I Remember it Like it was Yesterday

I remember exactly what I was doing 21 years ago today. I was out on Maternity Leave from my first architectural job, patiently waiting for my first-born to show up. It’s about ten days late at this point. No matter, though. I’m busy. I have lots to do.

I was the Superintendent of Sunday School for my church, St. Barnabas Lutheran. I had no kids in Sunday School, but I had been a teacher since I was 16, so it was only natural that when the previous Super “retired” I would step in and take her place. I say “retired” because really, can one retire from a volunteer job? And if memory serves correctly, we kind of forced her out- she wasn’t really on the ball when it came to running the Sunday School. Big deal, you say? It’s once a week on Sunday, learning about Jesus. Yes, but it was a very large Sunday School and she wasn’t ordering the materials or doing any of the admin work required. So I usurped her and ended up doing fun stuff like holding a carnival.

On October 30th we were going to have the first Carnival! Since it would be the day before Halloween, all the kids were invited to wear their costumes and come and play games of chance and try for this ENORMOUS teddy bear we were raffling off. Kathy (my best friend at the time and Assistant Superintendent) and I made all the games- bean bag toss, fishing, knock ’em down- about 12 games in all. It was going to be held in the basement of the church. I spent all day today, 21 years ago, up on a ladder hanging streamers and crawling around on the floor placing tape for the games. Kathy realized we didn’t have tickets so we went shopping after dinner to Green Acres- Dennison’s- and bought tickets and some more prizes.

The basement looked awesome! It was colorful and happy. Our friends were going to run the booths. We had bought the prizes in a wholesale warehouse out in Babylon-stuffed animals, penny prizes, a whole bag of them. I really think this was start of my love of party planning- and I didn’t even have kids yet!

I was exhausted by the time we got home. It was really late. My feet hurt from carrying around that extra 25 pounds of baby weight. My back was sore. I didn’t mind though- I was 25 years old, in good shape and totally excited for the next day. I went to bed drained, but happy.

At around 3:00 am, I woke up with really bad back pains. They would come and go sporadically. They weren’t steady; if they were I would have suspected labor pains. But I didn’t think I was in labor- I had things to do!

By 8:00 am they started coming faster and harder. My then-husband called the doctor and it was suggested that I go to the hospital, which was in Syosset, about 45 minutes away. I called Kathy and broke the news to her that I wouldn’t be at the carnival and she would have to run it herself. Later I found out how annoyed she was.

To be continued tomorrow…

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