By Ray Knapp
Sitting on my back porch, I smile as the little toddler that lives in the brick house on Parker Street ran after the family cat, crying out, “come here kitty, come here kitty!” It kind of took me by surprise to see this little girl, who seems to have been born to this young couple just a while back, is now a 2-year-old energetic toddler. Their barely school age son is throwing a small beach ball to his father, who gives it a hefty kick and watches his boy run after it. All this is happening within a couple of minutes of their arrival – the groceries aren’t put away yet. What a sweet scene I get to eavesdrop on.
Having a stent recently put in my heart, I sure wouldn’t have had the energy to keep up with those two young ones. God sure knew what he was doing when he blessed the young with children.
As we grow older, more infirmities creep in. My heart Cath and stent placement for instance occurred not originally for heart problems, but a synovial cyst that had grew on my lower spine and I was due for surgery to remove it earlier this month, but the surgeon had to get approval from my heart doctor first. Being cautious, the heart doctor ordered an echocardiogram which showed the left quarter of my heart wasn’t getting oxygen. So, the cyst operation was cancelled,– that thing dried-up on its own anyway.
The heart Cath and stent placement took place over at Holston Valley Medical Center. The doctor was a little fellow. “Just remember Ha – Ha, put an S in front of it and you have my name Dr. Shaha.” He had an infectious humor and a great bedside manner. I mentioned this to some of the nurses who were in my room running tests and miscellaneous things, that he seemed to be a great guy and very likeable. They looked at each other in kind of an odd way. Finally one of them spoke, “Maybe with you. He can be very curt with us.”
I was sent home the same day, but a new medication wasn’t sitting well. I felt like I was smothering and went to Erwin’s hospital ER that evening. About 2 a.m. the ER couldn’t get my vitals stabilized and sent me by a (Washington County) ambulance, back to Kingsport. If you want to know how rough I-26 is in spots, you should try this ride … it will rattle your bones.
Two of my kids, who come to think of it, have grandchildren of their own, came up from the Atlanta area to be with me and my wife – who wasn’t feeling none too well either. They hadn’t planned on this 2nd day, and had to notify their work places that it would be another day. Every once in a while, it’s nice to take the part of a child, and let your kids care for you. ‘Funny, but when family is there, you know you are in safe hands.
Looking back into the past, I can recall these two as children; Mark’s teacher was a stickler for perfect penmanship. Notes were always coming home instructing him to practice his cursive writing for a half hour at home. Now, of course, his grandchildren couldn’t read his cursive writing if it were written perfectly.
Kim on the other hand, had no notes coming home from school that I recall. Earlier – at about 3, she got all of her baby teeth and when people complemented her on her pretty smile, she would generally prove her teeth were perfect in more ways than one, by biting the fool out of the nearest child. I had a “Biter” on my hands.
Here came that little girl from the back of the house, still after the kitty. Her mother with groceries bags in her right arm, deftly swept her tiny daughter under her left, and marched into the house.
What memories a little girl chasing her cat can bring back – and how sweet those memories. .. By the way, I’m in pretty fair shape. Thank you again, Lord.