A Recent Trip to ORD
A few weeks ago I was working with my trainer early in the morning when I learned that my sister had given birth. I disregarded the no call policy in the gym and learned that my nephews name is Will. On the phone my Dad was upset that he had to be in San Francisco that week so I offered to fly home and spend some time with my mother and sister until he could arrive. I booked a flight to Chicago and somewhat reluctantly made the drive to Denver. Reluctantly because I attracted speeding tickets like a moth to a flame, I hate long drives and I hate airports more than the sum combined. Nevertheless I set out and later that evening I landed at O’Hare. After picking up my car on the way into the city, I called my sister and spoke to her for the first time since she had a son. She asked that I refrain from visiting for a few hours to allow her and her boyfriend time to rest. Notwithstanding my acquiescence to that request, I was very anxious to see her and my nephew. I can’t explain why.
I picked my mother up at her hotel and we walked over to Northwestern Memorial, a hospital where 7+ months ago I had once dropped my sister off for work, in a city where 7+ months ago I had been living a very different life. Now I was coming back, sober, with a nephew and a new, incredibly more fulfilling life in Colorado. Unlike my Mother I ignored the receptionist imploring us to check in and marched toward the elevator. I was on a mission. I got to my sisters room and was touched by how happy she was in spite of looking like she hadn’t slept in a month.
Katie took me upstairs to see Will at 11 pm. This was apparently when he ate dinner. (I used to eat pretty late too.) He was in the NICU due to his month premature arrival on earth. We all had to wash our hands before we entered his room and it was at this point I felt emotional. I thought of his vulnerability and worried for him. I composed myself and went into his room. Katie let me hold him right away and I sat with him for about an hour. I never liked kids before and I certainly didn’t understand why babies seemed to attract people. At this point however, I was hooked. He was remarkable. Had I still been drinking and using drugs I would have missed this moment. I was grateful to be sober and be present for my sister and my little nephew. To this day, about a month later, I receive pictures of him from Katie every day. When I don’t get the pictures I feel cheated, and often find myself looking at his pictures in my free time. I suppose I adore the little guy and I certainly feel connected to him. I seriously doubt that if I hadn’t fought through my own personal hell to get sober I would have been able to appreciate the gravity of his little life, and I certainly wouldn’t have been a participant in it.