“Grief is an amputation, but hope is incurable hemophilia: You bleed and bleed and bleed.” ― David Mitchell

We decided to get married.

It was indeed an interesting experience to go through the process to say the least. We decided to get married at the Courthouse, located in the downtown of Toronto, simply because we had no choice.  Lynda was Jewish and I was Muslim and neither of our religions were progressive enough to accept us as a couple and to be totally honest, we had no fortitude to follow through their religious formalities, either. 

At all events, it was almost a closing time for the Courthouse when we got there as it was snowing like a banshee and we had no clue whatsoever for the requirements to get married at the Courthouse. When we were asked about the witnesses, we said what witnesses? The guy who was in charge of the process was a judicious man.  He suggested to me to go to the pub on the second floor and grab a couple of folks by offering to pay them $10 each for 5 minutes of their valuable time.  I went down grudgingly, followed his instructions decorously, and found a couple of drunks but unstinting who were wholeheartedly willing to go to the Courthouse with me to be a Best-Man and a Brides-Man.  It took less than 5 minutes to perform the ceremony as it was getting late and the guy in charge was in a hurry to go home.  Anyhow, Lynda told me to give the witnesses $20 dollars each instead of $10 which I did. She was a generous woman.

Our marriage had no impact whatsoever on our daily schedule and we went back to doing whatever we used to do on a daily basis. Nobody even knew that we were married. However we managed to get away for a long weekend to Niagara Falls when the girls were with their father. That was a kind of honeymoon for us.

Now that Lynda’s house in Malton was sold and mom had her money back, she decided to buy a Children’s Clothing Store in a mall in Brampton which she ran with the help of her daughter, Estelle.

Everything was going just fine then Lynda started getting morning sickness sometimes in the month of May and right away she knew that she was pregnant which was confirmed immediately.  Now we started looking at everything entirely differently.  I don’t know how but she was sure that this time she is pregnant with a son. She remembered when she was living in the UK, a fortune teller, told her that she is destined to have 2 girls and 1 boy. This was a kind of funny as at the time the fortune teller made that prediction, Lynda’s ex-husband already had a vasectomy procedure which meant he was permanently unable to get a woman pregnant and Lynda had no plans to get involved with any other man.

Lynda definitely loved the girls immeasurably but always wanted to have a son.  Lynda was a great planner.  She started getting ready for the baby. Girls were happy to learn that they were going to have a brother.  Lynda started decorating the room and going around and finding specials in the mall and girls were helping her, too.  Doesn’t matter how many times I asked her not to wait for me in the night but she never listened to me.  She continued to wait for me around midnight with a hot super even though she was getting bigger and bigger by the minute. She definitely needed rest acutely.  She had a slender and fantastic body and gaining weight didn’t bother her at all.  She used to tease me by saying see what your son is doing to me.

We managed to get away for a week when the girls were doing something else. Lynda had arranged a week holidays in Bancroft, Ontario. We were booked in a resort on the water for a week with everything included. I am not cheap but it was a kind of pricy for me as I was never ever been on any descent holidays in my life. The important thing for me was that Lynda needed a break desperately.

On the early morning of February 20th 1974, around 5:00 AM, Lynda woke me up and said you need to take me to the hospital right away as I am ready to give birth to our son.  Girls were up, too.  I hurried and got ready and asked the girls to keep the door locked and I will be back as soon as I can. It didn’t take too long to drive to a beautiful brand new hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital, which was located on Humber College Boulevard, not too far from where we were living. Lynda had already called the hospital and as soon as we got there, we found out that a nurse was waiting for us at the entrance.  The nurse put Lynda in a wheelchair immediately and asked me to give them a call after 6:00 AM.  I got back as soon as I could as the girls were scared to be alone.  I called the hospital around 6:30 AM and they said congratulations, you got a son. Right away I asked about Lynda and she said she’s just fine. I asked her if it’s okay to bring our girls to visit their mother right after the school, she said that’s fine.

I was totally overjoyed and told the girls that they got a baby brother and they were excited with the news, too.

I didn’t know too much about cooking breakfasts for the kids but got the girls to have cereal and drink some milk before they went to school.  I came back from work at the store soon enough to warm up some leftovers for the lunch and sent the girls back to school.  When they arrived home around 4:00PM, I loaded them in the car and took them to see their mother and their baby brother at the hospital. 

While I was totally jubilant with the whole experience, I had no clue about the customs and traditions to treat the mother of my son.  When we got to the hospital and on our way to finding Lynda, I came across a vending machine with apples and all of a sudden I decided to put some money in the machine to get a nice apple for Lynda. It turned out to be such a silly blunder that Lynda used to tease me for years that everybody else was bringing flowers and fruits for new mothers and she got an apple from the vending machine.

I don’t remember how we managed without Lynda for a couple of days, as soon as she got back from the hospital with the baby she was back in the kitchen cooking for everybody.

We decided to call our son, Adam, highly recommended by mom as she used to know a shop owner in the mall where she had her store in Brampton whose name was Adam. She was so impressed with this man’s mannerism and she thought that it would be nice to call her latest grandson, Adam. I asked her why she was so fascinated with that man. I remembered her answer – He is a nice bloke. What really surprised me about that it didn’t bother her at all that her friend, Adam, was a Muslim. She was that kind of person. What I was happy about that Adam was a popular name in both religions – Judaism and Islam.

Our Story – Chapter 6