Day of surprises 1 finds parents are often in for the unexpected.
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‘Are you quite sure you want to name him after his bastard father, Janet? It makes no sense to me!’
‘Does everything in life have to make sense,’ answered Janet, sighing. ‘My sister asked me exactly the same question. It’s just a name that came into my head, and I like it!’
‘How do you know it’s a boy in any case? I heard you telling Napoleon you didn’t want to know the result of the scan.’ Their relationship, like the baby in her abdoman, Janet realised, made convoluted turns every day as the last term of her pregnancy progressed. Santie continued to demand that Janet have an abortion during the first three months. Janet refused. Santie would bring up the subject of adoption. Janet wanted to keep the child. Santie wanted her to lay charges against Jan Jansen. Janet refused. Paradoxically, despite their new intimacy, they were continually at odds.
‘Santie, I am the one who is pregnant. This is my baby! I have to make these decisions.’
‘No so, Janet. We are a couple now. We have made commitments to each other, and we share the responsibility for decision-making. You’ve been saddled with this baby, and it’s coming between us.’
‘This baby, as you call him, is only coming between us because you are becoming over-bearing. You want to make all the decisions.’
‘No, but …’
‘No buts,’ Janet interjected. ‘I didn’t ask for this baby but now I’m going to make the best of it. I am not going to snuff out this little life, even if you, and Napoleon, and that damned psycho all think I am crazy. Maybe I am!’
‘It’s a mistake, Janet. You are making the wrong decision!’
‘Maybe so, but it’s set in concrete. And now, if you remember, when you gave me this ring …’ Janet took it off her finger, laying it on her palm … ‘you promised you would love me for better or for worse. End of story!’ She put the ring slowly back onto her finger, smiling at Santie. Taking Santie’s hands, and rubbing her ring, she continued: ‘And I promise to love you for better or for worse, even when the going gets tough for you.’ She leaned forward to kiss Santie, but Santie wouldn’t respond. Santie and the little gynaecologist had taken an instinctive dislike to each other from the very beginning, and that didn’t help either. It got worse not better. It was quite a long time since a man had successfully stood up to her.
A family affair is Bernard Preston's fourth book.
Day of surprises 1 shocks them both rigid; Janet arrives home unexpectedly eight months pregnant.
In one respect though, Janet did start to grasp Santie’s wisdom of taking a stand against Jansen. Every time she caught sight of him, she had to bite her tongue, but still she refused to take out her anger on the miracle that she sensed unfolding, moment by moment, undeniably, deep with her body. Slowly she came to terms with the fact that she was going to have his baby and now oddly was actually looking forward to it. Raped she had been, but she knew it had not been her doing. She had not been wanton in any respect as Jansen suggested. She had not once looked at him suggestively! Not once! She was not guilty of any misconduct. Defiled, yes, her most intimate privacy violated, yes, but not guilty of anything. Definitely, a very big NO! NOT ANYTHING! Slowly but surely she shed the guilt that had engulfed her.
On her last day before taking maternity leave, Janet walked uninvited into the boardroom where a meeting of the partners was in progress. ‘I’m sorry to interrupt,’ she said, ‘but I have an important announcement to make.’ She hesitated for a moment, looking around the room, but not making eye contact with any one person. A few of the faces revealed irritation at the intrusion of a junior member of staff but most looked not a little intrigued at what the very pregnant young woman was going to say. Rumours were still in abundance, though Janet, and Santie for that matter, refused to confirm anything. Jansen of course had nothing to say.
‘Eight months ago,’ Janet continued, ‘I was raped at our annual beach party. Unwisely I decided not to press charges immediately; such is the invasion of rape. But I have finally decided that there are compelling reasons why it should be done. This is a copy of the charge sheet that was handed in to the police this morning.’
There were eight persons present in the meeting. Janet left copies in two piles at the end of the table farthest from Jan Jansen and, smiling briefly, she left just as abruptly as she arrived. At the door she stopped, turning back to the assembled board; ‘I will be back in four months after my maternity leave is over. I apologize for this intrusion.’
Janet immediately left the building, climbed into her car, and drove to the airport, her luggage in readiness. The small 40 seater turboprop plane winged its way over the Highveld, with its fields of maize and beautiful sunflowers, and herds of cattle and sheep. They flew over the always lovely Drakensberg mountains, stretching to more than thirteen thousand feet above sea level, snow covered for a few short months in the midwinter, but now the grey and red granite, and the yellowed sandstone, contrasted with the bright green vegetation in the bright midday sunlight.
Taking in a deep breath, Janet rejoiced. She was going home. They circled once around Shafton and were soon taxiing towards the airport buildings. Taking her time, relishing the first opportunity to relax after the long stressful months at J,T&H, she hired a small car and meandered up the familiar road, a steep climb up to their village, High Whytten. Sighing, she realised what a relief it was to be far from the City of Gold, and even from Santie.
Women in love may not be a subject to your fancy; it wasn't one that I'd have read about until a profound dream changed everything. This books is amongst other things Bernard Preston's journey of inquiry into the forbidden subject.
Odd for a happily married, straight man, it's true.
Chiropractic corner raises one of Bernard Preston's passions; better health without drugs and surgery. It does mean a planetary shift of thinking.
Exercise and healthy choice foods aren't an option for the person wanting to reach eighty without swallowing a bucketful of pills every day.
It's particularly true for the pregnant woman. Without the folic acid in green salads and fruit there's significant risk of a spina bifida baby; it all happens before she even knows she's with child.
Leg pain during pregnancy is a regular complaint in chiropractic clinics. During the last trimester the body releases a hormone to prepare the pelvis for the birthing process. During this time the sacro-iliac joints are vulnerable, and often painful. Walking may become very difficult.
So too the insertion of the deep pelvic muscles in the groin can become very painful.
Painful sciaticas are less common, but certainly occur...read more from Bernard Preston's thirty-five years at the chiropractic coalface.