Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Memory Moments

My Christmas Miracle

He entered the world in a small, family oriented hospital. He weighed 10 lbs, 6 oz ... the largest baby that had ever been born there. They didn’t have clothes to fit him, so even though he was healthier than most, he had to spend his first full day of life in a warm incubator. He hadn’t had to fight his way into the world so he was content to do what he had done for almost 10 months, sleep and eat. Of course, he was beautiful. He was my baby!

For a woman that had been told by six different doctors that she would never be able to have children my son’s birth was considered a family miracle. Truth in fact, it really was a major event ... 25 people from the world that was my friends and family lined the hall to wish me luck/love as they pushed me into the operating room for the C-Section. The fetus had never dropped even though I was into my 10 month. He was very happy to stay where he was, but the rest of my body was screaming for him to be removed.

He was born exactly 7 days before Christmas.

We came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve. When my husband pulled in front of the house everyone in the neighborhood came out to see our miracle. Across the front of the house my husband had put up a big banner that read “MERRY CHRISTMAS - OUR GIFT WAS A BOY!” My very first boyfriend was there ... I don’t know how he knew I had had a baby. He handed me a bouquet of red roses and kissed me on the cheek. Through the window I could see that the Christmas tree lights were on and I could hear the faint sound of Christmas carols coming from the stereo. My father, mother, sister, and brothers stood in the doorway ready to get their chance to hold the first baby of the fourth generation. It was the most ‘perfect’ Christmas moment I have ever experienced.

Life doesn’t play out perfect, so there were bumps in the road for my son and myself. But if I had to do it over again I would do most of it the same. Myson and I had a wonderful, fun filled, time growing up together.

This past Sunday was his birthday. We had fun teasing him about getting old and out of shape, but he wouldn’t have any of it. He says he loves getting older ... he can be as eccentric as he wants to be and no one can complain. Like shaving all his hair off. He told all of us he was going to do it some day, but we didn’t really take it seriously. Then a few days before his birthday he walked into the family room and he was as bald as the day I brought him home from the hospital! The women seem to love it, and his male friends yammer like they are jealous of his new cool look. Everyone says that he looks years younger. But every time I look at him all I can think of is the ’perfect Christmas moment’ I brought him home from the hospital without a hair on his beautiful head.

Now I need to find another ’perfect moment’ to tell him how much I ‘don’t’ like his new hairless look. Somehow I don’t think he will care too much. Last night he found a slip of paper with a woman’s phone number on it slipped into the sack of groceries that he had just brought home. I think maybe his hairless head has just created a ‘perfect Christmas moment’ of another kind.

A Very Non-Miraculous Moment

We had just come out of the store with a cart full of Christmas purchases. Behind us was the store Christmas Tree so tall that it almost touched the ceiling. Beside the tree stood an almost life sized Santa. It set a very festive mood. Outside the door the Salvation Army bell ringer stood beside his red pot and heartily greeted everyone with a “Merry Christmas”. Across the parking lot I saw a young couple walking toward us. The woman had a Christmas bell necklace hanging around her neck and green bells hanging from her ears. The man had a little dog cradled in his arm. They looked happy and full of Christmas Spirit. The parking lot was decorated with Holiday banners and green and red garlands. All in all, it was a very Southern California Christmas setting.

I always get in the car first so John can fold my wheelchair and get it in the back before he unloads our purchases. The two of us were tired, but the festive feeling of the store and the smile of the bell ringer had affected us and our mood was light and Christmassy. I glanced over at the young couple and watched them as they walked toward our car. I thought they looked a bit like a Christmas card, and the thought put a smile on my face.

I turned to tell John to glance in their direction. I thought it might give him a warm feeling. At the same time that he turned his head to give them a quick glance he put his arm behind him and grabbed for his cane. He often puts his cane in the basket when he is shopping. It’s convenient and easily reachable if he needs it. But as he grabbed the cane its tip got caught in one of the loops of the bags. Now, I can’t speak for John and his motivation, but I can relate what I saw. John never did turn around and investigate what his cane was caught on ... men just don’t seem to be filled with the same logic as a woman. Instead, he started pulling and struggling with the cane, trying to pry it lose from whatever had caught it, never taking his eyes off of the couple that were walking toward us. The more he pulled and struggled the deeper the cane fell into the loop.

I guess I could have eased the situation by gently suggesting that John take a look at what his cane was doing, but I was giggling and you know how hard it is to suggest and giggle at the same time. All of a sudden the cane freed itself from the basket, but, unfortunately, not from the bag. The sudden jerk of the cane coming free sent John’s unsteady legs stumbling in a circle. And as his legs stumbled in one circle his arms flailed in another circle above his head....with the cane and the attached bag firmly in his hand. His legs finally stood steady ground, but still the cane hadn’t come free, so he continued throwing it in a circle over his head. He stood in the middle of the parking lot tossing a cane, with a big bag attached, in circles over his head while people passed him going to their cars. No one called security so I have to assume that they just considered him a man that had gone over the edge from Christmas stress. All of a sudden the loop broke free and the bag took off flying toward the Christmas Card looking couple. The look on their faces was classic “we need to get the hell out of here” and before the bag landed the two of them grabbed each other’s hands, turned, and ran the opposite way. They never looked back at the insane man and the flying Christmas bag.

I was laughing so hard that I could hardly breathe. John, having completed his mission of releasing the cane was finally satisfied; his cane was free, he had scared the hell out of a nice young couple, andthe other shoppers who hadn’t seen the whole show were quick to pick up the landed package for him.

His Christmas moment had fallen into place very nicely. But I sure would love to hear the story that those two nice looking young people have to tell.

I hope all you have a wonderful Christmas!

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