Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pierson Robert Rader

Hey Pierson. It's your Grandfather. Or Papa is what I'm sure you'll call me one day.

But let's talk about today, your birthday. Tuesday, March 4, 2014. You were only 30 minutes late according to me. I always thought you would come meet us at 3:21––and was really hoping for it to be PM and not AM––but instead you showed up around 3:51pm. Your Mom & Dad said you were ears out about 3-4 times but didn't want to get outta there. I don't blame you. It gets rough out here sometimes. We'll have plenty of time to talk about that later.

I've been waiting for you. So has your Grandma, Teresa. You're going to love her like I loved my GranMarie. Your Big Sister Madison calls her Grandma T. She's the best Grandma ever, the kind of Grandma everyone wants because she loves her children so much.

I almost didn't make it to see you in this life. That fucking disease, cancer, tried to kill me. Twice. Oh, and you're going to learn two things right now about being a Johnston––that's on your Mom's side, I'm your Mom's Daddy––is we have a tendency to cuss and we're as tough as they come. Wait until I tell you about your Grandpa David. Your Mom will tell you, too. The man with nine lives. Your Mom's tough. She got the tip of her finger caught in the spokes of your Uncle Ryan's bike. Cut the tip almost completely off. She hardly cried, as I held her in my arms while your Great Papa Chuck burned out the emergency brake on the way to the hospital. In Mexico. But I'll tell you that story a hundred times.

I got to hold you in my arms today. It was one of the best things I have ever done. You were so calm as I rocked you back and forth. I told you who I was. That we were going to be best friends. And talk sports. I felt a connection so deep I can't explain. Just like I did when I cut the cord for your Mom when she was born and I got to hold her. It's a feeling I will never be able to explain. (And I call myself a writer).

You know what's really cool? You, your Dad, your Papa and your Great Papa David have the same middle name. Your name is the most important thing you have. Your Dad, Spenser, loves you so much he really took his time working with your Mom, Kaity, to give you your name. Your Uncle Travis had a name in a dream. I'll let him tell you that story. You have a great name. You have the chance to be great, at whatever you do.

The rest of the family is so eager to see you. Your Grandma Angie––you also have a Great Aunt Angie––was there but your Grandpa Roger is in England. He'll have lots of stories for you too. Uncle Adam came to see you but they wouldn't let him. Your Sister had to peek through the window because there's a flu epidemic. Why? Well it was 4 degrees this morning. Yes, 4. I know it's still winter. But 4? 4 should be your number. Your the 4th Grandchild, from the 4th child of your Grandparents born on March 4. (Your Papa is a numbers geek. You will be too).

I love you, my Grandson. I will always be there for you. Whether you can see me or not. By the way, don't be pissed I posted this pic of you. I couldn't help it.

It reminded me of me.