Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Miss My Little Boy

My "baby" Adam turned fifteen years old yesterday. It's so hard to believe he's in his mid-teens already. This birthday was one of only a couple we've spent apart. He's visiting his Dad in Ohio for a couple weeks, so there was no real celebration here at home for him. Just a simple phone call to tell him Happy Birthday!

I miss him.

Not because he happens to be more than five-hundred miles away, but because over the last six months or so, he's become a person I barely recognize.

I want the "old" Adam back.

I don't have a problem with my baby growing up. It would be unhealthy for both of us if I expected to keep him a little boy forever.

What I'm having a problem with is his behavior. His poor choices. His sudden desire to go against everything we've tried to teach him over the last fifteen years. This time last year he declared to us he wanted to be a minister. Now, he's acting as anything but!

Adam has AD/HD and OCD. I know that plays a role in his behavior, but it doesn't give him an excuse to act the way he's been acting.

This is hard. I just want my son back. The one I had before everything started falling apart. The sweet Adam. The one who was so tender hearted and compassionate. The boy who treasured his relationship with God and family above all else.

I know this will pass. In the meantime, I pray God will protect him and bring him back safely. I dedicated Adam to the Lord immediately upon learning I was pregnant. I did it again, formally, at the church when he was a few weeks old. It wasn't something I took lightly.

For that reason, I have to trust that he is God's child, and God will take care of him accordingly.

And because I too, am God's child, I'm trusting that He will take care of me as well.

He will bring me through this ordeal. I will be o.k.

But tonight, I sure do miss my "little boy".

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


At 90 years old, he stands 5'8" tall and weighs in at a whopping 130 lbs. Granted, at first glance, he doesn't exactly look like Superman, but rest assured, once you get to know a little more about him, you'll have to agree ... my Dad could very well be the real deal!

One story my father use to tell was of the time he had German measles as a young child. The old timers kept children who were stricken with the measles in a dark room, believing that exposure to the light would cause them to go blind. It so happened, while Dad was sick, the family's cow got out of the pasture and Grandma had to go catch it. As she walked out the door, she told her ailing son, "Willy! Don't you leave this house while I'm gone! If you do, you will die!"

Her warning only sparked my Dad's curiosity. Waiting until she was safely out of sight, he went outside anyway, just so he could find out whether or not she was telling him the truth.

Suffice to say, he didn't die from his walk outside. It's also safe to say Grandma never learned of his "experiment" or she would most likely have whipped him within an inch of death, therefore making his death a real possibility.

Even at that tender young age, my father was definitely one of a kind!

At sixteen, Dad lost his sight. I have to wonder if his blindness had anything to do with him going outside while suffering with German measles as a youngster ... whatever the cause, his vision was so bad he could only tell the difference between light and dark.

It didn't seem to slow him down much. After several months of living in darkness, he went to a church service during which he was miraculously healed while simply sitting in the pew.

Three years later during WWII, Dad joined the Army. My grandfather told him he'd never pass the physical because of his prior blindness. To Grandpa's surprise, Dad aced the physical with 20/20 vision. To this day he wears glasses only to read.

I suppose anyone who lives 90 years has probably had one or two close calls with death, but Dad seems to have had more than one human being's share.

And yet he keeps on going.

The "real" Superman may have been able to out run a locomotive, but my Dad was once hit by a locomotive ... and walked away relatively unharmed. That was many years before I was born. He was a young man, probably in his late twenties. I don't suppose he felt he had time for such a pesky thing as succumbing to death by freight train.

When I was in third grade, my father was driving his red VW beetle on his way to visit his sister when he was run off the road by an oncoming vehicle. His car rolled several times, ejecting him from inside. He landed unconscious, many feet away on the embankment. He woke up moments later and decided he needed to go check on his car. Attempting to stand, he discovered it was impossible, and fell back to the ground.

His pelvis was broken. The doctors said he might not walk again without the aid of a walker. Dad was in his early 50's at the time. He was determined not to let the Dr's tell him what he would or would not be able to do.

Six months later, Dad tossed the walker to the curb and hasn't used one again since!

Most of the men in Dad's family died of heart problems in their seventies. So, when Dad was 73 and I received a call telling me he'd had a heart attack and may or may not still be alive, I accepted that my worst fears had come to pass. Strangely enough, I arrived at the hospital to find my father sitting up in his bed in the emergency room joking with the medical staff. He served his time in ICU and was discharged a week later.

(He still insists he never had a heart attack at all!)

But wait, there's more ...

In his early-eighties, Dad was hit by a car while riding his bicycle around town. A witness to the accident said Dad was thrown fifteen feet into the air before landing on the pavement. Again, I rushed to the hospital to find him, although looking a little worse for the wear, sitting up in his bed, his hair (what was left of it) tousled and the side of his face badly bruised. The x-rays showed no serious injuries and he was discharged the next day.

He still enjoys riding his bicycle around town and does it quite often when the weather is nice.

Dad's 90th birthday is coming up on July 10th. Our family has been planning a big party to celebrate.

Last Thursday, however, it seemed we might not be having the party after all. Dad was attempting to walk down the basement stairs to check on one of his beloved cats, and fell. He sustained two broken ribs, a punctured lung which collapsed, and a bad cut on his hand. Somehow he managed to get back upstairs, where my niece later found him lying unconscious in the kitchen floor.

The doctor was concerned about the collapsed lung, but didn't want to insert a chest tube to re-inflate it, for fear it might be more than Dad's body could handle. They decided to wait until the next day and see if it improved on it's own.

During the night, his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. (It was 50/20!)He was losing blood from what they thought was a ruptured spleen. If that were the case, he would require surgery to remove it.

Things looked grim. We were informed the likelihood of him making it through an operation was very low.

Once again, I braced myself for the worst and packed a suitcase for an impromptu trip to Ohio. How sad. We'd planned a big celebration of his 90th birthday. It looked as if we'd be holding a funeral instead.

Two hours into my trip, I received a call. I hesitated to answer. I wasn't sure what news might be waiting on the other end.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised. The news was that Dad was doing much better. His blood pressure was up! He was awake and alert. He did not have a ruptured spleen ... and his lung was successfully re-inflating on it's own. It was too soon to say he was "out of the woods" but he was rapidly headed in the right direction. The improvement continued as the days went by.

Dad was released from the hospital this evening. Not to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, but home! The doctor's say he needs to use a walker, since he's fallen a few times recently. I can't imagine my Dad complying with that suggestion, but we'll see!

Best of all, we'll be celebrating his 90th birthday with him this weekend as scheduled! According to my father, we can expect to keep having birthday parties for him for years to come.

He insists he's going to live to be 100.

If he were like most people, the possibility of that would be unlikely ... but obviously my Dad is not like "most" people.

I knew it when I was a little girl, and I am even more convinced today ... my Dad is Superman!