By Kenneth Stepp
Today is a typical Saturday. The day for track meets and kids visiting my kids, the day to sit, think, and occasionally write. I remember when times were different. First, I was younger and in good shape. Some memories even portray me with hair. But I have some memories that were about my kids. I’m in them, but my kids are the stars of them.
When my daughter, Kathryn was born. We had a great pregnancy. It was just perfect. But near the due date my wife began bleeding. I do not freak out when things like this happen. The “worst case” just doesn’t enter my mind. We went to the hospital, as it was just a few days from the due date. They took one look and rushed my wife off to Neonatal Care. Now I was worried. After a short amount of time the doctor came to talk to me. “Mr Stepp. “We can save your wife but the baby is in distress” . It’s funny how much of an impact the word “but” can have. My knees literally buckled. I had read to this child, talked to her, and as horrible as I sang, I sang to this baby. I already loved her. All I could do was sit, cry, and wait. Seconds turned to minutes and on it went. Praying and calling others to pray was my way of processing.
All of the sudden the surgical team came out. The doctor himself came through the door with the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. I will never forget that moment. The moment when my little girl lived. Somewhere there exists a picture of me leaning back in a chair eyes closed holding Kathryn. It was about 15 minutes later. That was a favorite memory.
When my son Daniel was born times were tough. I ran a small business and had almost no money at all. He was an amazing little boy. I use to follow him around the house just watching how his mind worked. My thoughts about his intellect were correct. He did turn out to be a verified genius. Stellar as a matter of fact. One day when he was 3 years old. I was sitting in the living room and I could hear Kathryn and him playing in the hallway. “It’s broken” Kathryn exclaimed. There was a brief pause. “Daddy fix it” Daniel said confidently. As I sat thinking about his statement I realized he thought far more than he should of a man with feet of clay. But it felt awfully good at that moment. That was a favorite memory.
My son, Samuel and I use to pray together every morning in the same place. On our knees in front of the love seat in our den. As he got older our schedules changed, he entered his teens and I lost my prayer partner. One day in the early morning before I started waking everyone for school, i was in that spot praying quietly, lights off, on my knees, still dark outside. I heard someone come downstairs, I got quieter but continued. Knowing no one could see me where I was, I just thought i’d finish up. All of the sudden I felt someone beside me. It was my son, now a teen and struggling to be cool. Just assumed his old spot. That was a favorite memory.
In November of 2011 my father passed away. Up until 3 or 4 months before he passed away I thought he was doing fine. You see they lived in Kentucky on the Stepp Farm with my brothers. They all built fine homes a distance from each other. Really, a nice place. I went to see dad and no sooner was I back in Atlanta my brother called with the news he was gone. I had no idea what the flood of memories would do to me. I just wept. He was my strong man. He defined what a man was to me and unconditional love. I was picking Sarah Beth up at school. She was 16. I got myself together but just couldn’t quite keep myself there. I just started crying again. Sarah Beth immediately put one arm around my neck and began praying the most beautiful prayer I had ever heard. She was telling God about me. “This man”, over and over reminding me how much she loved me and all the things I did in her life. I was moved, humbled, and forever touched. That was a favorite memory.
Take just a few moments and remember yours. It is truly an experience I hope to repeat often. I have more, but these were standouts for me.