There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him.
You see, it was 39 years ago today that I embarked on the most important and the most difficult adventure of my life.
I became a mother.
I relive this day every single year, for many women recall things by pregnancies. They'll say:
"Oh, that was right before I had..."
"We went there right after ...was born"
On this day 39 years ago, Kerry had rushed home from work and was trying to convince me to go to the hospital. I was "nesting", and running around getting things ready. I thought I had some time left.
He finally got me in the car to drive the two blocks to the hospital, where later that evening I delivered Peter William Lauritzen, weighing in at 10 lb 6 oz. He was dubbed the "King of the Nursery".
I felt like I had given birth to a toddler. When I went to see him in the nursery, he held his head up to look at me.
I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had grown up as an only child. Kerry, the middle child of eleven, taught me so many things about babies. There were times Peter would be crying, and my tears were mixing along with his.
Most of our mistakes are made on the first child, for they're the ones we're trying out all of the advice from books and other mothers on.
Peter was a good baby and a good child, which made it alright to have three more. We thought they would all be like him. They weren't. We didn't have cookie-cutter children. They all came with their own distinct personalities.
Peter is gone now. His life was cut too short by disease and drugs. And, we grieve every day at our loss. We often wonder what he would look like as a man approaching forty...
Would he still have been on drugs?
Would he still have maintained his wonderful musical talent?
Would his nature still have been kind and gentle?
Would he step up and be looking after us?
You raise your oldest child to be your oldest child; the one you sort of look to as we begin looking at choices we'll have to make down the road.
But, rather than dwell on his death today, I will celebrate the fact that I had the honor of bringing this sweet boy into the world. I wouldn't be who I am today if I had not had the experiences of raising a family, and he started it all out. I learned service, and I learned sacrifice in the best scenario possible -- in my own home.
I also learned that adults produce children. But, even more importantly, children produce adults.
Happy heavenly birthday, dear Peter...we can hardly wait to hold you once again...