Had he lived, Junior would have been 42 years old today. He was the jokester in the family. He could get his own way with just a look or a smile, at the consternation of his brother.
When he was just a little over a year old, he was at his dad’s house where he broke his leg. I never really learned the circumstances, but he spent the next 34 days in the hospital. In traction. They talked of putting him in a body cast but never did.
When I first saw him, he was as cheerful and mischievous as ever. I didn’t notice at the time, but the weight was on the floor. The nurse ran in saying, “No! No! You can’t have the weight on the floor! That’s what gives you traction!”
She pulled him back up, reset everything, and as soon as she was leaving, he was already scooting himself back down. This happened several times before they decided to tie him to the bed. They wrapped sheeting up under his shoulders and around his body to keep him from moving down.
Then he started to roll over. Same scenario with the nurse. They readjusted him once again, and then he started getting up and walking around the crib! Once again they readjusted him so he couldn’t get up, roll over, or scoot down.
But they had glass bottles because it was the only substance that could be sterilized. He would take a drink or two and grab it by the nipple and wait. If he caught the nurse’s eye, he would flip it out from between the bars and watch her dive for it. It always hit the ground and shattered before they could get to it.
And he would giggle so hard. They finally took the bottle away from him.
But with Junior, it was always a learning curve. He wasn’t difficult except in his mischievous ways (and later, when he began running away from home to avoid the consequences of not going to school) and the fact that he never slept through the night…always woke up every hour.
But I am proud to be his mother. He taught me unconditional love.
Happy birthday in Heaven, my son. I miss you!
What memories are you cherishing today?
A Pocketful of Joy to Fill Your Day