The Most Important Event in My Life
(This was a class assignment last week....)
Taking a look at my life and trying to figure out what the most important event in it is rather easy! As with most people, my life is filled with special moments. As I rambled through my error prone memories, this popped into my mind immediately. It occurred when I was just a few years into my third decade.
My wife, Barb and I had been married for almost 7 years. We had lots of fun during those years. Traveling whenever we got the urge, going to and hosting parties, living the good life. We had no major obligations and we took full advantage of that fact.
Friends of ours had started raising families and more and more babies were joining our social family. We started thinking that this was probably the direction our lives would soon be taking. It wasn't long after that Barb became pregnant and the excitement began.
To me, it seems that those 9 months passed by quickly. Since it was such a long time ago, my memories could be just a little "off", especially if you asked Barb. In reality, I can't imagine that they passed by as quickly as I remember them going by.
We planned, we took classes, we read what seemed to be hundreds of books in preparation for the big day. We dealt with anticipation, the fears and the realization that we would be responsible for raising a little baby! It would be us who would mold this tiny lump of clay and help get it started in life.
As the big day got closer and closer, we had lots of planning to do. We still had to decide on a name, or a group of names since we didn't know if it would be a boy or a girl. We still had to pack that all important "to go" bag and even more important, we had to figure out how to get to the hospital.
The baby was due on the second, the day after the Pittsburgh Marathon. Knowing how luck so often works, we figured that was exactly the day the baby would show up. Probably right as the starters gun went off.
Magee Woman's Hospital was situated right in the middle of the race route. Just about any way we were to approach the building would bring us to a "closed" street. So, I perused maps of the race route, I studied maps of city streets and checked and rechecked race times. We even took a few test runs as the date got closer.
I guess it is because we planned for it, our marathon preparations weren't needed. The magic day came and went with no baby. The wait continued on.
It was seven days later when Barb woke me up in the early morning to tell me that her water had broken. The time had come! We sprung into action, grabbed her suitcase and a few other essentials and ran out the door. Since it was still early on a Monday morning, the traffic wasn't a problem. We arrived at the hospital quickly.
At 9:30 in the morning, our daughter, all 8 pounds and 7 ounces of her, made her first appearance into the world. The day after Mothers Day, how appropriate! That was when I held her in my arms for the first time and took the first of thousands of pictures of her. It was then that the true miracle of birth hit home. This was a tiny human being, a tiny baby totally dependent on us! Wow, we better get our act together!
It took us awhile to figure out what her name would be. Many a suggestion was made, but for one reason or another, they just weren't right. Finally, the name Chelsey came up and we knew immediately that this was the one. I hate to admit where the name came from, but here it is. It was the name of a neighbor's cat! We would like to forget that fact. But, she had a name and we have never regretted it, it is definitely who she is! Her middle name is Catherine, in honor of her Grandmother.
I went home that night after hours of phone calls and relatives visits and unfortunately, not enough time with Chelsey in my arms. I know I slept well that night!
Every year I look back and marvel at how she has changed, how she has grown and at how proud she has made me. Another year has passed and once again I am amazed at the wonder of life and the power of love. She gives me the enthusiasm to look forward to each day.
Her birth was the most important event in my life!
May 9th, 1988
Twenty four years ago today.
Happy Birthday Chelsey!