IntrepidWoman's Journey

How Can This Be?

Posted on: May 14, 2012

How can this be? My middle son is turning 39 on May 15th and in my own mind I am only 20 something. (My 85-year-old mother reacts the same way when she realizes her two daughters are thisclose to being senior citizens.) I can’t decide if it is a blessing or a problem, feeling like that, but it is my son’s 39th birthday and I am so proud of the man he has become.

David has always been the family nurturer. He hurts for everyone’s pain. He picks everyone up and helps them through hard times. He unselfishly gives of his time and his money to take care of his family and his friends. From keeping grandma’s house in working order over the years to offering a strong shoulder through relationship breakdowns and an instant money transfer to save any one of us, he is always there. He will jump in the car or hop on a plane to help friend or family member in a personal crisis.

He often starts a conversation with, “You know what you should do mom….” when I am off on one of my tangents of flying by the seat of my pants with a new life idea.

I look back at his life with such joy in my heart.  I am very proud of the person he has always been. His journey has had its own hard times, but he is a survivor. He is intelligent and has a smile that melts the heart of the crankiest old lady and wins over the trust in any business negotiation. He is honest and has never been afraid of hard work. It is his intelligence, honesty and forthrightness that has made him successful in business but it is his gentle heart and loyalty that has made him so dear to the rest of his family and friends.

His current job carries a lot of stress but he has worked hard at it to give his family a comfortable life. Before he got married, he had already purchased his first home, and before that, had opened a branch of a business in Vancouver while still in his early twenties. Without formal post secondary education, he has accomplished so much and is greatly admired by the rest of our family with our university degrees.

His finest accomplishment is his son Jack. I am in such awe of his love for his son. Coming from a single-parent family with a father who was not around much has made him more aware. David always wanted a ‘dad’ and had many men including grandpa and coaches who stepped in and helped make him the person he is today. He likes to quote his grandpa and truly honors him by being as much like him as he possibly can be.

His grandpa (my dad), had two daughters and a son who died just before age 16. David and his brothers were such gifts as grandsons for my dad, and he loved them with all his heart. David, in turn, idolized his grandpa. When my dad would come to make repairs at our house and asked who was going to help him, Jim and Dean would scatter, but David would carry the tool box and be ready to learn how to fix something.

When he was a teenager, the phone would ring off the hook with calls from girls. He is the only man I know who has stayed friends with nearly all the girls he dated over the years. That winning smile, blond hair and blue eyes never affected his sweet and humble nature though.

When David was three, he had his tonsils out. I remember going to the hospital to find him sitting in the hallway in his pyjamas, waiting for me. It was not a good experience for him and he came away with a great fear of needles. He had several health issues as a very young child that were also hard on him.

Last year Jack fell on a scooter and split his nostril clean through. David and Lyndsey rushed him to the hospital for stitches and pain meds. When David took him to the doctor to get the stitches out, Jack was terrified, so the doctor was unable to remove them. He agreed to let his dad take them out at home, and David did. Can you imagine this man who had his own bad medical experiences growing up, cutting the tiny stitches in his son’s nose because his son trusted him to do it? Now that is a parent-child bond that puts a huge lump in my throat.

A few weeks ago, Jack called to tell me he was going to a Beavers’ campout. I asked if he had to bring anything special. His reply was, “The special thing I am bringing is my Dad.”

In high school, David was an awesome volleyball player. He would scrape off a layer of skin across the gym floor to save the ball. I will always remember going with him to provincial championships with his school team. They were in the finals and the two teams were so evenly matched, with the excitement being almost too much for the spectators. One of our dads leaped up and yelled, “If you win, I will take you all to Vegas!” They did win and Vegas never did happen, but we were such proud parents. I remember crying from the pure joy of it. David’s dad had come to watch and could not figure out why everyone was so emotional. I told him you had to have been there for the whole ride.

I was there for the whole ride. It has been such an awesome trip. Memory lane for me tonight includes all the baseball and volleyball games, and the hockey coach telling me to go sit somewhere else because I was yelling at David to throw himself on the ice to stop the puck at age 7. We travelled to summer games every year. When I was on a walking kick, he would jump in the car and bring me back at the end of an hour, 5 days a week, just because I asked him to. When one of my dearest friends died of cancer several years ago, David came and sat with me at her funeral. When I bought a beat-up, old church with visions of turning it into a cafe, David was there to tear out carpets, etc. I spent three weeks with Jack, Lyndsey and David in France in 2010. It was a wonderful experience.

My wish for my middle child is for many more birthdays. Some may be very special celebrations and others not so much, due to where he will be at in life at the time. I hope they are mostly wonderful celebrations for him.

Like most parents, I just want my children to be happy. For David, I want him to know how much he is loved and cherished as he turns 39 and from the moment I first saw his beautiful smile.

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