Being asked to describe the happiest day of your life might be easy for someone in their teens. For a life covering most of seven decades, picking one day is likely difficult unless most of your life is not happy.
Please note my first sentence did not say it would be easy for a younger person to describe a happy day. It says it might be easy. I have known people of all ages who would have difficulty remembering a day they were happy. The pain of their lives overshadowed any joy or happiness they might have encountered.
Then, there are days like the one I am about to share now. Yes, one of the happiest days in my life, if not the happiest, was a nightmare at the time.
I was a police officer working evenings. I was also a student at a local university, and I was about to become a dad for the first time. According to the doctors, our daughter’s birth was still a couple of weeks away, and we thought we were pretty well prepared.
On this day, I left home around 7:00 in the morning and headed for school. I was back home for lunch and then headed for shift briefing at 2:30. I wrapped things up by 11:30 that evening and looked forward to hitting the hay.
When I got home, my wife was still awake, which was unusual. Then she told me she might be having contractions. We debated what to do based on the doctor’s info. Then her water broke. That decided for us, and off we went. We made it to the hospital, and things went into slow motion.
My wife was in full birth mode from the contraction and pain standpoint. Yet there was no sign of an imminent birth. By the next afternoon, there was still no sign of the baby coming anytime soon, and she had been in labor for over twelve hours. The doctor was not hopeful for a natural birth. He said a C-Section would be necessary if the baby did not come soon.
Later that day, our first daughter was delivered, and she was perfect. Of course, my wife was out of it from being in labor for so long and the anesthesia. I was pretty much out of it from being awake for over thirty hours, many of the last hours standing next to my wife’s bed.
The doctor ordered me to go home, try to get a little rest, and come back when my wife woke up, which I did. Besides a brief glimpse of my daughter when she was delivered, I did not meet her until that evening.
It was then that I could begin to feel happiness or joy. Both women in my life were safe, and I could hold my daughter in my arms. Yes, the happiest day in my life started as a nightmare and ended as a joyous occasion.
It also taught us a lesson that made our second daughter’s birth so much more pleasant but no less joyous. We scheduled her birth in advance, and she was delivered at 2:00 in the afternoon.
© oneoldcop.com 2023