As I picked up the phone to call the taxi time seemed to slow down and everything started moving in slow motion. I was frantic but calm all in the same moment. There we were, halfway across the world just the two of us and Tina’s water broke and I’m calling a taxi to get us to the hospital to have our first child. Wow!
I don’t remember the ride itself. I only remember getting in the taxi and how odd it seemed that we were taking a taxi to the hospital to have our son be born. Time was still moving in slow motion and it seemed to take forever to get to the hospital. In reality we lived a few blocks away and it couldn’t have taken more than a few minutes. And then we were there at the hospital. I was so scared, so many emotions, so many thoughts then: one of many adrenalin dumps and they whisked us into the room. 36 hours later our angel Gabriel arrived kicking and screaming.
Why I am telling this story? Why I am putting it out on the internet? I can only say that I need to. I need to get this story out and maybe it will help someone who is struggling with the same demons. If this story can help just one person get through what our family has been through then it has done its job. I’ve read a few books about loss and addiction by now in the months since Gabriel has been gone and they have helped me greatly. I talk to a therapist. I talk to my wife. I talk to Gabriel. I try to talk to Aulston our younger son about it. It’s beginning to help some. If I let it.
Ours, like so many others, is a story of addiction. The deadly disease that is blind. It takes without any thought of race, religion, color of skin, size of your wallet, it just takes. So, if by telling my story, our story, can help someone else I have to tell it.
So, let’s begin
The birth of a child is inspiring, it is overwhelming and it changes everything forever. The experience is affirming, loving, joyous, and righteous and so much more; it creates a bond that can never be broken. The love for a child endures, my love for my children overflows.
When Gabriel our oldest of two sons was born the experience was overwhelming. It’s difficult to put into words just how deeply I was moved. And how deeply I continue to be affected by him even though he is gone. And now, how deeply I am affected by his absence. I will never ever be the same.
As I lay sleeping with one eye open I felt the elbow to the ribs I had anticipated receiving for 9 months. As it turns out that was only the beginning of many elbows I would receive sleeping or otherwise over the course of our 27 years of marriage. And there it was, a sharp elbow to the ribs followed by Chris! Wake up! I think it’s time, my water just broke! Call a taxi! As I jumped out of bed my head was spinning. It was 3:00 AM and Tina’s water had broken. Yep, sure enough, there it was a big puddle there on the floor where she was standing at the foot of the bed. I was so excited. I was so scared. I was so happy. I changed in that moment, life as I knew it just monumentally changed in a split second. It was an overwhelming palpable feeling. Gabriel was coming and we had to get to the hospital.
So, I called that taxi.
I started writing these words shortly after my son left us. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. I couldn’t even leave the house at first. I could barely get out of bed. This two ton heavy thing was crushing me and I could hardly breath. I was so scared, so angry, I wanted to die. I did not want to take another breath on this earth without my son. My children and my wife are my reason for living. How could this happen. Why, why, why, someone answer me. There were no answers. Bad shit happens to good people I know that. My God does not punish, he doesn’t cause bad shit to happen. Us humans do that all on our own. I had to turn somewhere and get this stuff out…
So, I started writing.