Saturday, May 17, 2014

No amount of reading will ever beat experience...

... and I think this is part of why the Lord let me live.

Before I joined the Army I quietly, but shortly, dated a troubled soul. There was some level of physical interaction and from that brief moment of our lives a daughter was conceieved. Much more on this story, of course, but that would be digressing from the point of this chapter.

So, as I was 18 years old, healthy and untarnished from the events that will take place, I concieved a beautiful and healthy young girl who is getting older as I type. She is a lovely specimen of her father's love and the only child of mine that is still alive. All other offspring have passed on but there is no complaint in my soul regarding this. Those breif moments I had with them, extremely brief, were gifts from the Lord.

One of them, Amanda, almost lived out of toddlers years but succumbed to the condition that has, and will, afflict any child born of me. Nueral Tube Defects are not pretty, particularly encephalocele, of which 4 daughters have been born with from me. From me and several different women. It is, specifically, me that has major chromosomal damage and no one else. They may bring complicating side effects but it is me.

Now, I have always regretted serving in Desert Storm because of the children such service has cost me. Not to mention the emotional pain to women who were worthwhile (after a fashion) before such a loss. One poor woman, my 1st wife, suffered through multiple births and deaths before washing her hands of me and my damage. It is now easy to see why so many co-workers of mine never knew of my service. Talking about it brings the pain into focus and primary status, even just for a brief time, and I just did not want to trawl through that pain over and over again.

One thing that did plague my thoughts was: What would their life be like with such damage to their brains?

After all, even they survive birth with such a condition life long treatment involves "shunts". Revisions of "shunts" are common and the damage from inserting them, heck even removing them, is "unknown" at this level of medical expertise. So, Amanda could have grown up to be a beautiful young lady impaired from repeated, but neccessary, brain injury.

How would she be? What could she remember? When would she think?

These things I did research upon and was worried about the diminished life she would lead.

Talk about hubris hunh? As if life, for me, has been so great that coming up short of mine is a diminishment. The truth it my life, while having interesting moments, has been good. It has been rewarding and worthwhile. Even now, in my diminished state - life is good.

I am surrounded by the love of good woman. Supported by the good graces of my church and sometimes treated well by family members. I have had almost 50 years of interesting times to try to remember, if I can, of worthwhile moments. Primarily because of the Lord's grace but assisted by my refusal of being slimey.

So, in closing, I studied and researched what I feared for my little girl's lives but no amount of that brought me even close to understanding the road in front of them. Heck, the road that Amanda walked for a few years. Now, practical experience is showing me what I thought I knew, but feared, and is showing me that life is still good.

Even now.

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