Untotaled: Stepping 65 (February 10th, 1971) Jon Russell…May 2nd, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2579) 

(Transcript)

Dollie woke me from a nap and told me that her water broke.

Still sleepy and also very ignorant, I patted her on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll get you some more.”

She hurriedly explained what she meant.

In no time at all, we found ourselves at Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and she was wheeled in on a gurney to a back room. I was told to wait in a small enclosure with two other fellows who were quickly informed of the arrival of their children and departed, leaving me all alone.

Hours passed.

I was completely unacquainted with hospitals and was afraid to ask many questions, so I just watched television.

At about 11:15 that night, a doctor came in and told me that I had a new son and asked me if I would like to see him.

Of course I did.

So I walked around the corner and there was a nurse with a mask, holding a bruised, bloody and misshapen mass of tissue which I could only guess was supposed to be my human son.

The doctor noted my shock, and explained that because my wife was under anesthetic, that they had to use forceps to get the baby out, and there had been some bruising–which would quickly heal.

As soon as he made this explanation he left the room, saying that in an hour or so I could see my wife. So I went back and sat down, trying to get my nineteen-year-old mind to understand that I was a father of some gelatin mass.

Johnny Carson was on TV with The Tonight Show. His guests were the Edwin Hawkins Singers, performing O Happy Day. As I listened to the music and the inspiration of the thought, I realized that I was very happy, in a deep, forlorn, frightened and devastated sort of way.

Sitting there that night I had no idea where the rest of my journey would take me:

Three more children of my own and three additional children I brought into my home and adopted as my sons.

I could never have envisioned the struggles, the thousands of miles, the victories and the defeats.

I was glad I was alone, because I cried.

I wept over the little boy who was dying–and also for the man who was trying to emerge and make his place.

 

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