Today was Alex's birthday. He is my third biological son but is now the fourth son in our new blended family. I got some balloons and tied them up on the door knob outside his room. His face lit up when he saw them or should I say got attacked by them when he opened the door to go to the bathroom! My husband was funny about it. He asked me if I thought that maybe Alex was a little too old for silly balloons seeing how he was already in high school. You're never too old for balloons, I told him! What my husband didn't realize was that when Alex was born they thought he had complications and he almost died twice when he was little. I mean, he knows the stories, because I had told him about it. But he didn't live it, feel it or experience it like I did. My ex-husband was good for some things, not so good for others. When Alex was born they thought he had mongolism and kidney disease. I was required to stay in the hospital for a whole week while they did all kinds of blood work and tests. My ex-husband used the excuse of work to not spend too much time at the hospital. I went through this night mare all by myself. It was so bad that the other lady in my hospital room thought I was a single mother! I prayed like I had never prayed before. I was the mother of three young babies, the oldest not even three yet. I was also 4 months shy of my twentieth birthday, so to say I was not equipped to handle this was an understatement! Luckily, because of God's good graces, when all the test results came back, I was informed he was normal and healthy. To say I was relieved was, well you know!
. After going through this experience I made sure to never take Alex for granted. When he was nine months old, my mother left him in his crib alone all day while he was sick with the flu. In her ignorance she bundled him up to "sweat" the fever out. The irony was that I was working my way thorough medical assisting school at the time. I will forever be grateful for their Uncle Wayne. He didn't own a car. His friend came by to visit so he decided to ask for a ride to go see Alex because he knew he was sick. When Wayne went to check in on Alex he was in a full febrile seizure (caused by his temperature being so high). Wayne instantly scooped him up and rushed him to the hospital in his friend's car. He dropped the baby off in the emergency room and rushed back to find me. My ex-husband and I had just gotten to my mother's house to pick up my children when I found her hysterical. Two seconds later Wayne runs in and tells us what is going on. When I got to the emergency room, where they had my son, he was hooked up to every machine imaginable. I lost it! Luckily a doctor saw me all dressed in my nurse's uniform and quickly came over to calm me down. Alex couldn't talk or recognize me and he couldn't sit up. The doctor told me that had it not been for Wayne my son would have died. I was so angry at my mother. How could she not check in on him? I could have gone to pick him up and found my baby boy dead in his crib. He was in the hospital for ten days and due to a lot of prayers, great medical care and Wayne's quick action my son made a full recovery. I was extra protective of Alex because of this. One day when my son was four years old I was going to work on a Sunday. This was after I had become a police officer. His father was watching them and took them to his soccer game. I wasn't comfortable with him taking them because I was nervous about who was going to watch them while he played on the field. I specifically told Alex to make sure he wore his heavy jacket as it was chilly that day.
We had extra staff that day and it was really slow so I asked if I could go home early. Why, I don't know because I had never done that before. Once again two minutes after I walked in the door my ex-husband walked in with Alex in his arms semi-conscious. It seemed he had been standing in the bleachers being watched by his father's cousin, when her twelve years old son ran by. He pushed and knocked Alex down six rows of bleachers. He fell backwards and hit his head on the cement floor and lost consciousness. My ex-husband instead of calling an ambulance picks the poor kid up and drives all the way home to find me! I did a quick assessment of Alex. From what I could see, thank God, he didn't have any spinal injuries, but he definitely had a major concussion and head trauma. I stabilized him and figured at this point the quickest action was for me to take him to the emergency room myself. I walked in with this tiny child in my arms and everything came to a standstill in the emergency room. The nurses rushed over and took him from me as I ran next to them telling him his information. It wasn't until the intake worker came in that I realized why all the attention. I had forgotten that I was still in my full police uniform! They had assumed that I was on duty and this was an accident victim. I apologized and told them that I had just gotten home from work to find my son in this condition. I had a lot of explaining to do as to my ex-husband's ignorance and why I had made the judgment call to bring him in myself. Once again a so called responsible adult had failed my son. Two weeks in the hospital, tons of tests and follow up before I was assured that my son would make a full recovery. He did have a massive concussion and swelling in his brain. The doctor later on in confidence told me that the only reason my son had survived the huge fall was because he had listened to me about wearing his jacket. He had the jacket on and he had pulled the cord to the hood as far as he could so it wouldn't get in his way. Because of this the bulky jacket's hood had acted as a cushion and had minimized the severity of the blow to the back of his neck. Had he not had his jacket on he would have died instantly when he hit the cement. Once again God's grace had spared my son's life. My ex-husband never forgave himself for Alex's accident. He went out of his way to spend as much time as possible with him trying to make up for it. I went through a lot of self doubt and guilt as well. Here I was Ms. Medical assistant and super cop saving the world and I wasn't even able to protect my son from harm. It took me a few years to overcome that guilt and to be able to move on. Mel wasn't there for that so for him some things where hard to understand. I was lucky to not have lost Alex and because of this I did try to make every day count with my family. Every birthday my son has, for that matter all of them have, is another gift from God. So for as long as I am able to, I will do balloons, flowers, candy and all! Alex knew all that had happened to him and he had struggled as an adult trying to find his purpose in life. I feel God spared him for a purpose. He hasn't figured out what that is yet. He struggles with trying to balance his life and overcome a few heartbreaks he has had to deal with. He has struggled with trying to get back the confidence he had as a teenager. He has tried in the last year to turn around his negative attitude and to dare to dream again. He has started writing a book where he shares life's little lessons, (sound familiar?). He is trying to go back to finish his college degree and most of all he is trying to have the courage to make his dreams a reality. He is daring to be bigger than what he is now and to really make a difference in this world. His birthday surprises no matter how small, remind him of how special he really is.
The funny thing was that my kids actually looked forward to the silly little things that I do for them, especially Alex. The older ones always looked forward to their birthday surprises or Easter candy etc! It sad to think that society thinks that after we reach a certain age we have to turn into sour fuddy-duddies and totally forget about having fun! No wonder some people are so unhappy and stressed out! I didn't care that my son was a big tough security officer now. I still made him pancakes with a smiley face on them in honor of his big day! He got a good chuckle out of it and my husband learned that we are never too old to enjoy life, like little kids do! Come on people lighten up and really live life to the fullest!
Happy B-day Buttons!