Thursday, January 13, 2005

22 years ago

It had been a pretty busy day at my Dad's service
station that Thursday in 1983. I had left to deliver a
customer's car to them and I was in a pretty big hurry
coming back to work in my car. As I came over the top
of a little hill just above my Dad's station, what should
I see but my Dad standing out on the edge of one of
the busiest streets in town apparently watching for me.
Odd! Seeing me he began to wave for me to not turn
into the station, but to slow down beside him. Doing so,
I began to roll down my window and I heard him holler
at me: "Get home! Your's wife's trying to have a baby!"

I believe I surely set a new land speed record in my '67
Chevelle that day between work and home. And what
should greet my eyes when I wheeled into my
driveway, but my wife standing in the garage watching
for me with a big smile on her face.

"My water broke." Let's go!"

And we were soon on our way to the hospital -
roughly an hour's drive away. But ten minutes down
the road the wife announced that she couldn't
remember if she had turned off the stove or not
at home!

Knowing the location of a gas station just a couple of
minutes up the road, I knew we could make a quick pit
stop and telephone one of our parents to go check the
stove while we continued on our way. As I wheeled
into the station I scanned the place - no customers or
work going on at all and apparently only one attendant
there - a high school kid with his feet propped up on
the desk and taking like very easy. As I came to a quick
stop I grinned at my wife and said: "Watch this - I'm
going to have some fun!"

I burst out of the car and ran into the station's office
and breathing hard I half-gasped/half-yelled at the kid
behind the desk: "Man, you've got to help me! My wife
is out in the car havin' a baby right now!"

I wish I had that moment on video - the poor guy
turned white as a sheet, his eyes flew wide open and
just about fell out of his chair backwards trying to get
up in a hurry! And that's when I added, picking up the
receiver on his desk phone:

"Don't worry - I just need to borrow your phone - but
she really is having a baby."

I made the quick call and when I drove away I know
the attendant was still in a bit of a daze. The wife and
I laughed about off and on all the way to the hospital!

Five and a half hours later (only three and a half of
them involving induced labor), at 10:45 p.m., a son was
born to us - a gift from God - a gift we named
"Jonathan."

And twenty-two years later, we still consider him just
that - a gift from God.

We love you son and your mother and I are mighty
proud of the young man you have become. Happy
birthday!