Monday, February 12, 2007

What a life

When the little baby was born two and a-half months premature, they told his mother he wouldn't likely make it through the night. Back then, after all, the advanced technology that we enjoy today in caring for premature babies was hardly thought of. Doctors had every reason to believe the struggling little stick of a baby wouldn't make it very long.

The baby's mother pleaded with God "okay, if you want to take him, I can accept that," she said, "if you let him live, I will take good care of him."

The baby lived.

At three, they said "this child will not walk, he will not have much of a life." One opinion was not good enough. That little boy was pretty smart for a three-year old. He remembered the doctor who said that all of his life, and the day that it was said.

At five, some doctors wanted to try an experimental procedure on the little boy. Nowadays it is a pretty common procedure for kids who have the little boy's condition, and it has a reasonable success rate. In those days it was something quite new.

After the surgery, they put the little boy in a body cast. He had terrible muscle spasms for the six weeks that he was in the cast. It was a sign that the procedure may be working. After the cast was removed, they made the little boy sleep in the splint for another six weeks, and have even more spasms.

The little boy had several months (and years after that) of pretty exhaustive therapy, but he did, in fact, learn to walk. Not perfect, by any means, but better than not walking at all.

Then the little boy wanted to be in a regular classroom, with other "regular" children. Many other people did not want him there, but he got there and he stayed there.

A lot of people didn't think the little boy would grow up, go to college, get married, or have much of a life. But he did grow up, he moved out on his own, went to college, got married, bought a home, and he writes a lot. He has a fondness for politics, and a lot of well-connected people look at him and say "who the Heck is this guy," but they keep waiting to see what he will say and do next.

His life has been far from perfect, and he has had plenty of bumps in the road, but if you asked him he might tell you that for the most part, he has still managed to thoroughly enjoy himself.

And it all started 31 years ago today, and I made it through the night.

What a life.



At Monday, February 12, 2007 2:06:00 PM, Blogger Brian Hornback said...

You and Abe Lincoln. Happy Birthday, my friend. You have been a blessing and an inspiration.

At Monday, February 12, 2007 4:54:00 PM, Blogger TheRep said...

Two great leaders who both write muchh better the I. Happy birthday!!!

At Monday, February 12, 2007 4:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday David, I'm glad you made it too: I had the feeling as I started reading the story was about you.

At Monday, February 12, 2007 6:06:00 PM, Blogger Mike Faulk said...

A. C. Kleinheider has nicknamed you "Honey Bunches of Oatney". I actually like that because I have Honey Bunches of Oats regularly. They always make me smile - as do you. I'm betting you made your Mama smile a lot, too.

Happy Birthday, David.

At Monday, February 12, 2007 6:47:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

From one "preme" to another. . . Happy Birthday, my good friend, and may we enjoy many, many more!

At Monday, February 12, 2007 6:51:00 PM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Happy Birthday, Dave!
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

At Monday, February 12, 2007 11:32:00 PM, Anonymous Adam Graham said...

A man of the South like you born on the same day as Lincoln. *shock* ButHappy birthday and great story.

At Tuesday, February 13, 2007 7:45:00 AM, Blogger Rob Huddleston said...

Dave -

Happy Birthday! See y'all Saturday!



At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 10:05:00 AM, Blogger DigiHairshirt said...

Now, Dave, you have yourself a great birthday. Doctors! What do they know, anyway?!?!

God works in mysterious ways . . .

At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 3:51:00 PM, Blogger Kleinheider said...

In the words of Huddle House, "Cheers."

Happy Birthday, Mr. Oatney.

At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 6:18:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I want to thank everyone for such heartfelt wishes. I count every one of you as friends, and you all do me a great honor.

I appreciate you.


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