It’s like rain on your wedding day…
Mary Jane glanced out of the window. The clouds had cast a gray hue over the patio since she woke up that morning. With another sigh, she turned around and was met with her cousins prying eyes, “don’t say a word, Mary Beth.” Maybe an elaborate outdoor wedding in the middle of the October wasn’t her best idea, but it had been what she wanted and Steve wasn’t going to deny her what she wanted, she knew that.
“We have the gazebo to put up if it does start raining,” Beth told her. She knew it, and so did Mary Jane. What Beth also knew was that her cousin would not have the gazebo ruining her photos. “Unless you want to forego that completely and run the risk of getting wet…photos in the rain have the potential to be very beautiful.”
Mary Jane stared at her with her arms crossed over her chest, “at least you’re not giving me the ‘it’s good luck!’ spiel mom was giving me an hour ago.”
“I know this isn’t the picture perfect wedding day you expected, but you’re getting married!” When Mary Jane responded with a smile, strained but a smile nonetheless, Beth continued, “you’re marrying Steve, who worships the ground you walk on. There’s nothing that’s going to ruin this for you. I won’t let it.”
Among her large number of cousins, Mary Beth had always been her one confidant. They were born a week apart and continued doing most things together from then on out. Until now. Mary Jane was getting married and Beth, her sweet Beth, had just broken up with her fiancé a month ago. “Thank you…for everything,” Mary Jane reached for the other woman and wrapped her in a hug. “Maybe photos in the rain will be beautiful, because photos with that gazebo in the background would not be.”
Steve had been watching out the window all morning, and unlike his fiancée, wasn’t completely put off by the rain. He looked at his father who was watching him with a wide smile. “I knew she was the one the day I met her,” he paused, pinching the bridge of his nose to stop the tears, “but this just proves it.”
His father knew of the superstition. Every person who had ever been married knew about it. Whether they believed in it, or disagreed with it was another story. “While you think it’s a good omen, I bet it’s a good bet that Mary Jane is next door freaking out.”
A grin covered Steve’s face almost immediately, “which I feel horrible about. But Dad, one belief is that untying a wet not is virtually impossible, and we’re ‘tying the knot’ so to speak. That just means it’s going to be just as hard to break us apart.”
Later that night, when they were the only ones left at Steve’s grandparent’s farmhouse, the newlyweds laid in bed together. “Today was magical,” Mary Jane whispered, twisting Steve’s wedding ring around his finger, “thank you.”
They had talked about the rain at their reception and he was well aware that Mary Jane was anything but thrilled. “Even with the rain?” She rolled her eyes in response and Steve pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “I know that the rain wasn’t planned for, it wasn’t even in the forecast until last night but I truly do think that it was a good omen.”
“Always the optimist.”
“One of us has gotta do it.”
Mary Jane rolled over so that she could look up at her husband. “I know that I complained about it earlier, but as the day went on, the more right it felt.” She knew that her next statement was sort of a lie, but Steve didn’t need to know that. “It’s kind of like the rain just…washed away everything that’s happened before this. Before us. Before I met you.” Mary Jane looked down, she wished more than anything that there was something that could take away what had happened that night. But that was beside the point. She had married the love of her life today and that’s all that mattered. That’s what she had to keep telling herself.
“I love you, MJ. So much.”
I love you, too.”
Two days after giving birth, they were being released. In truth, it came as a surprise to both MJ and Steve. Her pregnancy hadn’t been the smoothest by any means, but she wasn’t going to complain about getting to go home. Home where they would be able to spend time with their little boy, their miracle baby.
Their first pregnancy had started so smoothly. They had been so happy and hopeful when they had made it to twenty-four weeks. At sixteen and twenty weeks their baby had decided that they did not want their parents to know what their sex was. At twenty-four weeks, they went back again, in hopes of finding out the sex.
That appointment changed everything. In a matter of seconds, MJ knew that something was wrong. She didn’t hear the heartbeat. Their doctor quickly removed the probe from MJ’s stomach and turned the machine off. She turned to them and broke the news that they already knew.
Following the stillbirth, MJ had suffered from a miscarriage. This time hurt too, but it was a different kind of pain. She didn’t understand why she was being punished this way. Too many times did she think that it was the result of her actions. Of how she had been stupid enough to let that happen that night back In college.
MJ shook away the thoughts as the nurse pushed her wheel chair out of the hospital. They were going home with their baby, their Nick. Steve lifted the car seat with Nick in it into the car before turning to help MJ into the backseat. As she stood up, she felt a drop of water fall onto her forehead. Meeting Steve’s eyes, she smiled. Rain.
“We’re gonna be okay, MJ,” he said, wiping the rain drop away.
She leaned forward to kiss him before climbing the rest of the way into the car. Sure, on their wedding day, she’d been a little bit bummed, but the rain had proven in the last two years that they could handle anything life threw at them.
After Nick, they tried to get pregnant again. Their family didn’t quite feel complete yet, and MJ wanted Nick to have a sibling. While she had always had Beth, it wasn’t the same as having a sibling and she didn’t want Nick to have to go through some of the things she did that came with not having a sibling.
It took about six months for MJ to get pregnant the first time after Nick, but that soon resulted in another miscarriage and after that, another.
Steve felt the pain too, but he knew that it was different for MJ. He could see it on her face with each negative pregnancy test and both times she woke him up in the middle of the night, their bed sheets stained with blood.
It had been three months since the second miscarriage. Steve and MJ were sitting on the couch, MJ holding a sleeping Nick while Steve read through the notes on one of his cases. Without looking up from Nick’s sweet face MJ reached over to hold Steve’s hand. “I want to talk to you about something,” she said quietly.
Steve quickly sat the stack of papers down and turned to face her, using his finger to lift her face up so that he could see her eyes. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” He asked.
MJ nodded, “yeah, I was just thinking.”
“What if…we went ahead with adoption?” She asked quietly. Unsure of what Steve’s reaction would be.
Steve smiled, “if this is something that you want to do, we will do it. If you want to do it, I want to do it. But only if you’re sure.” They had discussed it after the first miscarriage after Nick, but never brough it up again.
“I’m sure,” she nodded. “I don’t think that I can go through that pain again. I don’t want to go through the pain of losing another baby, Steve. I can’t do it again.” She stopped talking before she got too worked up. “I want another baby. I want Nick to have a sibling. I’m ready to do this.”
“Okay. We’ll start everything in the morning.”
Both Steve and MJ looked at one another when they heard the sound of rain hitting the window across from where they were sitting. “I think it’s the right move,” MJ said.
It hadn’t taken long for a family to choose them. The mother was young, barely into her sophomore year of college and not ready by any means to be a mother. Because of how early the young girl had chosen them, MJ was able to be in the delivery room with her as their child came into the world. While she was in the room, Steve waited outside with Nick. Nick who had no idea what exactly was happening or why he heard screaming or why his mother was in the room with the person screaming. He just knew that his dad said that he was getting a baby brother or sister.
On one side of the young girl was MJ and on the other was the girl’s own mother. The process had been long and exhausting for all parties, but was agreed upon. As the baby entered the world, MJ looked up. It had started to rain. She took a deep breath as tears filled her eyes and she looked at their baby’s face for the first time.
The doctor maneuvered the infant from the birth canal before meeting MJ’s eyes. “It’s a girl.”
Steve heard the first cry and let out a breath. Their baby was here.
Ten minutes later, MJ and the baby had been moved to another room on the labor and delivery floor and a nurse came to get Steve and Nick. As Steve opened the door and saw MJ sitting on the edge of the bed holding their child.
MJ looked up and met Steve’s eyes. “It’s a girl.”
MJ laughed, “that too.”
Steve carried Nick towards MJ and looked down. “She’s beautiful,” he whispered.
“Nick, meet your sister. Mary Fances.”
An hour later, as MJ slept on the bed with Frankie on her chest and Nick tucked into her side, Steve watched them. He couldn’t believe that they were his. His beautiful family.
And now twenty years later as Steve helped MJ into the house, it was raining. Much like their wedding day the rain hadn’t been in the forecast until early that morning. Steve wasn’t sure what it meant this time.
Before Steve pushed the front door open, MJ stopped him. “It’s raining.”
Steve met her eyes, “yeah.”
“Do you remember?”
A laugh escaped his lips, “Oh, MJ. How could I forget? It’s like our sign…”
MJ gave him a tired smile, cutting him off, “what do you think it means this time?”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure that whatever it means, we’re going to be okay. We always are,” Steve said, pulling her into a hug. “I love you, Mary Jane. I fall more in love with you every day.”
She rested her head on his chest, “I love you too.” She looked out at the rain one more time, “could we sit on the swing for a while?”
“Anything for you, sweetheart. Anything.”