Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Decade for Parker

You have probably heard this story before...
but it happened 10 years ago today
so I think I'll tell it again!
This may take a minute. . .

There was a time in our lives when there was much sadness
because Mom was  diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
and we were more than convinced that Dad needed heart surgery.
Living over 500 miles from my parents, I wasn't quite sure how I would deal with it,
but thanks to Southwest Airlines & trips with my hubby,
I made it back & forth to Kansas almost every 4 weeks.

And then one day, Karen surprised me with the news that I was going to be grandma!
Sunshine began to come back into my life.
It also brought joy to my Mom to know that she had another great-grandchild coming
and I think it gave her the drive to fight to live just a little longer to get to see him,
along with enjoying those she already had.

I needed to see her in September.
Karen's doctors assured me that there was noooooo way she would deliver early.
I traveled out on the 17th to find Mom not doing well with her chemotherapy.
To top it off, Dad did a little too much fishing the next afternoon
and came home with chest pains,
stretched out on the couch
and asked for a nitroglycerin!
My sister, being a nurse, tried to convince him to go get checked out
but he wouldn't hear to it.

And then early on the morning of the 19th,
the phone rang.
Immediately I saw it was my daughter calling
and alarm bells when screeching through my head.
She had just finished her 12 hour shift at our local hospital,
when she felt a sudden signal that Baby W was on his way...
Uniform still on, they plopped her in a wheelchair
and took her on a fast ride to the OB floor.

I'll never forget that feeling of helplessness...
feeling torn about whether to stay with my Mom who really needed special attention,
not wanting all of the responsibility to be left with my sister
who worked full time and had 3 kids of her own;
about my Dad who was still popping nitros under his tongue every little bit,
and my daughter, who was over 500 miles from me
with signs that I wasn't going to be there for my firstborn grandchild.
Phone calls were made & a little after lunch time, I was on a plane,
headed for Indy, via Chicago, where there was a line of severe weather
causing chaos that I didn't even know about.
She wanted to wait, but Parker decided to enter this world while I was standing
in Kansas City International Airport,
waiting to board a plane.
It was 2002 & security was tight.
I had my bag thoroughly gone through at check-in
because I was a last minute flyer.
I even got frisked!
I remember standing there listening to Bob telling me via my cell phone
that Parker was here, healthy & beautiful,
and I wanted to shout it to the world...
and there was no one I could tell.
Much to my aggravation, I couldn't get a direct flight,
so had to land in Chicago & change planes.
It was storming like crazy & announcements kept being made of delays.
Finally, we were allowed to board, but for some reason
they had to change airplanes.
I finally arrived in Indianapolis,
over seven hours since Parker had been born,
only to find out all of our luggage was missing!
So we headed 40 miles south, homeward, storms all around,
me stressed to the limit, and starved to pieces!
(A quick trip through McD's solved that dilemma.)
...and in the wee hours of the morning,
the airline did deliver my missing luggage!...

We finally pulled in to our local hospital & I was so anxious to finally
get to see our new grandson.
I had thought of it all day long...
thought about how sweet it would be...
how it would just be our little family getting to know each other for a while...
when with the opening of  the door to Karen's room
revealed a room overflowing with people!
They were all waiting to see my reaction at my first glimpse of Parker!
There were new aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and more friends,
people I didn't even know
and some I wondered where they came from.
I'm not kidding.
There were a minimum of 20 people.

But I survived.
And I got there before the other Grandma!
They too went out of state...
since we still had two weeks to wait!
and they were out of cell phone range and didn't find out until
the following morning that they were grandparents again.
That was the time that the tornadoes ripped through our area
and the highways were a mess.
Grandma W has a story of her own to tell.
Karen was chomping at the bit to go home,
(being the patient nurse that she is!)
and had it all arranged that she would be out the door ASAP.
Bags were packed, newborn photos were taken,
and when the other grandparents arrived...late that afternoon,
we loaded up and took new Mommy & Baby Parker home!

I'll never forget it.
At least I don't think I will, but now I have it in written form
to remind me and the rest of my family.

You can believe that we made a trip to Kansas for Mom to see her new
great-grandson as soon as we could.
Of course she thought he was as sweet as could be.
One of her last requests was to see Parker again.
When he was seven months old,
I traveled back to Kansas with Parker & his Mommy & Daddy.
She held him a little, smiled as she watched him play at her feet the night that we got there,
and later that night she took a turn for the worse
and was gone the next evening.
She was waiting for us. 
Dad got to enjoy him too, along with Carter, Jeff's son.
Parker says that he remembers his Grandpa Brown
but I'm not sure if it is that
or memory of us talking about him.
Dad loved to rock those babies!

Another Grandpa has been made happy with his little buddy.
He loves his grandchildren.

Parker has brought lots of laughs into our lives.
He loves life and isn't afraid to express his love to
his family.  We all love his hugs!

He makes a great "big brother"!
Peyton is always in his shadow
and Parker is Paige's hero & protector.

Parker is quite the gentleman.
He is polite and always gentle to older people...including me!  Hehe...

He is his Daddy's son in his love of sports.
They have spent long hours together listening to their favorite teams
via the radio or Internet.
And Daddy has spent many long summer hours taking his boys to Little League games.

Happy 10th birthday Parker Man!!!
I cannot believe how quickly this decade has gone
and am so proud of the young guy you are becoming.

Someday you will be able to tell a family of your own
how you caused such so much comotion when you were born!
We sure have made a bunch of good memories together.
And I expect many more to come.

We love you ...a bushel and a peck! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Part of the family. . .

While rummaging around through some old photos,
I found this one of Bob,
taken quite a few years ago
for a photo shoot for Late Great Chevy magazine.
I had forgotten we even had it. took me back a few years.
We dated in this car.
I remember Bob racing it down a dragstrip
on one of our dates...
me waiting on the sidelines 
as he didn't want the extra weight!
We took it on our Branson!
Bob used to drive it down to the railroad yards
where he worked for Rock Island.
I even took it to the Milgram's to get groceries once in a while.
For several years, it was our "family car".

Little by little, Bob began doing things to the car
to improve it.
The time came when the car was deemed too nice to drive to work.
It was put on the far side of the garage 
& only driven once in a while to church---
IF the sun was shining.
It's dark "candy apple red" paint now gleams in the sunshine
and the diamond tufted interior still smells of new leather.
Just getting inside it & sitting next to Bob
takes me back to our "cruising" years.

When it is  driven to church on Sunday,
the grand kids all want a ride home with Grandpa.
And if he takes the back road, behind Walmart,
the road less traveled,
Grandpa thrills the kids when he stomps the gas pedal
& roars down the road to the stop sign.
They love it!

I'm thinking if anything would ever happen to this old car,
we would all be heart broken.
After all of these years,
the '62 Impala 
has become part of the family.