Apr 13, 2008
Happy Birthday Wam
I write this/these for them, Wayne, William and today, for Waylon. On one hand, it might seem a bit sappy, bordering excessively sentimental. On the other hand, it's not easy to share your faults, especially like this, for the world to see. It can be somewhat cathartic to admit an erroneous life but raw emotions are not always cuddly and cute, either? That probably only makes sense to me?
One day, when I am dead and gone, they'll not have to hear me recount their births, as I do each and every year. They'll not have to secretly cringe or force a smile, thinking, "God, I wish she wouldn't." But it'll be here for them to visit, on the Internet. Hopefully, they'll know they were loved, that I would die for and kill, unflinchingly for them. I know this is probably boring, even for my son Waylon. But every year, every Birthday, I find myself visiting each birth, the birth of my three sons and recalling that day, "Their Day."
It's Waylon's Birthday. I'd give him the world, if I could. Since I can't, I'll give him my heart, my soul, my everything. I'll give him, all the love a woman can muster, a mother for her son. No, you can't put a price on love or the riches it brings. You can't put a price on the smiles, joyful tears or the memories that lie within. The world may try to break me, tear me down, take my pride but they can never take my memories. No, they'll never be able to erase that feeling, that memory of a son, so innocent, held close to my breast. I stood against the world, daring anyone to even try to pull him away. My demise would be Alzheimer's...
Yes, you could lock me up and throw away the key. You could kill me tomorrow but my love lives on and on. Plant me in the ground, incinerate me to ashes, even blow my ass up and my love lives on. And long after I'm gone, my love will thrive, if only in memory, intermingled, safely tucked in the DNA, the DNA I passed on to my sons, to Waylon.
I sadly admit, I've not always been the best Mom. In fact, I did a pretty shitty/shoddy job. Although I had my strong suits such as cooking them well balanced meals every single nite, they always had clean clothes and I kept my house fairly clean, I was a friend, a bad friend at that, when they really needed a Mom. I was never given, nor will I ever get an award for being a good Mother. I made a lot of bad choices.
I hurt my children, the very last people, I'd ever want to hurt. How is that possible, you know, to hurt your children as I did? How is it possible for a woman to do the things, the kind of selfish, drug addicted things I did, when my love was so strong? The greatest gift I ever received from my boys has been the forgiveness for all those terrible things. Love prevails. Good prevails. God prevails and I thank Him each and every day for the greatest gifts known to man/woman; The birth of a child. And so the story begins...
Many moons ago, I gave birth to a man on this very day. Weighing in at a whopping 10lbs.5oz's and 23 inches long, my youngest son, Waylon couldn't even wear newborn clothes. I think I remember he was born with a beard, tattoo's and piercings.
I was 22 years old when I had Waylon and I had opted to have my tubes tied, right then and there, in the delivery room. I'd had to go to a Psychiatrist for evaluation, to see if I was competent enough to make that decision at such a young age.
As soon as I'd given birth, they took Waylon away from me and I didn't get to hold him. I was quite upset by it, as I followed them, with my eyes, around the room. They were cleaning him up as I pushed the after birth out. I had to sign papers for them to take the Placenta to the lab to study it. They said it was the biggest they'd ever seen. I barely cared about anything but do remember watching this Doctor hold up, with two hands, this gigantic Placenta, showing it off to everyone in the room. All I was concerned with was my baby, crying in the little crib/incubator. He had his arms stretched out, fingers spread, as if he was crying to be held, crying for his Mom. I looked up at my husband and asked why I couldn't hold him, "Get him and give him to me NOW!!" Wayne, my husband, just stood there so I attempted to get up but my legs were strapped into these knee cradles.
I started to cry, white hot tears and begged them for my baby. "We have to take him to the special Neonatal Unit to check him out, Barbara." At this point I was sobbing, going from feeling like a lamb led to slaughter to a crazed maniac. "I'll kill all you motherfuckers if you hurt my baby," was about the last thing I said as they sedated me.
I woke in the Recovery Room, alone and pissed off. I wasn't supposed to have anesthesia when they tied my tubes. They were supposed to give me a local anesthetic but I suppose they did it as I was going off, threatening to kill everybody involved? Oddly enough, all these years later, 27 years later to be exact, I can still remember seeing Waylon, laying there, across the room from me, crying, flailing his arms. Yes, he broke my heart that day.
In the recovery room, I would cry, then doze off again. As I began to really wake up, I looked over, fresh tears in my eyes and saw my Dad, Micky O'Dwyer, sitting in the chair beside my bed. He took my hand and gently caressed it. "Why are you crying? Stop your crying. You have a handsome son, Good Lord, he's a wammy." Those words would stick to Waylon, all the days of his life.
Shortly after they took me to my room, I caught hell from the nurses as they caught me standing in front of the nursery, searching for my son. I agreed to go back to my room, once they agreed to bring him to me but only after dinner.
When I finally held Waylon, he stared me right in the eye, as if he knew me, knew I was his Mom. He was fixated on my face as I made my first attempt at breast feeding him. From the very start, he had an insatiable appetite. He'd nurse with great intention but would stop nursing and look into my eyes. Soul searching, so it seemed. Knowing he was my last child may have played into the fact that I continued to breast feed him till he was 18 months old.
His older brothers, Wayne and William were named after family members. Wayne, my oldest was named after his father and William was named after a long line of Williams. My Grandfathers father's name was William Wallace but I didn't know that till I was mature enough to ask, mature enough to appreciate the true Scottish name and lineage. My mothers father, my Grandfather, his name was William Francis and my mothers name was Billie Kay so it was a natural to name my second son after them as well as my Grandmothers fathers name was William too. My last son had to have a "W" name as well. After some thought, I gave him the name Waylon not in tribute to Waylon Jennings but simply because it was the only "W" name I liked. I gave him the middle name, Andrew, after my husbands best friend, Robert Andrew Zunzer.
Robert/Robby looked like a greek god with his long flowing hair and rippled muscles. On the day, back in 1975 that Wayne and I went to get our marriage license, we met Robby at the Lums, a lounge and restaurant, right next to the courthouse. We'd applied and had taken the mandatory blood tests and were waiting for the results and subsequent license to be typed up. We sat there, me sipping a Coke while the guys drank a beer. Wayne got up to go get the finished license, walking back over to the courthouse, leaving me there with Robby. It was then, that Robby said, "Don't marry him, ok? I've loved you for a long time, didn't you know this?" I looked at him like he'd lost his mind, reading his face for the punchline to the joke. "What," was all I could muster. "You heard me. I said that I love you and I mean it. Wadda I gotta do, tattoo your name on my forehead, for you to believe me?"
I got up to leave, now extremely uncomfortable. "I don't think that's very funny Robby," I stated as I was walking away, headed over to meet up with Wayne. Robby stood to leave at the same time and said, "And just why would you think I'd joke about this, Barbara? No joke," his voice was cracking and I turned to answer him when I noticed he had tears in his eyes. I never answered his question.
I did give my son Robby's middle name though and signed the birth certificate as Waylon Andrew Moore."WAM," how ironic? We called him, "Wammy," when he was little but shortened it to Wam as he got older. No name or even nickname could ever fit him better. Yes, he's Wam Bam Thank Ya Ma'am.
Happy Birthday Wam!!