Friday, September 19, 2008

Parker Man---and other tales---

I can hardly believe that today is Parker's 6th birthday! He has brought so much joy, sunshine & laughter into our lives. Parker was meant to be....he came at a time when I needed a new beginning in my life.

Happy birthday, Parker Man!!! We love you so much and want you to keep Jesus first in your heart. You are my laughter!

Parker came a few days earlier than expected and upset all of our schedules. Just so I wouldn't forget, I wrote a few things down that happened that day. I don't think I'll ever forget...

Parker wasn't due until September 30th. Mom was going through chemo therapy and I was trying to travel to Kansas every month. Karen's doctor didn't see any reason for her to go into labor early so advised me to go on and visit Mom. I flew to Kansas on the 17th.

I knew when I got there that Mom wasn't doing well. Steve had surprised us all and moved back home so was there also. He was into fishing at Shawnee Mission lake even though the days were hot for September.

Which reminds me of a side story.....

Dad and Steve went fishing at the Lake the second day I was there. They were fishing on a rocky shoreline, the sun was beating down and Dad found one of Mom's scarves in the glove box of the car, and tied it on his head. He later told us how he was trying to sit on the rocks, keep the scarf on his head, hold his fishing rod, when all of a sudden he got a hit on his line---and as he was trying to keep the scarf on his head---away went his fishing line, pole and all!!!

He came in telling that story, but for some reason he kept laying down on the couch which was unusual. I finally asked what was wrong gettin the response that he wasn't quite sure.

Early the next morning the phone rang and it was Karen. After working a 12 hour night shift she needed to tell me that she thought just maybe her water had broken...and she was cramping!!! Not news I wanted to hear over 500 miles away. She would keep in touch...

Mom was sick. And about that time Dad asked if I could go find his nitro-glycerine pills. What??? You can't have a heart attack now! I'm going to be Grandma!!! (We later learned that he did have a heart attack that day...but refused to go to the doctor at that point.)

Carol was at work,too busy to leave.  Steve was sitting in a rocking chair taking in my dilemma, and Karen was calling back saying she they checked her out and she wasn't going to get to go home. I immediately ran to the computer and booked myself on the next flight out of Kansas City!
I remember being in such an emotional upheaval! My Mom was wasting away from cancer before my very eyes, my Dad was having severe chest pains and refused to go to the doctor, and my daughter was miles away and in labor. I wasn't sure what to do. My heart was pulled in all directions. Dad told me to go home.
Too make a long story short...since I had booked a one way flight on short notice, red flags waved at me all through the airport. My luggage got pulled and thoroughly searched, I got pulled out of line and was even frisked! Couldn't they tell I was just a nervous ole granny trying to get home?

I remember standing in line, talking to Bob on my cell phone, him telling me that the baby was going to arrive before I did. Shortly after 12:45, he called to tell me I was officially a Grandma and it really was a boy! I can remember being so excited and overwhelmed, standing in that busy airport, yet not being able to tell anyone what had just happened in my life. I wanted to shout out "It's a boy!!!" 

I had to switch planes in Chicago--our flight got delayed because of a storm--then we had to switch gates as there was something wrong with that airplane--and we finally landed in Indianapolis to find my luggage didn't make it on the same plane as I did.

We raced to Columbus, me wanting to get there as fast as possible. I'll never forget walking into that room...and it seems like it was completely lined with people--all visitors waiting to see my reaction when I first saw Parker. I wanted to turn around and run.

Someone handed me a bundle of blankets, and for the first time I saw my grandson. And I instantly fell in love. I thought he was the most beautiful, most wonderful baby that had ever been born. At least in my eyes he was.

But that isn't all of the story. The Walden grandparents had also taken advantage of a few more September days before the baby was due and they headed to Michigan on a fishing trip. That same day that I was struggling to get back home, no one could even reach them to tell the news. It wasn't until the next morning that they learned that Parker David was already here. They quickly loaded up and headed to Indiana.

And if you remember the tornadoes of September,2002, the Waldens had to drive through that storm system to reach Columbus. It wasn't until late in the afternoon when they arrived at the hospital where Karen was waiting, ready to check out as soon as possible! The Walden's got their first glimpse of Parker and we all loaded up Karen and the baby and headed home.

Someday Parker will have an exciting story to tell about the day he made his grand entrance...when his grandparents were least expecting it!


Denise said...

Great story! That is so special that you keep track of those memories for your grandkids. I can tell you are a proud Grandma! :)

Happy Birthday, Parker!

Karen Walden said...

That is exactly how it happened in a condensed version!!! :) Someday you'll have to jot down memories of our first days at home when you stayed with us! Especially that first Sunday night when you were swigging cough syrup!! :)

Cute post! Thanks so much!

Carol said...

I WELL remember that day!!! I wanted to leave work SO badly, but there was no one to replace me and the NICU was full. I remember all the phone calls from you that day, including the ones concerning Dad's chest pain. What a day!!! It's a good thing Parker arrived to help balance thing!

Sheila said...

Denise...Sometimes it seems like so much happens to me that no one will believe it! So...I have to write about it to make sure that really is what happened!

Karen...those cough syrup memories might be a little hazy :)

Carol--remember all of those phone calls you got from us? It had been way too long since I had been around a newborn!

Carol said...

Karen, if your grandma were here she would want to comment on ALL those poopy diapers (14 or 15) you had your first night at home. Your Grandma Brown and I were up ALL night changing diapers!

Sheila, I DO remember all those baby calls. Too bad I didn't live closer!