Today in history 21 years ago.. January 23, 1998


The rain was coming down in a light drizzle in lindenwold, NJ on this day 21 years ago. I was woke up by my wife, who was having pains. We got ready and started to the hospital. This was the start of a very event filled day. One I won;t forget. We headed out on our way to the hospital, and got down by the train station when a maniac going about 50 miles an hour comes flying out of the train station and hits us. T boning us and dragging our van across three lanes, twisting and spinning us almost 180 degrees from where we were and colliding into a pole on the opposite side of the road.

Maybe I should back up and fill in why we were on our way to the hospital and fill in some events to better tell this story. Susan, my wife and I were expecting our child, she was pregnant and was due to deliver. The contractions had started and it was time to go to the hospital, for the birth. For several months I kept having this re-occurring nightmare and woke up every time covered in sweat and screaming. The nightmare that kept haunting me every night was, we were involved in a major car accident and I lost both my wife and child in the car crash. This crazy driver hit us on the passengers side killing my wife and child instantly. I swore that would not happen.

I checked on different ways to get to the hospital, different things I could do and then decided that I would just pay very close attention to what was happening. The way I was going was the quickest and the easiest. So I had already lived this out so many times in my head I was ready. As I approached the intersection I slowed down sure it wouldn’t happen. But here we were. Except I wasn’t in the intersection like I was in my dream. I had almost come to a complete stop, but was still in the path of this maniac. This guy was going so fast that it drug a near stopped van across three lanes of road.

Back to the story. As we were sitting there with the car crashed into my van I asked my wife if she was hurt and she was okay. She had messed up her knee and was in the beginnings of labor, with the contractions coming strong. I knew I was okay, so I got out of the van to see if the person that hit us was okay. The driver of the other vehicle was in pretty bad shape and kept hitting the horn of his vehicle. I reached in about to punch this fuckers lights out but refrained, told him to stop hitting the horn, that I would get him help. The wife feared I would kill him, I wanted to but.. By this time some of the people that lived there in the area were coming out to see what had happened. Someone had already called the emergency department and got things moving., I asked one person if I could use their phone and called the mother-in-law to tell her what happened.,

I don’t remember the time frame but it wasn’t long before the recuse unit was there. The first ambulance came and they started to look after the guy in the car, one of the paramedics came over and checked out my wife. I had only injured my hand and hit my head, so I wasn’t to bad. Somewhere in all this mess the police showed up and started to question me and accuse me of causing the accident. Blaming me for it, saying I was going to fast and I did this and that. And how us southerners didn’t know how to drive and such.

I got into a fight with one officer, who was taking my statement about the crash. Saying I should have slowed down and crap. I stopped the officer and grabbed him by the chest, pulled him out into the traffic that was forming at the train station and showed him the skid marks on the road from where I was traveling, which was no where near where we came to rest. Which showed that the way we ended up was not the way I was traveling and proved it was the other drivers fault. He was going to shoot me it was that heated. All because they wouldn’t listen. They took my license and let me go, telling me I could come down to the police station to get it later. That was the least of my worries, plus I drove without it for 3 weeks, which was fun.

My van was badly damaged but still able to run. I asked if they needed me anymore or was I free to get to the hospital to get my wife there so she could have our baby. They were still trying to get the other driver out of the vehicle, he was that badly trapped. I offered to pull his ass out for them I was that mad.. The second ambulance came and took my wife, after a half hour to 40 minutes after the first one showed up. The paramedic who first looked at my wife had been taking care of her this whole time.

Finally the police told me I could go to the hospital, and to follow the ambulance. Which I did, they wanted me out of the way. I think they said it took two hours for them to get the guy out of the car after I left. We got to the hospital and got my wife in her room and they insisted that I get checked out. So when I made sure she was okay I went down to the Emergency Room, I had a slight concussion and banged up, my hands were messed up from the steering wheel but nothing to major. So they sent me back up to the room to be with her.

They came in and checked on her a few times. Gave her an epidural, to help with the pain. Wish they had given me drugs too, but.. While we were waiting for her to give birth, I had a seizure in the chair that was in the room. Here’s my wife about to give birth in all the pain that entails worried about me having a seizure. Talk about a messed up day. I come out of the seizure and a few hours later, my wife gives birth to our son. I got to help deliver my son into the world.

The nurses cleaned him up and showed him to me, he opened one eye balled up his fist and punched me in the nose. I asked the nurse if we could put him back in, but was told no, so I kept him. Now here we are 21 years in the future, that baby has grown up to be a smart intelligent young man. I am so proud of him and all he has done. This is how my son Nathaniel came into this world.

I will say I wish my son a very happy birthday and am proud to be his father, even though we’ve been through a hell of a lot, I wouldn’t change any it, for it made us who we are. The good, the bad, the down right ugly times. All make us who we are. To change any of it would change who we are. So happy birthday mate and stay the man you are. It’s been a wonderful journey so far, I’m proud of who you became.

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Happy 21st birthday Nathaniel

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