Chapter 2 - An Angel is Born
From the day I was born, eventful and often chaotic moments sought to overshadow the gifted jewel I am and would eventually become.
It was a cool Monday morning with brisk breezes and crisp air. Leaves blew along the streets and the aroma of bacon frying upon stove tops flowed into the nostrils urging saliva glands to prepare for intake. The women chattered in the kitchen while cousins watched cartoon after cartoon. Suddenly without notice, a sharp pain reverberated through Barbara’s pelvis. She grumbled something like a growl and a yelp between her teeth, gripping the side of the stove. Pat jumped to her feet and asked if it was time.
My mom went into labor while participating in three of her favorite things; cooking for the family, spending time with my Aunt Pattie-pooh (that’s my pet name for one of the favored women in my life) and eating, however, she did not get to enjoy what she prepared.
As told by mom and Pattie-pooh, they were on their way to the hospital in a cab when it began spinning out of control. Yes, you heard correctly, mom was in labor on her way to the hospital and the cab she was riding in got into an accident. When the car finally stopped spinning it landed in front of a fire station.
The firemen rushed over and found my frightened aunt and my very pregnant mom in the car. They immediately rushed my mother to Johns Hopkins hospital. Moments later a frantic man stormed into the emergency room asking for Barbara Whitaker. You guessed it, that man was my dad Edward. The nurse escorted my dad to my mother’s bedside. When he saw her he immediately began apologizing for a fight they had the night before. Aunt Pat walked over to dad and told him to leave her alone with all that mess until after she recovered from giving birth.
Since dad respected his big sister he immediately turned his focus to the well-being of my mother by asking the nurses and doctors a thousand and one questions: Is the baby alright? Have you checked to see if there is any damage from the accident? How long before its time to push? And so the questions went on and on until finally one of the nurses informed my dad that everything was fine. As they moved my mom to her room, the nurse went on urging him to try and make my mother as comfortable as possible.
The nurse advised him to pat her head with the cool towel, to hold her hand and to massage her lower back.
After several hours of hard labor the doctor came in to see how many centimeters mom had dilated and found that it was time to push. Although mom had done this before she was scared. She wasn’t sure if I had incurred injuries from the accident. Mom also did not believe she had enough energy to birth me through the vaginal canal.
PUSH the doctor yelled. Come on Barbara, you can do it! Dad rubbed moms head and kissed her gently, encouraging her to push. Mom pushed one last time and with that, I slid into the world almost falling out of the doctors’ hands. The doctor introduced them to their beautifully healthy baby girl. I opened my eyes and that is when my singing career began. I belted out a loud cry and when my parents heard my cries they too were filled with tears of joy.
POEM / LETTER
Dear Mom and Dad,
Angels aren’t always dressed in white gowns with rosy red cheeks, smiles upon their faces, twinkles in their eyes and wings glistening upon their backs. In fact, Angels come in different shapes and sizes. They sometimes touch you with their tears. They change lives because of their pain. They purify with their innocence. With gentle hands they warm hearts. With kisses they heal. Their laughter chases things that restrain bringing joy to all they encounter.
Messy and dingy with dirt upon their faces yet warmly they embrace you!
These are our earthly Angels living amongst us as examples of success and failure, victory and defeat, triumphs and downfalls but it’s up to each of us to capture the lessons, take our eyes off the Mythical Angels to see the ones we have surrounding us, giving guidance with every step made.
Be well My Angels...
With Tenderness and Love,