by Paul T Mendez
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997
I will never forget the phone call from my Mother in law that December 16th.
That ride in my car on the way to the hospital. Whenever someone calls you to a hospital
and will not say the reason why, you just know something bad has happened. So
alone...seeing my father in law and mother in law standing outside the emergency room
entrance as I pulled in the parking lot. On that day, I left work early to buy Christmas
gifts for my wife and my son's first Christmas. Unable to decide on my sons gift, I chose
to buy a globe of the earth. What?? A globe for a 3 month old baby?? My reasoning was that
I envisioned him as he grew wanting to learn just like I did growing up. When I arrived
home, the telephone was ringing off the hook. As a matter of habit in our household we
leave the answering machine on to screen our calls as many people surely do. However, this
night, the person trying to call was not leaving messages. Finally after about 10 minutes
the caller finally said "PAUL, IF YOU ARE THERE COME TO POCONO MEDICAL CENTER RIGHT
I picked up the phone and I could hear the sadness in the persons voice. I asked what
happened but was told I must come to the hospital to find out. As I entered the hospital
room, outside the rooms doors I saw a hospital social worker, policeman, and coroner
standing there. The rest seemed to be in slow motion. As we grow up, we are told that such
horrible things will not happen to good people. I sure learned a lesson in life.
Those nights in our empty house after three months of joy & love.
Paul Jr's changing table, crib, bedroom with no baby cries or squeals of delight. Stay
strong, keep your chin up, you have to be strong for your wife I am told. I am, I do, and
I have been, but I am just as human. I have a hole in my heart.