thank You."
Two months later, at my son's baptism, the priest asked
me, "What shall we name the child?" I proudly answered,
"Francis Raymond Martin, Father."