Wednesday, August 23, 2017

On the Day You were Born....

Whenever you make plans...the universe laughs. I stated a few weeks ago here on this blog I'd be back and doing posts more regularly.

And oh how the universe must have laughed and laughed and laughed.

Then I received a call from my youngest son on a stormy, pouring rain and booming thunder Friday night. "Mommy," he said, and I knew right away. I just KNEW. Not only because my twenty something son called me 'Mommy' (which he never does). But because I just KNEW.

My father had passed away.

It's been almost three weeks to the day since that phone call, and the first 'event' is happening. My oldest, my daughter, is having a birthday. Birthdays are events in our family. They always have been. I'm a December baby, and I don't have to tell anyone born near a holiday, especially Christmas, what that means. So every birthday is always an event like a holiday.

But my daughter's birthday...is special. She's the sole girl on both sides. She has two brothers and all male cousins, on her father's side, and her mother's side. Just her. One girl and thirty six boys.

When she was born, my mother-in-law told me to invest in boxing gloves so she could 'defend herself'. I said, and meant, "Those boys better be the ones to watch themselves. She is not going to be a girly girly. See her eyes? She's Wonder Woman."

Years later, Amy Pond on Doctor Who would say, "Melody Williams is a geography teacher. Melody Pond is a super hero" on the day her daughter, River Song, was born. That's how I felt about my daughter. She's not a typical girl. She's a Super heroine.

(Let me inject, least they be 'left out' and offended...my boys are special and  super heroes too. All sons are special and super heroes to their moms. All girls are special and superheroes to their mother. or they should be.

So for their special event...my kids always get the, 'On the Day You Were Born' story. I have told them this story on their birthdays from the 1st one on. What was happening in the world, who was President, what Mom did, what their father said, who the nurses were, what I ate, what was on tv, etc. I try to time it to the actual time each was born, though I admit for the youngest, it's switched 12 hours, since he was born after 1 AM.

My daughter is special for so many reasons. I could make a book of all the reasons, just as every parent should. Her birthday is special. Because she is Mine. Because she was my first. Because she is the only girl. Because she had killer dimples that made all the doctors and nurses gasp and say, "Oh my GAWD. Look at those deep dimples!" Because she IS a super heroine and Wonder Woman. because she's funny and short tempered, and compassionate, and plays trumpet and reads everything and loves Harry Potter and Super girl and Marvel everything and Top Gear and playing practical jokes.

But for my Dad and my Mom...she was the first baby they ever saw born. They were the generation where the mother had a contraction, they drove to the hospital, their father went to a room to wait, mother got knocked out, and they both were handed a cleaning shiny baby a few hours later. They didn't get 4 D ultra sound pictures or Lamaze breathing. So they went through all of it with me, their youngest, and my daughter, the first baby 'we' gave birth to and got to watch be born.

So when I called them at 5:15 AM and said, "Guess what? My water just broke." My Dad was the first one banging on the door in 10 minutes, insisting we leave NOW for the hospital. I was calmly curling my hair and applying some eye shadow (oh good lord, what a young naive girl I was) and said, "We have lots of time."

Dad bundled me and my Mom in the car and bam we were off.  he didn't race up the highway, but it was close. (The true race to the hospital came a couple of years later, when my oldest son decided to be three weeks late and then arrive thirty three minutes from the first contraction). At the hospital, Dad couldn't believe he actually got to come in 'the room' with me. He could sit in the recliner beside me while the monitor beeped and the nurses bustled about. He could watch tv. There was AC.  And while my Mom fussed about, asking me if I wanted ice chips, Dad 'read'.

During a particularly hard contraction, I vividly recall looking over and seeing my Dad 'reading'. It was a book about John Wayne, his personal hero. He held it upside in his hands, his gaze focused on my stomach as if 'Alien' was about to burst through. I gasped out, "Daddy! What are you doing?"

"I'm reading," he said calmly and tore his gaze back to the book.

"Upside down?" Pant pant, breathe breathe, blow blow...all those Lamaze breathing things (that do NOT work).

"Well, I want to impress this baby."

I laughed, as meant, and less than an hour later, my doctor announced, "Time to push!"

And my Dad...who was National Guard...a Fire Fighter...fearless...literally RAN from that room.

But 37 minutes later, he was the third person to hold my newborn daughter. And he cried. I'd seen Dad cry once before, when his Dad died back when I was eight years old. But he looked down at my red face screaming little girl, who was bald and had the most enormous dimples ever and he said, "Now then, little girl. let's go have some coffee and a doughnut. And you will stop that noise."

That was Dad's answer to every trouble or problem. Have coffee and a doughnut. Everything looks better after coffee and a doughnut.

So while I told the 'day you were born' story, and made (okay, I'll be honest, ordered, the cake), my Dad took the kids out for doughnuts and coffee flavored milk on their birthdays.

And on Saturdays. And any day he wanted to cheer them up or 'just because'. I loved that about my Dad. He made each child feel special, because coffee and a doughnut was each special time alone with Pa-Pa (what my kids called him, started, of course, by my daughter who first called him 'Pa-Poo'). And things DID look better after coffee and a doughnut.

And this year...my daughter said, "Mom...tell the story and then, maybe, can we go get coffee and a doughnut? Because Pa-Pa isn't here to take me."

Yes he is. And he isn't. It's going to be a year of 'firsts'. The first birthday Dad isn't here. The first Halloween. The first Thanksgiving. The first Christmas. He won't be here to "dance at your wedding and sing, "when froggy went a courting" for my daughter. he won't be here to see them graduate college.

He's here, and he KNOWS. But he isn't HERE.

I miss you Daddy.

So, my beautiful Wonder Woman daughter who still has killer dimples and tons of naturally curly hair...Happy Birthday. Let's go have coffee and a doughnut. On the day that you were born....

Friday, August 4, 2017

When Real Life Takes Over....



It's been almost a year since my last post here. In many ways, that's unforgivable, especially to those of you who follow me. Apologies for not staying more in touch and up to date.

Real Life often is more fiction than truth. Have you ever noticed that? If I were to write the story of real life ... it would never be believed.

All that said...let me just nutshell state this past year has been one of numerous life change after life change, fairly major ones, and those had to, rightly so, take first and foremost place in my world.

But it's time to let the past stay the past and move to the future, one step at a time.

So....posts shall continue...new novels are on the way, finally...and guest authors will be featured.

Thank you for hanging in there.

And please Stay Tuned :)