Showing posts with label Gemini VII. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gemini VII. Show all posts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My email to you on Feb. 23, 2013

Here’s the email I sent to you on Feb. 23, 2013, just in case you do not receive it:

Happy birthday Kieran!

Congratulations on turning 6 today! Do you have any big plans – a birthday party, maybe going to Chuck E Cheese for dinner? Don’t tell anyone your wish after you blow out your birthday cake candles or you’ll jinx it!

I remember the day you were born very well. I was working as the editor of the newspaper in Crescent City, Calif., where we lived at the time. Your mother had a doctor’s appointment in Eureka, Calif., the next biggest town which was about 80 miles away down the coast. She called me around 5 p.m. and told me she was being admitted to the hospital there and you probably would be born that night!

I was all giddy yet nervous as heck about being a new father! You’ll understand one day when you grow up and become a father yourself. So I went home and changed and got a bag of clothes and started driving toward Eureka. It was dark by the time I hit the road, and as the highway between Crescent City and Eurkea skirts the ocean, we were getting rain. Then, as the road climbed to some higher elevations through the coastal mountains, it started to snow! I had to drive super slow. Did you know that the night I was born, my father also had to drive through snow on his way to the hospital?

Finally, I reached the Eureka hospital close to 8 pm. We waited and waited for the doctors to decide what to do. Around 11:30 pm, they wheeled your mother into the delivery room.

You just missed being born on Feb. 24 by one minute! You came into the world at 11:59 pm, about 10 inches tall and weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. You had a tuft of dark hair with reddish tints to it and the bluest eyes I’d ever seen!

After a few minutes, they wheeled your mother to the recovery room, and I held you for a whole hour while I waited for the nurses to bring back your mother. I talked to you, and you listened very intently, and feel asleep a couple of times. I guess you’d had a big day!

That night I wore a very special shirt that I still have and am keeping for you. It was a gray T-shirt with a patch for Gemini VII, the spaceship that was in orbit around the planet the day I was born. My mother says she remembers that being in the news. The big news the day you were born was a train derailment in England and the U.S. Army agreed to give up control of the South Korean Army. The No. 1 song was “Glamorous” by Fergie.

I look forward to seeing you in just a few days – we get together next Friday on March 1! As Easter comes before we get together again in April, I will bring your Easter basket. Please bring your report card with you on March 1. Since it has not been emailed to me, I presume your mother does not have the hardware/software to scan it into her computer. But a photocopy of it can be made at a library.

I miss you very much!



Thursday, May 31, 2012

First moments together as father & son

I want to share my very first moments with you, Kieran – they came only seconds after you were born. Once the nurses had cleaned you and wrapped you in a blanket, they handed you to me, and I held you in my arms for more than an hour. Your mother had a C-section and so was wheeled off into recovery; why they wouldn’t let all three of us be together, I don’t know.

But there you were in my arms, no more than a few minutes old and already looking around at the room around you with this most confused look on your face, as if you wondering where in the heck you were and how the heck you got there. Your irises were so blue against the white of your eyes.

So I said, “I bet you’re wondering where you are?”

You looked up at me as if you recognized my voice but couldn’t quite figure out who I was.

“You’re in the Milky Way galaxy on a star about a third of the way from its center,” I said, and your face lit up as if you were all excited by the prospects. “That star is called Sol, and you’re on its third planet, Earth, specifically the North American continent in a city on the Pacific Ocean called Eureka.”

I no more than said Earth and you grimaced, as if thinking, “Of all my lousy luck, I end up on Earth!”

Then I continued, “And I bet you’re wondering what time it is, too.”

Once again, you gazed up at me as if you recognized my voice but couldn’t quite figure out who I was.

“It’s about a 14.5 billion years after the Big Bang,” I said, and again your face lit up as if you were all excited by your good fortune. “It’s the 21st century, specifically the year 2007, and it’s just a few minutes after midnight on Feb. 24.”

I no more than said the 21st century and you again grimaced, as if thinking, “Oh damn, of all the times to be born on Earth, it had to be the 21st century!”

I smiled and we gazed into one another’s eyes for a while, and then you fell asleep. You looked so peaceful.

The night you born, and as holding you, I wore a T-shirt with the mission patch for Gemini VII, the craft that was in space the night I was born. When you are older, and we meet again, I will give you that T-shirt. It still has your sweet baby scent upon it.