Nathan ~ the man who most changed my life

To say he changed my life is an understatement.
He shattered it and then helped me put it back together again.
It was thirty years ago tonight that Nathan came into my life and it hasn't been the same since. And I count that as a VERY good thing.
You see, I was single & selfish.  I had no clue I was even selfish.  My parents lived five hours away.  I had married at 20 & divorced at 22.  My brother and I had been roommates but I had just moved into an apartment on my own.  I only had myself to care for & about so it didn't seem selfish.  I worked out a couple hours every evening (body building) then I went to my favorite bar, slept, got up & went to my good paying, tolerable job; repeat.  I drank entirely too much and all the men I dated were from "my" bar. 
My life wasn't unsatisfactory to me but it was meaningless.
And then, one night, my contraceptive failed and somehow I KNEW the next day that I was pregnant.  Back then you had to wait a couple of weeks to take a pregnancy test at the doctor's office.
So I waited. 
If you've been there or ever had a scare & thought you might be there, you know all the things that ran through my head.  Yet I knew from the onset that I would have this baby.  And that I would have to change some things in my life.
I just had no idea how many things.

Flash forward to THAT day.  The time exactly 30 years ago now when I'd been having minute-and-a-half contractions for two hours already.  My mother was there.  My best friend was there.  But no one else.  You see, when you're living a shallow life only for yourself, you find yourself very much alone in times of need. 
12 more hours of hard labor & a million expletives later, I met Nathan.  As he lay in the warming bassinet getting cleaned up, he just stared at me. 
Quietly stared. 
And that was it.
I was a goner.
I was hooked forever and, whether he knows it or not, he is still somehow holding my heart in his hand.
And I realized over-night how much my mother knew and what I had put her through.   I like to say her intelligence tripled that night but we all know that it was just my awareness of motherhood that changed.  You see, despite my unwitting selfishness, my parents were ALWAYS there for me. I knew that moment for the first time that I had the best parents on the planet. And that I wanted to be that kind of Mom.
Nathan and I lived with my folks until he was two and then we moved back to Dallas where I got to experience the joys & pains of single motherhood.  I remarried.  I had a beautiful daughter who also manages to hold my heart in her hand.  I divorced.  I remarried (you can read all about that story here).

But I never overcame what happened to me 30 years ago. 

Nor do I want to.

You see, Nathan was born that day.

And in addition, a mother was born.

And she is much better off than she was before - despite the fact that her heart has to live now in two different places with her children.

I thank God daily that I had my kids.

That He broke into my life and reduced (unfortunately, not removed LOL) the selfishness and replaced it with a love that I could not even fathom before.

My first-born.
The first "love of my life".
Happy Birthday Son.
I love you more than you could know.


Hope said...

What a wonderful memory. Happy belated birthday, Nathan!

Bob McCollum said...

Hello Sherry,

Loved this post about Nathan, especially your observation, "...Nathan was born that day and in addition, a mother was born." Most parents and grandparents know exactly what you mean.

My two grandsons put their hands in mine when they were small, and I've never let go.

Those of us who have a tendency toward cynicism are mellowed by little ones. Makes no sense to be cynical around children--they don't understand.

Hope you are fine and happy.

A friend of your mom and pop,