Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reflections About My Son, Mark

When I was having children, you had no idea what you were going to get until the child was born. After two girls, my husband and I were thrilled when three days after Christmas, our first son, Mark was born.

We'd had to change our Christmas plans because I was overdue. My parents, grandparents, sister and her family all came to our house on Christmas day for the first time ever. I was huge and uncomfortable but still managed to cook the big dinner.

The 28th was night Perry Mason came on TV--my very favorite program. Labor pains started in earnest right during the show. Hubby was timing them and as they neared five minutes apart, he begged me to let him take me to the hospital. Nothing doing--I stayed until the end.

Mark was a fun kid. He was adventuresome and made friends with everyone. We lived near the beach and one summer he was always up and gone before day break. It took me awhile to find out he was going out on a fishing boat and earning money fileting the catch for the fishermen.

At 12 he worked as a dishwasher at a friend's restaurant. When he was in high school, he worked as a janitor on the Navy base. Married at 17 with a child on the way, he worked as a janitor in a small hospital--even helping to deliver a baby one night when only one nurse was on duty. The marriage failed, not surprisingly. Mark held lots of other jobs, he made doughnuts, worked at a camp for developmentally disabled adults and children, drove a bus for a sheltered workshop, worked in a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults, led a work crew, worked for a Walmart Distribution Center as a mechanic, and finally as a forklift driver in a box factory. He remarried and became a father to three children and grandfather to two girls--a role he loved the best. He was proud when he was able to buy his first and only house.

Mark sang in the church choir and he was an artist all his life.

There's so much more I could say about our son, but most important is that we were blessed to have him as a son even if the time was too short. Because he loved God and had accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, I'm confident that one day I'll be with Mark once again.

Christmas always makes me think about Mark because of the Christmases we had him, and in a few days it will be his birthday.

Merry Christmas to all of you who may read this post.

Marilyn

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