The Little Warrior, February 1980

One of the transcendant experiences of my life is illustrated by this photograph. This is my son, Orion, only a month old, rallying from his biggest battle. My wife, Mary, in the early morning on his fifth day of life, sleeping with her newborn, felt his breathing stop. He would have been a SIDS fatality, but she caught it…. He was intubated and eventually rescued, but not before many days of struggle with pnuemonia and other complications. Nothing prepares a parent for a life and death struggle of his infant. Nothing is as traumatic and profoundly difficult, on every level. Nothing will teach you to pray to whatever Higher Being or Principle you believe in more humbly, or directly…. Orion is fine now, a wonderful 25 year old man with eyes as bright as anyone I know. Sometimes horribly difficult experiences make those who survive stronger and closer than they would ever have been had life unfolded uneventfully. It’s always hard to see that at the time. Often things turn out quite the opposite of what they initially seem to be.

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