Friday, May 16, 2014

But Those Dreams Have Remained And They've Turned Around

Amanda, Gabriel and Jiichan

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
Luke 1:19

This is the moment where life and death meet. This is what we are - warriors. 
Worf - Star Trek: The Next Generation

There's so many emotions when it comes the birth of my second grandchild. Gabriel's life has been anything but ordinary. My daughter, Amanda, had severe complications at seven months that it required emergency c-section to keep her alive. At first, I was so scared for Gabriel. I knew he would be so little and his life would be at stake. But the little guy showed that he was tough and ready to enter the world and he would be able to survive just fine. Considering the circumstances, his progress has been extremely uneventful. He's just plain growing and getting stronger as the days go by. In my eyes, I see him as having the heart of a warrior. In geek terms, he has received the birthright of a true Klingon. To his successful arrival I give a hearty "Qaplah!"

The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.
Miguel de Cervantes

Gabriel's name was decided a while before his birth and so I find it quite prophetic that his middle name is Phoenix. It show so much of how God does bring forth things from the ashes and "rebirths" them. My grandson has been birthed from some very difficult circumstances. Like his mother, he has risen above. I can't say too much of how proud I am of him knowing that he is a fighter and survivor.

In honor of his birth, here's the list of interesting events and births on his day, April 26th:

1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster.

121 – Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor (d. 180)
1564 – William Shakespeare, English poet, playwright and actor (d. 1616)
1900 – Hack Wilson, American baseball player (d. 1948)
1942 – Bobby Rydell, American singer and actor
1943 – Gary Wright, American singer-songwriter, keyboard player
1955 – Mike Scott, American baseball player
1960 – Steve Lombardozzi, American baseball player and coach
1963 – Jet Li, Chinese-Singaporean martial artist, actor, and producer
1965 – Kevin James, American actor, screenwriter, and producer
1977 – Kosuke Fukudome, Japanese baseball player

1984 – Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1904)
1989 – Lucille Ball, American actress and producer (b. 1911)

I mention these two people's passing as they have a connection to the family. I share my birthday with Count Basie and was going to see his band perform at UC Davis in 1984. He took ill a few days before the performance and passed away soon after. Lucille Ball is by far my favorite comedienne as my mom, Gabriel's great grandmother had a very similar sense of humor. I hope that some of what was her, will be in him.

I have to admit that whenever I hear his name I track back to one of my favorite TV shows as a kid: Welcome Back Kotter. I guess the only Gabe I can think of is Gabe Kotter (aka Gabe Kaplan). The theme song for the show rings in my ear although very little of it could apply to my grandson. I guess that continues to reinforce that I'm becoming the old crazy grandpa!

My hope is that with a grandson, we can take in ball games, play catch, go to the gun range, ride motorcycles and play catch. I know that he's the son of two artists so he may end up being more interested in "right brain" things. That's just fine with me. I'm hoping whatever the activity is, it's quality time spent. I want him to know how much I love him and that through all of what he's already been through, I'm proud of him. He is my second generation Ichiro. I hope that he knows that he's number one in my heart.
My Friends Toasting And Sharing Cigars To Celebrate Gabriel's Birth

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