A Grandfather's Story


I began this late night on CJ's first birthday, December 29th 2004, as I thought about the events that transpired exactly one year earlier. I received the call about 8PM. My daughter had gone to delivery and was just coming back. No one knew yet about the baby. She had been having problems throughout most of her pregnancy and had made a number of trips to the hospital. Previously she spent a few hours, there, while they brought the labor under control and then went home. This is what we expected when she went into labor again on Christmas day but this time proved to be different. They were only able to delay CJ's birth four days. I left to make the hundred mile journey not knowing what to expect when I arrived.

Now I must go back before I continue. My daughter was born in 1978 and was my mother's only grandchild. The bond was instant. Her influence shows in my daughter to this day. In 1983 my mother had a stroke, from a blood clot, after surgery. She was paralyzed on her right side and spent two years in a nursing home. She was right handed and never was able to use her right hand again. My mother and I had a bond I can't explain. Since childhood she always knew what was going on with me and seemed to know what I was going to do even before I did. The night she died I was driving home from the hospital knowing that it had only been a matter of time but still saddened it had come so soon. It was a warm night but suddenly my body was overcome by a shivering cold. Then just as suddenly I felt two warm spots. One on each shoulder, as if someone was standing behind me with their hands placed there. The realization came to me that this was my mother showing me that everything was ok. She was whole again. It was probably a good thing that it was late at night and no one was on the road. They would have thought me unbalanced driving down the road with a big grin and tears rolling down my face.

Forward now to my drive. It wasn't long until the tension caused a roaring headache. Admittedly driving at excessive speeds I needed to get there as soon as possible no matter what the outcome. I realized I was gripping the steering wheel so hard my knuckles were white and the headache was so intense it had run down my neck, across my shoulders and into my back. My vision was beginning to blur from the pain in my head. I had made it about half way there when an icy cold swept through me. I could feel the tension drain from my body. The headache was gone in seconds and a comfortable warmth flooded through me from head to toe. It was my mother again telling me that everything would be ok. I didn't have to worry anymore.

At CJ's first birthday party, someone commented that a year ago no one knew if he would make it this far. I thought "I did"! But I had an inside tip. I never doubted that he would reach his first birthday and many more after that. I never doubted that he would thrive and grow healthy. I have no doubt that he is destined for greatness. After all he has the best possible Guardian Angel, My Mother.