A love story in three acts
Susan Gosman's great-grandson, Treu.


Fifty-six years ago I was 19 years old, in the hospital giving birth to my son. It was me on the delivery table, the doctor at the end of the table ready for the catch, and a nurse standing by my head (fathers were not allowed in delivery rooms then). My feet are in the stirrups, I am pushing, I am panting, I am groaning. And the nurse leans over and says (offstage), “How do your parents feel about your being married to a Black man?”


Twenty-six years ago—I am 50 years old. The phone rings. It’s my son. “Mom, get over to the hospital. Lorita just had the baby, you’re a grandma!” I run outside, jump into the car, and drive to the hospital. I run into her room, kiss everybody, and run out to see my grandson. He is in a small room, in an isolette. At the end of the room, there is a sort of booth with a sliding glass partition at the top and a nurse inside keeping watch. I tiptoe over to the baby and whisper (offstage), “Hello, I’m your grandma. Welcome to the world. You’re so beautiful. My grandson, my beautiful boy. I love you.” The glass partition is pulled back, and the nurse leans out and says (offstage), “How do you feel about having a Black grandchild?”


Five years ago—I am 71 years old. My grandson Marc and his Brianna are about to have their first child. I drive to the hospital (located in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Los Angeles). Brianna and Marc are in her room with her mother and stepmother. Her labor progresses and everyone but Marc is escorted out. Finally, the birth is over, and we crowd back into the room. There is an isolette next to the bed and the three grannies surround it, crying, laughing, welcoming our Treu to the world. The door opens, a nurse enters, walks right over to me, taps me on the shoulder, and says (offstage), “Excuse me, doctor.” The look on my face, as I turn around, and the glances the other two grannies exchange must have said it all because she turns and hurries out.

Two days later: Discharge day, going home. Marc is bringing the car around and the grannies are sitting on the bed with Brianna, blessing the baby. The door opens. A woman enters. She’s a volunteer whose job is to see the baby delivered safe and sound to the car. She looks at all of us and says quietly to me (offstage), “Well, I can see this one is going to get good care. You wouldn’t believe what I see here. You have no idea how many of them are neglected and uncared for, and then those girls are right back here again having more.” She helps Brianna to a wheelchair, we decline her offer to push and take our beautiful, happy, sweet, much loved baby out to meet the world.


Susan Gosman
Susan Gosman

Susan Gosman writes from Los Angeles.