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By Rick Doherty
Here's How it Happened!
On February 4, 1978, in Durham, New Hampshire, a small college
community near the state's seacoast, snow started falling early
in the morning for what was to be fondly remembered as the "Blizzard
of 78". It was certainly one heck of a day for
my son, Scott, to decide that he wanted to enter our world!
Without much concern for the weather and with little forewarning, our unborn
package started kicking and squirming by mid-afternoon as the winter sky continued
to empty its snow onto the route to the hospital some 15 miles away. In
fact, I remember the roads were so bad that the hospital had to call in a substitute
doctor who lived close by when we called ahead to let them know our new arrival
was really getting impatient.
When we arrived at the Emergency Room, my wife was already
in agony as labor had swung into full force. At first, I was
content to let the experts take over and confine my wait to the
traditional pacing in the waiting room. But as soon as
they all started to zoom off to the delivery room, I found myself
racing behind the stretcher, begging to bear witness to our baby’s
first breath on earth. The staff kindly obliged as I grabbed
a sanitary mask and gown and took a deep, big breath of my own.
At 5:15 pm, after one final “push”, it was
easy to see our impatient new friend was a boy…our boy… and
for the first time I utter the words “My Son” as
the nurse held him up for me to see. With my wife smiling
and brand new “Scott” screeching, all I could do
was beam from ear to ear. Wow! What a moment!
After a few hours, when Mom and Baby Son were safely
tucked away for the night, I decided it was finally time to brave
the “nor’easter” and trek back home to Durham. Although
the drive was excruciatingly slow, my mind bubbled over, as I
replayed the entire afternoon. It was then that I had finally
began to realize that I actually had…a son!
About a quarter of the way home, the snow plows began
to back up on the highway and create such a hazard that I thought
it would be best to pull into the approaching Rest Area to let
them do their work and make another pass at the piling snow. As
I parked with both motor and mind still racing, I found myself
compelled to write something to my new son, thinking someday
it might be fun for him to know what I was thinking about as
he took his first snooze.
I never professed be a writer, but being an amateur
Robert Frost at heart, before I knew it, I found myself scratching
out this poem on a partially crumpled up paper grocery bag which
had been lying on the back seat of the car. Little did I know,
that the “Paper Bag Philosophy” that I was about
to write, would have such a profound impact on my life in the
future and become the cornerstone of a relationship with one
of the best friends I have ever had…”My Son”.
Thanks for letting me share this with you and yours!