Simple Life Note: 24 hours – Father

This is a simple note about one unforgettable moment of life beauty. A note from a man who became a 24 hours – father. A note from my husband. Translated into English on his permission.

Glen S Tanihatoe, October 2004

This note began when an expected great news arrived, three months after the beautiful moment of holy matrimony, the day we sealed our love with eternal promise to love and cherish till death do us part.

My wife got pregnant. I was preparing myself to become a father. A great responsibility given from the Creator. I remembered vividly, the baby grew perfectly. During the pregnancy period, we experienced no complication. When the pregnancy getting older, I sometimes saw the baby kicking and move circling the belly. We went to one senior obstetrician and follow the regular check-ups completely for 9 months. We, and the big family members joined this happiness with one wish, a safe birth process.

On 14 December 1998, my wife felt the birth signs. The long-waited day has come. We went to the hospital, arrived at 4 pm and ready for further examination. Finally, after the painful hours my wife has been through, the baby was ready to see the world for the first time.

Life is sometimes unexpected. For one short moment, we were rejoiced but only in one blink of an eye, everything has changed. I heard the nurse shout, “The fetal membrane is dark green!” “Call the doctor, now!” It was chaotic. When the doctor arrived, he helped the delivery process as quick as he can. He found out that the baby need more assistance. He must vacuumed the head, to help the baby out of the womb.

I heard my baby cried. A cry from one little born baby. Our little angel. The perfect gift from God to our family. One important and full of meaning moment. A father. I felt jubilant.
But only few minutes after that, my world, again, turned upside down. Our baby had complication. The hospital is not well-equipped. We must go to bigger hospital. I was totally confused. Less than one hour, I have to left my wife alone, my baby was inside the incubator with oxygen aid and within 45 minutes transferred to bigger-well-equipped hospital. What would happen to him? What would happen to us?

The following hours felt like nightmare. I struggled to understand what exactly happened. His lungs fully covered by sticky fetal membrane. He cannot breathe. The doctors must found other way to make him breathe. Immediate actions have to be taken, including slicing his scalp to find blood vessel, to stream the pure oxygen. All the actions made me cry. He’s not even 24 hours old, he just too small to experience all the painful process. I wish, I can do something to obviate the pain from him.

Nothing, as a father, that I can do to help him. I only stood in front of the NICU room, starred at my baby with devastating feeling. I saw his feeble heartbeat and one single breath, with all medical equipment around him, to support his life. “Dear God, I surrender now. Please give him strength. To You only I pray.” I fell a strong urge to scream but I have no longer strength to do so. That time, I even felt that my pray only reached the hospital’s ceiling.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die.”

I sat silently. I tried my best and pray for him. I had heard his first cry. I had seen his tiny angelic baby face, felt his first breathe, and heard his first heartbeat. I had caressed his chick and his soft hands. He was my son and I was his father.

I know that the Creator has the authority. He can give but He can also take. The next day, on December 15, 1998. He took my son back to HIS arm. I called my wife, 24 hours after the birth and told her, “Our son has gone.” I remembered she said, “Bung, God knows the best. Praise the Lord.”

Life is short. “They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” We never knew, when the time is come. When I remembered HIS goodness in our life, I was relieved. I have done my part, my responsibility as a father, though it was only for 24 hours.

4 months after one of the greatest unforgettable moment in our marriage life, God granted us another chance to have a baby. 18 January 2000, a baby boy was born. We both knew, he was not a substitute to our first, Hizkia Barrack. He was the chance for us, through the experience of losing one child, to become a stronger and wiser parents.

Blast from the Past : the Story of Platonic Love

For me, being and eldest daughter among four children, is a blessing. Difficult, but bearable. For years, I never thought about having a big brother, until I met this one guy when I was in Junior High, 1983.

I can’t remember when or how it started. I didn’t remember how we could get closer to each other. Totally not remember 🙂 All that freshly remembered till now is the feeling. The comfort feeling when he was near and happy to see him around. I guess it was years of close brother and sister relationship. We parted after the graduation in 1986.

My family moved to Jakarta. Though it was blurry, but I could recall that he moved to Jakarta too. We have a short contact for one or two years, before we completely lost each other.

Time flew. I never understand the reason. But as far as I can remember, while friends come and go, he, whom I called Kangmas, always has a special space in my head and in my heart. Seems like I carried him everywhere for years. I mentioned his name once in a while when I chat with my friends. I told story about a brother I had in Junior High. How I wish to see him again. I remember, I did that for many years.

Was he my first love? Probably. But I know for years that, though he was special, he’s not the love of my life. How do I know that? Because though my feeling grew stronger for years and I never forget him even a bit, it never changed to one romantic feeling.

Early this March, out of the blue, my day was colored by a shocking greet on Facebook, from someone I have been carried for years. I couldn’t describe my feeling that moment. I felt like shaking? Walked on the cloud? Jumped around? Grinned cheek to cheek? Any kind of expressions I ever known, they were all there. I was tremendously happy. A blast from the past. My dearest Kangmas is back.

That finally, after a month of many chats, I could meet him again, able to see his features after so many years, was one wonderful moment. Physically, he has changed. He gained more weight, darker skin and a head fully covered with silver hair. On that, I am thanking him for not dyed it black. I love seeing silver hairs on matured people. Because I believe that “Gray hair is a crown of splendor, it is attained in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)

But his face still the same. The face I carried everywhere in almost of my days. He’s matured, but he still the soft spoken and caring brother I remembered for many years.

How I feel about him? Surprisingly, it remains the same. Still feel comfortable and happy to see him near and around. I still the same young girl, who love her brother because he was nice and caring.

These past days, I still feeling grateful. The more I chat with him, the happier I am, having my long-lost brother back. His understanding and concern about my husband, made me relieved and easy.

For years, I don’t believe that two strangers, bonded by a platonic love, can be brother and sister. But now, after 30 years, though the probability is one to a million, I have my own story about it. The story about a platonic love that bond my Kangmas and I, as brother and sister. We have been brother and sister since we were young. We are brother and sister now. I believe, the same platonic love will keep our relationship as brother and sister for more years.

This is one of the amazing blessing that GOD gave me.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17)