Wow.....it has been a LONG time since I last posted. While it has been years, it feels like yesterday that I was on here every night or day updating the progress of a little man fighting for his breath and his life. At the time it was cathartic to purge emotions and fears through this medium but as time continued, I found myself searching for moments rather than living in them so I took a break which kind of turned into a complete hiatus.
Thankfully my wife was able to continue and keep this thing going.
Then tonight happened and it made me understand why living in those moments was so important and why if I search for meaning in the moments, I just might find some!
So it is Mason's 5th birthday. We had a great day. He chose McDonalds for lunch, Chuck E. Cheese for playing game time with friends and family but didn't have a preference on dinner. We were in Bellevue with my Mom and Dad who were staying at a hotel downtown and we were all hungry.......what to do?
We had just passed Chick Fillet or however you spell that place and we got to talking about how long the lines were for the first 2 or 3 months at that location that it "must be good" when we decided to pull up the menu online to see if it struck anyone's fancy. It did not.
So we started throwing out suggestions......Rock Bottom, Sushi, The hole in the wall place Julie and I found that serves amazing Indian food, Red Robin, Maggiano's, etc.
My Mom checked the menu at a few online and decided that Rock Bottom offered the most variety and everyone should be able to find something that filled them up. We were off! Got there about 6ish and found the place crazy busy. There was a function of some kind where a bunch of people were hanging about so we got seated in the back of the restaurant in an area that had a couple families.
Ordered, chatted, yadda yadda yadda when a family of 5 seated near us started to finish up their meal and the 3 children were starting to play and run around a bit. They were all so cute. The only boy, about Mason's age from what I could tell, was dressed up a firefighter complete with a hose backpack that looked like Mason's one he has from Paw Patrol.
I caught the Father's eye and asked him where they got a shirt his youngest daughter was wearing. It said "Nana and Papa" in a heart on it. He chatted me up about it a bit and then showed off a super cool personalized Firefighter jacket and pants combo they had found and had made for their son Ryan. They were very cool and, since Mason loves firefighter stuff, gave us great ideas for later.
Dinner continued and soon the staff were bringing out a cake with a Spiderman candle on it and ice cream for the family. It became pretty clear that it was Ryan's birthday. They sang, blew out the candle and I asked how old he was. "He is 5"..........ummmmmmmm really.
So you can imagine the discussion on Mason's 5th birthday and isn't it a cool coincidence yadda yadda yadda.
There was so much in common between the two boys. Love of firefighter stuff, Star Wars (Ryan had on a killer Star Wars tee shirt) etc. But soon the awkwardness of "hey it is your birthday too" kind of wore off and the conversation waned. I then asked if they had him at Overlake hospital right up the street as we had too.
I never expected anything like what happened and can't have made it up as it actually happened.
You see, they did have Ryan at Overlake hospital. On the same day that Mason was born. In fact, at 3:00 ish am. Mason was born at 2:00 ish am. Strange right???
Wait for it.................
Ryan's mom was the very next mother to give birth after Mason! She had a scheduled C-section but went into labor a bit early and had to bump her birth experience up. It just so happened to be on the same day as Mason!
Kind of trippy right?
What if I told you that she was THE very person that we "bumped" out of the delivery room to have the emergency C-section to have Mason???!!! Well she was.
She remembered the words spoken to her when they wheeled her back into her room because there was an emergency that took precedence at that time. She had a radiant attitude and was almost thankful right there in the restaurant seeing Mason. It was almost as if she had cheered him on without knowing him at all. I can guarantee you that she didn't complain or show any sign of inconvenience that night and tonight may have had it all come full circle for more than just our family.
We were stunned. Blown away! What are the odds????
There are no coincidences, no random chances, no accidents like this. This was a brief moment to remind us how small the world is and how connected complete strangers really are. Here were two families with nothing in common beyond geography and an affinity for cold drinks and hot food, galvanized for a moment in time by circumstances well outside their control or comprehension.
It was amazing!
Add to all that, the Mother's birthday is the same day as River (which it is!) and you have one of the strangest nights I have ever experienced since the night River was born.
So.........to the family at Rock Bottom, thank you! Thank you for understanding that night that someone was in need and your sacrifice, even if it was imposed by doctors, may have saved Mason or Julie's life. Thank you for being there tonight to see what a gift Mason is to the world. Thank you for being so friendly as to share that strange a moment with us. Thank you for having awesome kids who shared their toys and smiles with us. Thank you!
Pretty cool stuff!
Oh, and I came to find out that Ryan had a hole in his heart when he was born and he and his family not only understand what we went through but experienced the same. He looks great and his Dad said he has healed completely and everything is great. God Bless Ryan and his family and thanks for tonight!