Tonight, I got a phone call from my oldest son. During a simple medical exam for his flight quals, the doctor discovered he has a heart condition. It is called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.
He has had some trouble with a little pain off and on, dizziness, heart fluttering. I had no idea it was this serious. I just always thought he would finish his time in the Coast Guard, stay in aviation, and live out his life. Now, he has lost his ability to fly and he is facing possible heart surgery. He is scheduled to see a team of Heart specialists in Boston.
Thinking back, I can remember the day that lovely being came into this world. He was six weeks early and weighed right at five pounds. he was tiny and small. Paul was a smart baby, he was reading complete children's books at three years old. His IQ in fourth grad was that of the average 10th grade high school student. The school board wanted to put him through some special testing, but he didn't want it and his father and I didn't push it. He just wanted to be a normal boy.
There are so many memories I have, but I guess my favorite is the night before he left for Basic. We had a habit of talking late at night outside while sitting on the tailgate of his truck. This particular night, the sky was a light show of stars. There were so many of them. We laid back on a sleeping bag, and just looked up at those stars. We had been laughing about some of his crazy stunts like grilling breakfast, with his friends, on the roof of his High School band room during his Senior year, playing car tag, and the day I was playing catch with him before a game, he missed the pop ball and it smacked him right in the forehead. He laughed because I wouldn't throw ball with him for a couple of weeks after that. Several moments of silence fell between us when he reached over and took my hand, he never looked at me. He simply said, "Mom, you and I are never going to get old, we are going to stay like this forever." That is the most precious memory I have.
I find it surprising the things you remember when someone you love is at risk. My heart is hurting, not because he has this syndrome, but because I haven't any idea what tomorrow might bring. I don't know if he will get married, have children, see his grandchildren. I don't know. Odds are good, he will be fine. But then there's that nagging thought...what if he isn't.
I don't know...
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