DEAR ABBY: I am a Navy wife whose husband is currently deployed. Two months after he left, his mother passed away after a short, fierce battle with colon cancer. My grieving husband barely made it home in time for her funeral, and he never got to tell her goodbye.
My husband and I spent 10 emotion-filled days together in his mother's hometown before he had to return to his ship and I had to travel home to our two children. Out of that terrible heartache, we received a blessed gift -- we discovered that we're pregnant!
However, our "happy news" has created an awkward situation: Now that I'm beginning to "show," people who don't know about my husband's mother are asking when I'm due -- and I can see them mentally add the months my husband has been deployed. One woman actually counted out loud on her fingers and then exclaimed, "But he's gone! How is it that you're expecting?"
Our children are 13 and 11, and people have asked in their presence if they come from previous relationships -- and if this new baby will be my husband's and my first child together. One of my daughter's teachers even had the nerve to ask her who the father of the baby is! My darling daughter responded in typical teen-age fashion, "My dad, of course!" Then she rolled her eyes.
How should we as a family respond to these outrageous inquiries? I am at a loss. -- NAVY WIFE AND MOTHER IN WASHINGTON STATE
DEAR NAVY WIFE AND MOTHER: When you are asked who the father of the baby is, smile and reply, "Ask my husband when he gets home. He was there when it happened."