Buying the Farm

“Marriage is nothing more than moving in with cute roommate, having kids is when you buy the farm” -me

Yep, I’ve said that a lot. There’s a story that goes along with how I came to realize that, but that will have to wait for another time…

Amanda told me that she has been happily unmarried for seven years now, four years ago Stryker came along. It was apparent to me from the outset that this woman loved her kid. She was so concerned about him and his well-being. Even small things that boys tend to do seemed to really make her nervous.

He’s a quiet, thoughtful boy, standing there with his freshly styled mohawk sticking up into the bright Idaho sun. All boy, he loves to run and jump and try things that give his mom a heart attack. But she seemed extra jittery to me, even for a concerned mom.

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Then I heard the story…

A couple of years ago, Amanda took her son into the doctor for a routine visit. I forget now what the visit was for, but when she got there she realized his heart was racing. She mentioned it to the doctor at the time and he promptly dismissed it. He told her that if it happened again, she should bring him right in.

So she did just that. However the episodes lasted just a short time, and by the time she got him to the doctors office, Stryker’s heart had returned to normal. The doctors and medical staff started hinting that maybe Amanda was a little hysterical, a little overly concerned, maybe had an over-active imagination.

amanda_stryker.jpg

Well things escalated from there. Soon the doctors saw the symptom, and would try to give him shots to slow down the heart. But the shot had to reach his heart within six seconds to work, and they’d miss his vein. Over and over they would give him the shots, while his heart raced out of control, and over and over they would miss the vein. The pain of the memory played across Amanda’s face as we talked.

One visit all three were loaded onto a helicopter and flown to Boise… more tests, more discussion… some days Stryker’s heart would run out of control two or three times.

Finally the doctor said that if Stryker could gain weight they would do surgery to fix his heart. So now the challenge was to get a kid who didn’t feel like eating to eat. And time ticked on…

I look down at Styker while Amanda is talking, and he’s proudly showing me his scar from the zip line they put in during the surgery. Amanda tells me the scars are all very small, and the surgery seems to have been a success. Time will tell, it’s only been a few weeks… In the meantime, he’s proud of his scars…

Amanda’s conversation with me is interrupted by her non-husband roaring in on his Harley motorcycle with four of his friends riding theirs. She’s accompanying him and has to leave. He comes over, the very epitome of a biker, pulls off his reflective sunglasses, shakes my hand and kneels down to hug his boy.

There’s something in that hug. This rough looking man, dressed in his leathers and riding a Harley, tenderly hugging his son. It makes me realized they both love this kid more than they love themselves. They have done all they could to save him, and they’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Yep. They’ve bought the farm.

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