In a little over a week my youngest son will begin his journey home. Yes, I am happy that he will be closer…at least he will be for awhile. I will enjoy those things I’ve missed about him…his laughter, seeing him smile, hugging him and watching and hearing him tease & play with the little’s…and hearing him say, “Oh Mother…”even though I’ve heard these words over the phone numerous times these past few years, there is something about hearing them when he is standing before me.
This child of mine…my last born…is the one that challenged me the most and honestly I said time and again that had he been my first, he would have been my last. I do not say this in a bad way…he was just that…my hard child…my strong willed child…he wanted to eat all of the time…he cried the loudest…he tested me…over and over again, all in the same day…he climbed out of his crib at a very young age which only led to him climbing on the counters and before long, unlatching the gate and running down the street…which led to him figuring out ways to get on top of the roof of the house. I kid not.
He just never stopped unless it was to eat or sleep. Not in a hyper active sort of way…more like a non stop thinking and doing sort of way.
You would think I wasn’t watching him but I was. Like a hawk. I had these other kids and a daycare business which meant other children and of course I needed to use the bathroom on occasion.
When he was 15 months old we attended the local county fair and he was literally stolen out of the wagon he had been sitting in. Some woman snatched him out of the wagon when I had turned my back on him for mere seconds, and then tried to leave with him. It was 15 minutes of the scariest time of my life and had they not acted quickly by shutting down the gates, he would not be here now. Apparently she tried to get out of the gates with him and when they tried questioning her, she put him down on the round and ran.
I have never forgotten the terror I felt that day. I knew deep in my heart that we had been spared one of the worst nightmares of our lives.
All through his growing up years he was a handful. He tested and tried me like none of my other children had. He might have made me cry but he didn’t break me. Let’s just say he did not give up easily but neither did I.
I am not sure when everything changed. It’s like I blinked my eye’s and he came around to being this respectful kind young man.
To give you a glimpse of his character at the age of 17. When my step daughter went into labor he took care of little man so that I could be in the labor room with her. When it got close for little lady to make her entrance into the world, he drove over an hour to the hospital so that he and little man could be there to welcome her into the world. Since they pretty much became ours right from that point, he went to sharing his last year at home with 2 little one’s. He spent a lot of his senior year rocking her and sleeping in the chair with her and playing with little man to help us out. He did a lot of the things a father would do and yet he took no credit.
This was a common sight for him to be holding one of these two…
Fast forward to 3 years ago. It was his senior year of high school and it was the evening of his high school Christmas concert. He left early to go pick up his girlfriend while we were still home getting the little’s ready to go. I was almost ready to go when the phone rang. My husband came to me and I knew instantly something was wrong. It was my husbands brother on the phone saying that my son was in an accident.
Apparently a relative of his had been driving and almost hit my son, who was standing in the road. He was bleeding and could barely walk. She put my son in her car immediately because it was really cold outside. She called for an ambulance and while they waited she asked him who he was but he didn’t know. She knew what town he was from because he had a lettermen's jacket on. She asked him if he had his license and he gave it to her. When she seen the name she called her aunt who is married to my brother-in-law, and they lived in that same town and asked her if she knew who this was since they lived in our area. It really is a small world. And a miracle that someone found him on this cold dark night.
A short time later, the ambulance driver called me and told me where they were taking him and let me talk to him. After getting to the hospital the ambulance workers came in to see my son and one by one they told us that it was a complete miracle that he was alive. In one man’s words, “Merry Christmas, I think you’ve just received a Christmas miracle.”
They had me come out of his room and they told me what had likely happened. They also told me that to look at the car you would never know that anyone could have lived through that. The road was a road that wasn’t traveled that much and with it being totally pitch black outside, it was a miracle that he not only found the road but that someone found him.
Apparently he had fallen asleep and went over the road and flew into a field. He hit his head which knocked him out. When he woke up he dug himself out and crawled out of the car and then had to crawl in the snow quite a distance to the road. He had no idea where he was, let alone his name.
A few days later when I seen the car I was not only horrified but I now knew why the ambulance workers had said all that they did. I have no clue to how he survived this accident. All I know is that his life was spared on this cold dark night in early December, 3 years ago. I was once again spared the nightmare of losing my son.
During both of these moments I imagined my life with out him…in those quick seconds all of his life flashed before my eye’s like a movie..I remember with tears in my eye’s, how I could have lost him and how thankful I am that I didn’t. I am forever grateful that I was spared the agony of losing him.
These experiences of almost not having him, make him extraordinary. The person he is, makes him extraordinary because of what he has made of himself. Whether it’s being the young man that stepped it up to play “daddy” at 17 or being the greatest uncle to each of his nieces and nephews, by being a positive role model. He is without a doubt a stand up guy just like his big brother.
Do you think the little’s are a little bit crazy about him?
After he graduated he moved to North Florida to attend college near his Dad. He attended for 2 years and then moved to South Florida to attend a police academy. He has lived with my eldest daughter and her family, and has been working while waiting to start school. Over the past couple of months he has come to realize that he didn’t really like living there and so has plans for attending the police school which is in a nearby town, here in Minnesota.
I cannot wait until he moves home. I know that this move home is only a temporary stop until he moves onto his next adventure. I know this because I am the one that gave him his wings and he’s known to be pretty good at flying. I can only hope that his next adventure keeps him a little closer to home.
My son’s life was spared twice and I don’t take that lightly. It still causes me to hug all my children a little tighter and to make sure I say “I love you.” as often as I can….and to be really really thankful for every day I get to be their Mom.
Until next time, love & hugs, Lori