Monday, November 9, 2009

IF HE WERE MY SON

I dedicate this to my son and in memory of friends whose first child died at birth.

The small body was more fragile than anything he had ever seen. Like feathers, he had almost no weight. Time would fill it out. At this moment the father’s pride in that small bundle was immense. On that small pudgy hand he could see the ball glove he would buy for his son. There would a shining red bicycle that he would teach him to ride. Oh yes, they would need a basketball net where they could play one-on-one. All this filled the father’s mind. He and his son would go fishing and hunting and of course what boy’s life would be complete without camping in the woods? His school years would be filled with sports and activities.

The nurse tried to take the baby from the beaming father, but he resisted. He held tight even as the bundle was slid from his outstretched hands. Still, in his mind he built the future his son would enjoy.

He would be able to do anything. The father smiled as he thought of the long talks they would share. Man to man, stuff they would discuss like the wonders of life.

Finally, there would come that special lady. Yes, he would give the advice any good father would give. He would tell his son the qualities to look for in a woman. Then he would share the secrets that women hide, and not too well. Encourage him to love completely.

His son would be everything he was and more. After all, that is what any father would want for his son. He would strive to give his son all the tools that would make him a success. Someday, he would stand in a crowd and cheer as his son received his diploma from high school. Then he would encourage him to go to college, to be so much more. Reach for the stars, till you hold them in your hand!

A cloud crossed the father’s face for a moment. College! He would be separated from his son! The thought of separation didn’t fit his plan just yet. Time enough until then.

The nurse placed the small bundle in a crib behind the glass windows. The father smiled and then he turned away to look at the other fathers standing near the glass windows. There faces were masks of his own. Their eyes glittered as they cooed at the infants, tapping the glass, and getting hard stares from the nurses.

Alone to one side however, stood a father, silently staring through the glass. Tears slid down his cheeks leaving wet stains on the carpet at his feet. One father after another turned from their window. The cooing stopped and silence fell on the room as they looked at the weeping father.

Slowly each moved closer and looked through the glass. They expected to see an empty crib. Nothing could cause such tears except that fearful disappointment each parent dreaded as a possibility.

Astonished, each turned to the father. “Why are you weeping? Your child is beautiful and healthy! What is the meaning of these tears? You should be proud! Your child may be a great person someday.”

A tear stained face turned to them. In a quiet voice he spoke softly through muffled sobs. “Yes, my son is perfectly healthy. All I want to do is sit and pray with him. I long to hear him ask Christ to be his savior. I have no reason to cry about my son, I know. I do not cry for him though. Look past his crib to the wall behind.” Pointing to the spot, the others looked as well.

There lay an infant barely covered. It was tiny beyond belief! Tubes stuck out from his discolored body. A nurse stood watching dials and gauges, occasionally making adjustments.

The man sighed, as sobs caught his throat. “You see, I do not cry for my son or myself. I cry for him and his father. For the father that may never hear his son call out, “daddy.” A father who will not get to see the joy on his son’s face as he rides a bike for the first time. The sounds of ball playing from father and son will not echo from their backyard into the kitchen. From there a mom, would shout “time to eat.” On her face, a smile of contentment as she makes supper for her men. That father will not get to sit and talk about why the sky is blue and how do birds fly, with his son. He will not have the joy of sharing his faith with his little man and hearing that first prayer for forgiveness to receive a saviors gift of love and life.

No, his father will not get to do any of these things with his son who is not expected to live much longer. So, I cry for him, because all these things are what I would want to do with him, if he were my son.”

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for making me cry... again!

    Seriously, I read this like 4 times when you first sent it to me, and I cried each time. Now I read it again, and I'm glassy-eyed.

    Do you mind if I post a link to your blog on FB?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The reason I wrote this is a little known fact. When my son was born the umbilical cord was around his neck. When I realized during the delivery that a quiet earnest rush seemed to be going on and I couldn't tell what was wrong. After the delivery the doctor pulled me aside and explained. He told me my son might have problems and they couldn't tell if the cord caused lack of oxygen to the point that our son might have brain damage as often happens. We might not know for years but were fortunate and he did not have any serious side affects. When I went to the nursery and watched the nurses working with the babies all I could think about was what would my son be like? When some friends first child died at birth I wrote this with them in mind, and me being the onlooker, but unknown to everyone that my son's fate was nearly that of the other child. Only now years later do I understand it and only because of the birth of the son to King David and Bathsheba. He prayed and waited. God's providence is often difficult to accept, but not impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow that does make me cry like every time i read this now my eyes are watery at school thanks haha


    -your guitar student haha

    ReplyDelete

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My childhood was spent growing up on a farm in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. In those years I learned the lessons that would mold my character and moral center. In my teens I moved to a small city in southeastern PA. Like many teens I had my rebellion and found the futility of it. During my late teens I moved to central PA and in high school lost my heart to the girl who is now my wife. Presently I'm well into midlife and slowing rapidly. The things I used to do, I can't even remember. Married for 37 years, we have a son, a daughter and five grandchildren. My son has two boys, my daughter three girls, I love irony! I'm self-employed for most of 25 years in construction. Doing a project for a customer and getting their approval is wonderful and inspiring. I started writing when my children were younger. I did some stories for them and over time it became more of an interest. I now have four completed novels and several shorts and am working towards getting one or more published. One short has been published.

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