As hard as it is for me to believe today is my daughter’s 38th birthday. It just doesn’t seem possible. At first thought it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was 38 but on further reflection when reality sets in I realize that it’s been 24 years since I was there. My once dark hair has faded gray, I’ve put on some “age” weight and oh how my muscles scream at me like never before when I overdo it in the yard or after working on some project. Yeah it’s definitely been awhile since I was 38. Time does indeed fly. Oh boy does it!
38 years ago my daughter entered this crazy world and changed our lives forever. But she didn’t come in kicking and screaming her head off like I did, quite the opposite. She came into this world without a sound and even when the doctor cleared her throat and slapped the bottom of her feet several times she remained silent. When she first came out I swear that her eyes opened for just a moment and she looked directly at me, at least that’s how it appeared to me, but just as quickly her eyes closed. Perhaps it was my imagination but I don’t think so. Then when she wouldn’t cry I got really scared and thought she was dead! The harder they worked on her to try and get her going the more frightened I became. Her feet were black and blue from the many slaps they’d received but she just wouldn’t cry.
I remember rushing out of the delivery room into a hallway, then out a side door where I quickly lit a cigarette. I felt so helpless. I stood there thinking “Oh my God my daughter’s dead, she’s dead,” then suddenly thinking of my wife and rushing back in! Just as I hit the double doors to the delivery room, wondering what I was going to say to my wife, my daughter at long last cried. It was such a welcomed relief that I too cried. When I walked in the doctor looked at me and said I looked like I’d seen a ghost. Then he must have realized what had been going on in my head and said “You didn’t think she was in any danger did you? She was okay she was still getting oxygen through the umbilical cord.” Her slow response was because she too had been affected by the drugs in the spinal anesthesia they’d given Ray. Duh!
Hey what did I know? I was 24 and had not attended any birthing classes. In fact I had no idea I was going to be in the delivery room at all until minutes before my daughter was born. Dr. Mulford who delivered Janene was also my doctor and had delivered me! I guess it was his last minute idea to have me in there. I had definitely not planned on it. In fact once they wheeled Raylene out of the labor room I went back to the waiting are and was sitting there with Ray’s parents and my buddy Brian smoking a cigarette when there was a knock on the small square of glass in the door. I turned to look and it was Dr. Mulford waving for me. When I went out in the hallway to see what was up he handed me some scrubs and told me I was going to be in the delivery room. You can imagine my surprise at the news, but I was game and in spite of my scare it was an awesome experience.
My daughter is an incredible kind and considerate young women. She is a fantastic daughter, wife mother and teacher. She has surpassed our every expectation as have all my children. On this her 38th birthday I wish for her only the best that life has to offer, happiness, joy and an abundance of love for all the days of her life.
Happy birthday Baby Girl! Love you,
A Message to my Little Angel
Janene having a daughter like you is a such a blessing. God must really love us to have given us such a special gift. We pray that as you grow older you will continue on the path of righteousness, always keep God at the center of your life and face each new challenge with promise and hope. Let the Spirit guide you and be your inner strength. Long ago I told you to always “Follow your heart” we hope you continue to do so. Know that your mom and I will always be here for you. We hope you have an incredible Birthday and always remember “You are my baby, you are everything to me, no matter what your age you know you’ll always be” “Dreams Do Come True”…
Dad & Mom