Haven't posted for awhile...things are good...working on our projects...slowly progressing...On the eve of Joseph & I's birthdays...I wanted to share a chapter text excerpt from TOOLS, my memoir audiobook, about my late Dad, John Occhipinti. Hope you enjoy reading it..as much as I enjoyed..living it.
Our Parents Were Young Once, Too…
My wife and I are blessed with a 21 year old daughter and a 15 year old son. We conceived our first born after one attempt with no birth control. Naturally, we felt confident that we could easily time the next birth and be successful again. Wrong! We then began traveling a painful road over the next two years to conceive a second child. We tried everything we could do following a natural course of vitamins and supplements. I also began eating Brazil nuts and molasses and drinking ginseng tea between meals. Still no luck! During this time, I remember my parents telling me many times that I was a surprise baby. My parents were nearly forty-years old, and mom had previously miscarried at least three times, from the time of my sister’s birth in 1944, till when I was conceived in 1954. In fact, her Doctor attributed Mom’s frequent morning nausea due to her gall bladder acting up. The Doctor finally ordered tests run, that proclaimed her gall bladder was fine, but she was definitely five months pregnant. Mom and Dad kept assuring us that we still could have another baby and to just be patient…and that God has his plans.
After nearly five years of our failure to conceive a second child, we visited a fertility clinic. The first month we tried to conceive was January of 1994. As soon as we pinpointed my wife’s ovulating time, we headed to the clinic where I proceeded to provide my own sperm sample to the staff for washing and insertion by tube. It was not very romantic. Still, no luck! We tried again the next month under the strangest of conditions. A major ice storm hit Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, Feb. 10th at around 10:30pm. Within two hours, the ice crushed several power grids leaving the city and most of the state without electricity. We were lucky. We could keep a fire going in the fireplace for some warmth, and managed to ride the storm and it’s consequences out. By Monday, Feb. 14th, with still no electricity, my wife announces that she is ovulating. So, we packed up and visited the fertility clinic again and repeated our earlier try. Six weeks later, Anne’s OB confirmed the earlier at home EPT kit. The Doctor then calculated our due date as November 11th. We laughed because that is my birthday. I asked the Doctor “how can you be sure?” He explained that since we knew that we conceived on Valentine’s Day at the clinic, it was an easy calculation.
At that very moment, I realized that my parents conceived me on Feb. 14th, 1954, and was almost immediately overcome with nausea myself, at the thought of my parents having sex. Anne and the Doctor laughed and tried to console me, but I still cringed at the thought. Later that night, I called my parents. I told Dad the whole story about how we conceived on Feb. 14th, and the due date being Nov. 11th. He excitedly yells in the phone, “Tommy, dat’s ya birthday!” I said, “Yeah, it is…so I guess you and mom conceived me on Feb. 14th, 1954. You guys had some Valentine’s Day celebration that night, huh?” My father said nothing at first…and then replied, “Well….to tell ya da truth, Tommy, ahhhh…..I don’t remember. Ya want I should ask ya muther?” Before I could answer him “no,” Dad added, “Nahhh, I don’t think ya muther’d remember it either!”
Now that my parents have both departed, I’m able to see them in a different light. When I think about my birthday on November 11th or my son’s birthday on November 12th (my wife’s labor started on the 11th and lasted until 2am, the next morning!), I am sweetly reminded that my parents were young once, too. They laughed, cried, dreamed, hoped, played, worked, sang, danced, and most important of all, loved.