J is for Jubilee’s Journey
In February, two days after a blizzard passed through West Virginia and left the mountain covered in snow so deep the mine closed down, Ruth’s labor pains began. For almost forty hours she was wracked with pain, and by the time the baby passed through the birth canal her eyes had rolled to the back of her head.
“No!” Bartholomew screamed and lifted her into his arms. “Please, Ruth, please don’t leave me.” He held her for hours as little Paul wiped the baby clean, wrapped her in a warm blanket, and placed her in the same cradle they’d used for him.
Just before dawn, Ruth’s eyelids fluttered open and she asked, “Jeremiah—is he okay?”
For the first time in many hours Bartholomew smiled. “Your prediction was wrong. Jeremiah is a girl.” He placed the baby in Ruth’s arms and sat beside them. “I think maybe we’d best come up with a new name.”
Ruth looked up at her husband. He was so strong and yet so gentle. He was a man who asked for little and gave much. She thought back on how this baby had kicked, how she’d struggled to be free. Paul was like Bartholomew, strong but gentle. This child was stronger. She had a lust for life and a fierce determination to live it. She’d waved her tiny arms and legs and celebrated life even before the time had come. The words Ruth spoke were her gift to Bartholomew.
“We’ll name her Jubilee,” she said, “because this child is a celebration of our love.”
Bartholomew smiled and nodded his approval.
And so it was.