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He told me that if I did not “get on the stick” and “soon” that I would have to consider a hysterectomy as the only option.

I was only twenty-five years old. I worked hard and had not planned for this to be an option now.  I ran my own business, an art gallery, and a small printing business.  

  I sat across from my gynecologist stunned for what seemed an eternity, then finally, the words actually leave my mouth.  I work every day, I am no longer in a relationship, and I am not ready to have a baby.  What other options are there?  Doctor Finnigan stared at me, waiting for a respectable pause and answered, “there are none really.”

“If you want to have children, ever you better plan on it soon.”

I walked out of his office with slips of paper that ordered me to go to other offices to get my blood drawn, to schedule surgery and one that explained why I needed to find a way to have a baby or be childless.  

 I went to the first of my errands before going to work. I needed my blood drawn and results needed to return before my scheduled surgery the day before my twenty-sixth birthday.  

I showed up at my work, the art gallery a bit out of sorts I am guessing the situation was showing on my face as my employees seemed concerned.  Each asked if I was ok, feeling well.  I decided to call a meeting and locked the door after placing a “be right back in 15 minutes” sign on the door.  

“Ok, here is the scoop, I am going in for a simple surgery on the eighteenth, it was April and will be out for a few days”.

I explained it was supposed to be a simple process, technically called an endoscopy to correct endometriosis, where the surgeon pumps your stomach up with gas like a bloated frog, cuts a small hole in your belly button.  Through the small hole, the doctor will insert a hose with a camera to find renegade bits of tissue that has somehow gotten lost.  There is another hose with a remote set of tongs and a laser, and it is really like a video game for the doctor; I am guessing, but; its, “not a big deal, really.” I say.

A person flying through the air on a snow covered slope

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Just then, I saw one of my Lake Tahoe “snowboard” friends at the door as we are finishing up with the gallery business.  I excused myself to let him in.  I told Daniel at the door, was finishing up a meeting.  He agreed to wait.

 “Ok Guys,” I say, “any questions or comments? “There was in unison a unanimous sigh of relief and a no, we are all good, and with that, I said: “good, let’s get back to it.”

Daniel walked over and asked what the meeting was about; he said: “it seemed kind of heavy.” I told him about the doctor’s appointment I had and that I was faced with some decisions. 

Daniel cocked his head to one side, squinted, and said: “why?”  “What is the big deal, what is the problem?” “Just go to a bar and BOOM, their problem solved.”

“What,” I say, “I am not going to a bar to find some guy to donate, nope!”  “Why?” “Why won’t you go to a bar and get it over with?” Instead of explaining every detail to Daniel and going down a path, I really did not feel comfortable with him, I just looked at him and rolled my eyes.  

Daniel just stared at me with a deadpan look, until he could not hold it any longer then burst out into a laughter that was way too loud for the gallery to be discrete.  He then proceeded to giggle and laugh nervously for what seemed far too long.  

After he collected himself, he said, “why don’t you find a friend to help you out?” Daniel looked at me and said, “I am your friend.” Then let out a never-ending smile. I responded to that smile, trying to object to his suggestion that he was a friend I may be able to lean on for this special favor.

 We had agreed to go our separate ways for eighteen years and even signed an agreement. That agreement to stay apart even as friends is why I still hold onto guilt after all these years.  

 I took the chance and had my first son at the age of twenty-five. 

I was a single mother by choice and planned to raise my boy myself until I caught my son wearing my heals and clothes for work.  At that point, I realized I was a selfish single parent.

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My son was two and a half when I met a man that seemed “too good to be true.” He said he had wished for children his entire life.   He said Daniel and I were his dream come true.  After a while this man we will call him X asked me to marry him and I talked myself into it, that was twenty-four years ago.  I now have four children of whom I have been a sole single parent.

What I did not realize when I convinced myself to marry X was some people are very good at hiding what they really are.  

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I spoke with Daniel Thomas Obrien, the father of my son, shortly after he was located through Ancestry.com.   I have spoken to his one and only son, Daniel Thomas Brockus after they have spent time together.    Daniel senior now calls himself Dan, expressed his thrill in finding Daniel; he said: “I had looked for years, and  I have been writing and sending letters for years.” He said there some that were returned, but most he had believed they were lost in a black hole. 

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