“Yes, Father, it’s twins. And I’m just – ” Samuel broke off as his breath caught. He shoved his hair back from his face in agitation. There was silence on the line for the next few moments, and Samuel finally sighed and added, “It was nice hearing from you, at least.”

When Samuel hung up, he paced the passage, just trying to free his mind of any negative thoughts before he headed back inside to Dina. He always wanted to be there when she woke up.

But when his phone rang again and it was his dad calling back, he was so surprised he answered on the first ring. “Father?”

“I just wanted you to know…your mother and I really wish you well. And with everything you’re going through, you don’t have to think you’re in it alone. You’re still our son, Samuel. And we’ll be standing by you and hoping you pull through with this.” Whitmore Franklin’s deep sigh seemed filled with remorse and appeasement. “One thing your mom and I know, you’ve never let anything wear you down. We see you coming through this. You, Dina and the babies. We’ll be praying for you all to make it through.”

Samuel was still in shock when he went back in to Dina. She stirred awake and smiled when she saw him there, sitting beside the bed and holding her hand to his lips. “Hello, handsome.”

“Hey, beautiful,” he said, drinking in her drawn features and knowing she’d never looked more perfect and amazing to him. She was so strong and beautiful, inside and out.

“My father called, and he and mother gave their best wishes for you and the babies. They said they’ll be praying for the best outcome.”

Dina’s face lit up, and Samuel felt glad he’d chosen to tell her after all. She looked more than happy and strengthened by the news. She hoped his parents wouldn’t stay away, or continue to keep their distance. And as it happened, they were there the next day, and even got to meet Dina’s parents, who had also come on one of their regular visits.

The atmosphere of quiet reflection and reconciliation couldn’t have set in at a better time. And when Dina went into labor a few days later, she had more than a big enough support structure on hand to root for her and the babies.

It had been a stressful journey for Dina, after finding out she had a condition that could affect her unborn babies’ health. Thankfully, she’d followed the steps and treatment all through her term, but she never let herself really heave a sigh of relief until she finally held her baby boys in her arms.

Her labor had been totally normal and had even been on the short side at just over five hours. The babies were actually two weeks early, at a perfect weight and in perfect health. It was an incredible miracle.

Everyone had tears in their eyes with the safe arrival of the twins. If there was one moment Dina wished could last forever, it was that image of Samuel cradling the boys in his arms and having the most wondrous look of joy, pride and awe on his face.

He looked up then and caught her gaze, and they shared a smile that had no need for words. Relief, gratitude, trust…and all other kinds of emotions that really couldn’t be defined, but you just knew they made your world a whole lot brighter when shared with the one. That one kindred soul you could see yourself facing fire and storms and rapture just to make them happy.

It was like finding heaven in the desert. And sometimes you’d wake up and just look around you and wonder if this really was your life, or just one big bubble in a fantasy that could pop open any time, and disappear.

Samuel certainly had no plans on disappearing any time soon. And to drive that point home even further, he formally proposed to Dina, who laughed and reminded him they were already married.

“I meant a wedding with the whole works. The church, the wedding cake, the 500 odd guests, the honeymoon.” He moved to stand behind Dina and kissed his way along her sensitive nape.

Dina gasped, eyes rolling back as she involuntarily arched back against Samuel’s solid frame. Then suddenly she gave a soft chuckle. “Not sure how we can manage to plan a huge wedding. We’re both stay-at-home parents, but it still never seems like we have enough hours in the day.”

Just inches away in the bedroom with them, the boys slept in their shared crib. Dina moved forward quietly till she reached them and stared down lovingly. Watching them sleeping side by side, in the same position, had Dina marveling in their sameness and their individualism.

When she turned to Samuel again, he had on a grin. “I know how much you can be a perfectionist and love handling every single detail yourself, but there’re actually people who can take the whole load of planning the wedding off our back. All we’ll need to do is just show up.”

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