Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On August 14th, 2001 I received a call at work that my wife was going shopping with a friend of hers. My wife at this point was very impatient (As she said) "to get this thing out of me", so she thought she could walk it out. They were shopping at Ikea when she started having pains. They were 20 mins to a half hour apart and not very consistent so she kept shopping. The next stop they had to make was at the Home Depot for a screen door, because my daughter could not be born with out a screen door to keep the dog in (LOL). When they found the screen door and tried to find someone to help them carry it there was no one to be found. My wife's friend when up to the customer service and told them that a lady was about to have a baby and if they didn't help carry the screen door for them she was going to have her baby right there in the store. Needless to say every male employee at the store was there to help her with in seconds. I got home that night and immediately had to install the screen door, my wife's contractions were consistent now at 30 minutes timed right to the second. I had called everyone to let them know this could be the night and went to bed, at this time contractions were down to 15 minutes apart and my wife kept saying it was just gas, I told her you couldn't time gas. At about 2 AM my wife woke me up and told me I had to wash the cat because she wasn't bringing her baby home to a dirty cat. At this time her contractions were 10 minutes apart, but she wouldn't let me call the doctor. She had an appointment set for 8:00 AM that day so she would just go then. So at 3:00Am I called her best friend and told her to be here before 8 because today was the day. We got to her doctors appointment and were sent straight to the hospital to check in. After 13 hours of labor and the baby being stuck in the birth canal for 3 hours they finally decided to do a emergency C-section. I had to change into this paper gown and wash my hands for 15minutes before they let me in to the operating room. I sat down right by my wife's head and laid my head next to hers so I wouldn't see anything (LOL). When my daughter was born and started crying I couldn't move, I was scared to death. I just sat there for a few minutes, until my wife told me to go get our daughter. She was still screaming and crying when I got to her, I said it's OK baby daddy is here and immediately she stopped crying and looked for me, she recognized my voice. I thought to myself holy crap I am a dad, I don't know how to be a dad, nobody told me how to be a dad..........God, please help!!!!!   

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I had planned on telling you the story of my daughter being born, but I left someone out of my story who I think deserves to be talked about. I am not sure if your mind has a way of blocking things out or moving them to the deep back parts for storage or something, but i think he was a big part of my faith journey. At the start of my 6th grade year, maybe 1978 or 1979, there was this new kid at school and it turned out he had moved into the neighborhood right by where I lived. We met and hung out a little bit, we had mutual friends so I had smoked some pot with him or something but not great friends. I was walking home one night right after dark and I took my normal short cut through the back side of the apartment complex, along this path that ran right along the edge of the woods. As I was walking these 3 kids jumped out from behind a tree and surrounded me. They were a couple of kids my age I had seen around school and another kid that looked like he was a 7th grader. They had heard that I usually had some pot on me and they wanted to take it from me. Next thing I know this guy comes out of no where and jumps on the 7th grader and just totally beats the crap out of this kid. I took advantage of the surprise attack and kicked one of the kids between the legs as the other one ran off. I kicked the kid a couple of  more times to make sure he didn't get up and swung around to defend myself against this new threat and discovered it was the new kid. He had saved me from a complete ass woopin and from that point forward we were the best of friends, we were pretty much inseparable. We were the type of friends that could not talk for a month and call and talk like we spoke to each other the day before. As I got older and started selling drugs he had my back and I knew it. He would give his life for me and I would have given my life for him, the only person other than my mother I could truly trust. On Christmas eve of 1997 he called to wish us a Merry Christmas and talk, but we were on the way out the door to my sisters house and I kind of rushed him off the phone and told him I would call him in the morning. I didn't know it would be the last time I would ever talk to him. At about 4:00 AM on Christmas day I got a phone call telling me that my first true friend I had ever had died in a house fire. Wow, here I was supposedly celebrating the birth of Jesus, OK maybe not me, but others in the family were, and He took another person in my life from me. How could there be a God?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

As the pregnancy went on and my daughter started to move I would love to put my hand on my wife's stomach. I would read to her and talk to her, I just couldn't quite get a grasp on the concept that I was going to be a dad. I had accepted the fact that I would never have children, and cursed a God who would let someone they are supposed to love suffer. And yet here I was, about to be a dad. I think this is the first time that I started to pray or more like talk to God on a regular basis, feeling a little awkward and not knowing if there really was someone listening, I didn't tell anyone. When it got to the point where I would walk in the room and my daughter would start to kick at the sound of my voice, I thought maybe someone was listening. That is all I kept praying for, my wife's and my daughter's health.
I kept going to church most of the time, sitting on the sidelines being a "Pew Warmer". We would sit in the very back and I never paid close attention to the sermon, but I thought I was holding up my end of the deal I made with God, that all I had to do was get baptized and everything was good. My wife tried to get us closer to the front every once in awhile, but she was just happy to get me in the church, so she never tried really hard. I had made a decision to get completely clean and made a Doctor Appointment right away, and when I got in to see him I told him I was concerned about addiction and if there was something else he could give me. My pain was and is to this day still real, I just chose to deal with it in a different way. I think that for the first time in my life I could say I was actually happy and mean it. I also think this is where the spiritual part of my journey began, that maybe for the 2nd time I chose the right way to go when I came to the fork in the road. God was some part of my life now whether I liked it or not.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

So those 9 months were the longest 9 months of my life. I was excited and scared and every other emotion you can think of. After my wife found out she was pregnant she wanted to move out of the city, so we rented a house and moved to the burbs. My wife's family is Lutheran so she wanted to find a Lutheran church to go to and when we went to find a church there happened to be one 2 blocks from our new house. Since my wife looked for for our new place to live while I was at work, I am not to sure if that was more than just a coincidence. When we went to check it out the pastor used a baseball story as an example in his sermon later when we talked to him we found out he was a baseball fan, so I was like OK this church is good. We went through the process of becoming members and started attending every Sunday. OK so not every Sunday, when the Seahawks had an early game or NASCAR was on early I didn't go. I had never been baptized so talk of that started happening but I wanted to wait until our baby was born and be baptized together. So on the Sundays that I went to church I really didn't pay attention to the sermons or anything, I stood during songs but never sang or got into it at all. One of my good friends now called it being a "pew warmer." Anyway, right at about this same time we found out that my one of my sisters had developed breast cancer and was going to need a partial mastectomy. I took that pretty hard and started questioning God again, but I kept going to church kind of regularly, but I also kept popping pain killers and was also smoking a pack a day of Marlboros.
Oh yea, I was also freaking out trying to figure out how the hell I was going to be a dad .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My wife had tried for years to get me to pray for God to give us a child. I had always told her to pray for the both of us because I wasn't going to waste my time, so my wife continued to pray and I just kept going. I had finally quit smoking pot and had a decent job, but I was still addicted to pain killers and had a doctor that kept writing the prescriptions. So while my wife was praying, my employer changed insurance coverage that raised my premiums by a hundred dollars, but supposedly we had better coverage. Since we had better insurance my wife tried it out and scheduled a doctor appointment for her check up. While she was at her appointment the doctor had told her that at 35 if she wanted to have children she better do it pretty quick. She had mentioned to the doctor that I couldn't have children, he left the room and came back with some pamphlets about how my new insurance would pay for 6 cycles of insemination, but only 6 for a lifetime. My wife came home so excited and told me the news and that God had answered her prayers, but I still didn't believe that a supposed God so big would care about the life of one unimportant couple to make things happen in there life. It was all just luck or coincidence. So we started doing the inseminations once a month, and every time we would get our hopes up and every time we would be let down. On the 6th month we went into the doctor's office and did all the same things as before knowing the whole time that this was probably our last shot. My wife kept saying God wouldn't give us this opportunity and then take it away like that, and I kept saying maybe if there was a God he wouldn't. So the night before we were supposed to do the pregnancy test I am sitting up alone in the dark, my wife had long gone to bed, and I was thinking about the fact that if she didn't get pregnant we would never be able to afford anything like this on our own. So I am sitting there and all of the sudden I started talking to God, not even knowing if there was anyone listening. I said God if you are up there I am asking you for a child to call our own. I said that if you give me this child I will raise her in your house, just please give me a child. I had fallen a sleep on the couch and my wife came screaming out of the back of the apartment and I thought the house was on fire. I can still here her screaming IT'S POSITIVE, IT'S POSITIVE, I don't think I had ever seen her so happy but it still wasn't 100% for sure. I went to work and she made a doctor appointment to find out for sure. I was so nervous for the first half of the day and then she called me right after my lunch break and told me the news. We were having a baby, I was going to be a daddy. Maybe there was something to this God thing.