Mid-October 1987 Ron told me I was pregnant.
I was sure he was wrong. So sure that I refused to take time to go get tested. (No, I hadn’t learned true submission yet. Plus I had accounting tests to study for. And I was late for work.)
Ron was so sure I was pregnant that he told me to pee in a jar and put the lid on it. He put it in a paper bag and took it to my doctor’s office for a pregnancy test before going to work. Of course, he was right. I was expecting our third child.
One Tuesday evening many months later, after work, Ron told me I was in labor. I’d been so busy with dinner and getting two little girls to bed I hadn’t paid attention to what I thought were more Braxton Hicks contractions.
“Sweetheart, they’ve been coming every three minutes for an hour now. I think we need to call the sitter and go to the hospital,” he said. Of course, he was right again.
Ron loaded his guitar and my go bag. (Rather than just pant through labor, we sang worship songs. Singing accomplishes many of the same things controlled breathing does including taking my mind off the pain.) The sitter arrived, and we headed to the hospital, the same hospital I was born in twenty-five years earlier.
At about 2 am on May 4, 1988, our first son was born. We were thrilled. We named him after Ron’s favorite bible character King David and his dad Glen Duncan.
(By the way, I graduated college four days later. I skipped the ceremony; I was too busy enjoying my baby boy.)
Since that day 31 years ago, David has made us proud in so very many ways.
As a child he loved to laugh, dance, and play. He still does all three often. He was an all-around good kid who was terrible at lying. He loved working with tools beside his dad. He could install a ceiling fan without help at age ten. He continues to enjoy working with his hands and has learned skills such as tiling bathrooms and welding, which he does for a hobby.
He has always been a leader…usually in good ways. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14 and went on to earn a total of 72 merit badges. He served five months as a page for the United States House of Representatives while he lived in D.C and attended Page School at the Library of Congress his junior year of high school. He was an excellent student. He earned an ROTC scholarship to the University of Oklahoma but decided to join the USMC and served five years as a Marine with two tours in Afghanistan. He still serves in the USMC as a reservist and was recently promoted to Staff Sargent. David will be attending Warrant Officer School next January. My dad, who was a Naval Officer, would be very proud.
David is kind and compassionate. Of course, he likes to blow things up and play with artillery, two things the military allows him to do regularly. But when dealing with hurting people, he is patient and loving. David has been through hard things. He was part of the Dark Horse Unit which lost more men than any other unit since Iwo Jima. He lost many good buddies during that tour. And in the years since he has helped many men and women who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress. He shares his own experience, strength, and hope with others walking the hard things. He is part of Survivors, a clean and sober motorcycle club which focuses of serving others.
He was a rock for me when his younger brother died. David gave me all the hugs I wanted. He was willing to help and serve others even as he was grieving. He helped Ron and our younger sons clean out Andrew’s apartment just a day after learning of his brother’s death. He helped plan the Scout Color Guard that was part of the memorial service and helped choose the music for the slide show. Johnny Cash, of course.
He works hard and with integrity. He plays hard, too. I’m glad he often tells me about his adventures after the fact.
I could go on and on about my son and how proud I am of him. But I’ll save the rest to tell him privately.
Happy Birthday to my oldest son. I love you.