Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God… 1 John 4:7
The other thing I remember is the night we became pregnant. To me, there is no question when life begins. It begins at conception. After making love, I stroked Mom’s hair and told her, “Tonight, we created a new life.” She responded, “I know.”
That could have been wishful thinking, but a couple of days later Mom’s mood was down. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she “knew” she was pregnant but I spoiled the good news. She wanted to be the one to tell me the rabbit died. (These are the old days … no instant pregnancy tests) It broke my heart and throughout our marriage I never told her that again, although I was pretty sure when we conceived both Scott and Nicolle.
Now that was scary for both of us. Practical Mom worried about silly things like no crib. I worried about another mouth to feed. (I know, babies don’t eat a lot, but they are high maintenance.)
I tried to be supportive throughout Mom’s pregnancy. I went with her to doctor visits and spent a football Saturday at home timing contractions. Natural birth was not an option back then, but along came Joe. He was perfect. I remember stroking Mom’s hair and telling her how proud I was of her. But then, I was always proud of her!!!
We could take Joe anywhere and he would sleep. There was that time when we visited Aunt Marie and Uncle George in Pennsylvania and we were surprised by a bear, screeching within inches of hitting that dumb thing. Joe slept through it and Mom, after the fact, panicked. We just sat at the side of the road with our hearts beating a mile a minute. All we could do was just hold onto each other. Another time our guardian angel was hard at work.
Then there was the trip to Williamsport for the Little League World Series. Poor Joe had the most severe diaper rash in the world, but generally slept through it all. The only time he would cry was at night, but he was real comfortable at ball games. Go figure.
Mom was beside herself. She couldn’t get the rash to go away and she really panicked when the rash started to blister. As we traveled from Williamsport to Washington, she called Dr. Mahadeen, our pediatrician, who ordered a special cream (we had to get that filled in Washington, DC, on a call in script from New Jersey), stop using plastic diapers and go back to cloth diapers (try keeping up with laundry on the road). What I remember most was Mom blaming herself. It took all I could muster to convince her she was a good mother … the best mother in the world. That was my job – support – because I wasn’t good at anything else.
To be continued …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.