Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life, Death and Expectations

This is an exerpt in a book I wrote called "Hi" and on this day of November 14, 1974 my son Whitney passed away.  His spirit will always live within all of us he touched in his young, short life on earth.

HEART and Love
Is it love or expectation?
How many times in life have we FELT or seen someone who is in LOVE? We all want LOVE, to love someone, be loved, share love. Love is the strongest of human desire Our HEART wants LOVE just as our body needs food, water to grow. In LOVE, we find passion, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, joy and happiness in our life. We search for love because we know and FEEL in our HEART, we have to find it. Since we are human, this search for love is as interesting and perplexing as it is rewarding, fulfilling, even painful. More songs, books, stories are written and sung about LOVE than any other subject on earth.

As children, love in our heart is pure, unconditional, no parameters, no right or wrong, just LOVE. Each of us can remember the feelings we had in our heart as kids. The joy and happiness we felt each moment was new, fresh. If you don’t remember just look at a child, feel their heart, watch them see, touch, hear, enjoy everything and everyone. Their senses and awareness opens our eyes to so much we take for granted as adults. Children trust their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, coaches, even other children and adults at time when they are very vulnerable. They are developing in MIND, BODY and HEART. During this period in our life is when we begin to form PERCEPTION. Just as our MIND develops logic, reason, our HEART is feeling, sensing what is around us. A child feels happiness, love, joy, sadness, and pain with an insatiable appetite to learn. What, how and who influences us as a child becomes our PERCEPTION. This growth in perception affects how we FEEL LOVE. As our MIND learns words, this ability opens our HEART and FEELINGS to ideas, expressions, concepts, which become our perception. We are learning and developing our MIND, however our FEELINGS of LOVE are through the perception of others. This process in learning, growing, sensing, feeling, even thinking is the basis and foundation for our EXPECTATIONS. We now have EXPECTATIONS. Our EXPECTATIONS can take as many forms as our PERCEPTION. As we PERCEIVE we EXPECT. Our EXPECTATION of others develops through our PERCEPTION. This gives individuality, uniqueness to each of us. How we PERCEIVE and what we EXPECT can be as different in YOU as it is the same in another. The old adage “walk a mile in my shoes” can never be true because we all have our individual and unique PERCEPTION and EXPECTATION.

At the age of 32, I lost a son. He became ill very quickly, unexpectedly and I, as usual, was not at home. However, even though he was almost reaching the age of 3, we spent a lot of time together. I would take him with me nearly everywhere I would go when I was home. This sweet, loving, warm, caring young child was such a joy, happiness in my life. Through his eyes I saw so much that I had forgotten to notice or feel. He put me back in touch with so much each moment we shared seemed to enrich and fill me with love for all around me. This child was beautiful in every sense of the word. I would take him to business meetings, the golf course, getting our haircut, all the things we do daily in our lives, and often we would just drive around. We would stop to watch ducks in a pond, he would see a cloud float by and make me stop and look, notice other children playing in a park or at a mall and we would stop so he could play and join in the fun. He would take my hand, tug on it, say come on Daddy spin this or push me higher in a swing and I would. Regardless of where we went, he always had this raggedy ole blanket with him. He carried his “blankie” everywhere, dragging it along in his little hand, occasionally it would slip and he would reach down and grab it before he took another step. He slept with it, ate with it, chewed on it, tossed it, stepped on it, I mean that “blankie” was a mess! A couple of times I saw him let another child touch it, not hold it, just touch it. If they tried to take it he would hold it tighter than ever, nobody was gonna take his “blankie”. He wouldn’t even let his Mom or the maid wash it. Nope, that was his. I had a daughter who at the time of his death was at the age of 6, just 3 days prior to her 7th birthday. My daughter was precious in a precocious sort of way. She still is too. She went with us sometimes, but not often, she preferred to be and do Mommy things. She wore Mommy’s makeup, shoes, and dresses, the things little girls love to do as kids to look like adults or their Mom. My son and I did the man things or what I perceived as such. We played ball, hit golf balls, wrestled, drove fast up and down hills that made our stomach and head almost queasy. We did all the stuff women and more specifically Mom’s hate to know about. We’d spit, go wee-wee wherever the urge hit us. Yep, we were kids my son and I, just as happy as we could be enjoying our moments, sharing our love, a boy and a Dad filled with pride and love. Then I received a call very early in the morning at the ranch, where I was at the time, from a close family friend. He said my son was in the hospital and I needed to get there as quickly as possible. I asked him what happened. He said my son was in a coma, something that occurred during the night and the doctors were not sure of the cause. A deep sinking feeling came over me and I said Lord I ask you, please don’t let this happen, allow my son to live. Immediately I got on the phone to catch a plane as quickly as possible. I called my friend back and asked him if someone could meet me at the airport. I asked him to please stay very close to my wife and make sure my daughter is in good hands and told him it was her birthday in a couple of days so tell her I’m on my way. As I traveled to be with those I loved my feelings, emotions, thoughts ranged from a deep pain to protecting and making sure my daughter, wife and son were all going to be ok. Somehow, someway, I would get God to understand this just isn’t the time for him to take my son from this earth. I prayed, looked up toward the heavens, told God you have kept me on this earth and I know you, know your power, know your strength, know your love, so please, please help me, help us, make my son well, I ask you in the name of your son, amen. When I arrived, my friend met me and as we drove to the hospital, my friend had difficulty in saying anything. He had hugged me as we met. I said thanks for being here, being close for those I love and being my friend. I was now going to be the strength to get us all back to where we were, a family, all together, safe, protected. I was preparing to handle whatever we had to face. When we arrived at the hospital, I first went to my wife, put my arms around her, her face wrought with pain, anguish, I held her tightly and said I’m here. She said something and I somehow knew, felt, this was going to take all the strength I had within me. She said, what did I do wrong? I hugged her tighter, said you did nothing wrong and asked my friend to stay with her while I spoke to the doctor and went in to see our son. The doctor was our neighbor so he was standing close by when I turned to him and asked him to step away with me so he could tell me exactly my son’s condition. He told me my son was on life support, no apparent brain waves, apparently his brain had been without oxygen too long before the EMS technicians got to him. He told me he already had 5 specialists in neurology, nose, throat, allergy and anything related to what could have caused my son’s esophagus to close during the night. I asked him if he had any prognosis as to what condition my son is in and if he could come out of this coma and have any possibility of being able to function? He looked me in the eye and said in his medical opinion and that of all the specialists your son can only live as long as we keep him on life support. I looked deep in his eyes, I knew this man, this Doctor, knew he also knows my son as he had once lived next door to us, felt his pain, felt his sorrow, saw the tears in his eyes, somehow feeling how he wanted so much to save my son and couldn’t do it. I put my arms around him, said thanks for all you have tried to do and I know you did all that is possible on this earth. He then said it had to be some type of viral infection, unable to identify or classify in any form known medically. I told him I want to see my son I understand all you have told me now I just have to be with my son. He said we have only kept him on life support so you could get here and the decision is now yours. After you see him let me know what you wish me to do. I said, I will I need time with my son. I saw my son, sat beside him on the hospital bed, his face peaceful, calm. I took his hand; tears in my eyes as I rubbed his forehead, leaned down, kissed it and whispered I love you so much. I sat there telling my son all I felt and knew. I said God loves you too, my son, and you will be so happy, safe, warm and live in our heart as an angel in heaven. I kissed him for the last time on this earth.

Rest in Peace my Son, my heart and soul lives in the spirit of your embrace.

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