Excerpts

The Reunion
“Breathe in,” Toledo Cats spoke almost in a whisper. The young woman lying on the bed inhaled sharply. Sweat glistened on her pale forehead. Her blonde hair clung to one cheek in limp ringlets. “Hold it.” Toledo put her hand on the woman’s swollen belly and looked into her eyes. “He is ready to join us. Let your breath out slowly and push him gently toward the world.” The woman exhaled and pushed, letting out a stream of expletives.
“Why, Amy Belle, if your mother could hear you say those things, you’d be tasting her lavender soap,” Mama Cats scolded gently from her position at the foot of the bed.
“It hurts, Mama Cats. You don’t know how it hurts,” the woman cried.
“Oh, but I do know. You think Toledo here showed up in my cabbage patch? I’ve been where you are and no one near as experienced as me to ease things along. Now this time when you breathe in, do it slowly. Smell the lavender, rose, and jasmine in the air and think about how pretty those flowers look.” Mama Cats moved up to Amy’s side and took her hand. “You move down there, Toledo.”
“You want me to deliver the baby?”
“You’ve been assisting long enough. It’s time you brought a life into this world.”
“But Mama...”
“No but Mamas. It’s time.”