Thursday, October 14, 2010

There's no substitute for you

No two snowflakes are exact. No two sets of fingerprints are the same either. When you consider all the fallen snow and the children been born, none can take the place as another before them. Picking up where one left off or starting over, none can take the place of anyone that preceded it. Not one. Truly, there's no substitute for you.

We know that’s exactly what Bairo Avolos subconsciously had racing through his mind Tuesday as the seven year old son of Florencio Avalos the first man rescued from the depths of that mine in Chile.

Hard hats adorned Bairo and his family along with Chilean president and scores of tireless volunteers anxiously awaited the return of Bairo’s father trapped in that mine for a harrowing 69 days. Camera crews caught everything from workers, rigging, volunteers and family but the cameraman knew where to point the camera at the right time - on Bairo - Florencio’s anxious son.

In the recesses of their hearts the cameraman and film crew knew intuitively as well - There’s no substitute for you.

To the wonderment of Bairo and everyone waiting topside the capsule slowly rose, ascended to its peak and workers frantically but cautiously worked to open the capsule door and release Florencio to his family. With a loud inaudible burst of expectancy, Bairo let everyone know, “I want to see my daddy!” His father was released to his son’s joyful and rapid embrace. Together again, kissing and hugging, Bairo and his daddy were finally reunited.

Joy. Peace. Resolution.

The same was true for Michael five years ago. The father of two, married to a loving wife he was working hard and paying bills. He remembered the rough time his wife experienced with their last pregnancy. The depression that overtook her, the mood swings. It was just too much.

He discovered his wife is pregnant with a third and he quickly developed a plan to cut it off. You know, before there's a chance the pattern would repeat. Michael had plans to move back to Arizona. Another child would simply get in the way of that plan. Not to mention his wife's depression, migraines and mood swings. Nope, not gonna go there.

His wife shows up at a local pregnancy care center wanting to keep the child. Afraid that her husband will leave her if she does not get the abortion he's scheduled. She anxiously seeks the help of a male mentor who agrees to meet with Michael and hear his side of the story.

With permission the male mentor meets Michael at home where the two trade stories of each other’s lives, especially Michael’s dreams. At the right moment the mentor pointedly asked Michael to confirm his wife's fear about an impending abortion, abandonment and more.

Mike balked, side stepped the issue altogether and desperately tried to move on, but the mentor would not let go. He knew the young family he’s working with could end up with a major wound that might never heal, emotionally. Instead the mentor digs in and presses Michael with deeper probing questions. He digs tirelessly like the mineworker rescue team.

Michael confesses he thinks another pregnancy would deter to the young couple from his ultimate plans. Acknowledging his concerns and bridging the gap between Michael and his wife the mentor then presents the family a plan of physical, medical and spiritual support - another option. Three days later Michael’s wife calls the mentor to say, “He cancelled the appointment at Planned Parenthood.”

Out of the woods? Not hardly. Days after their decision they discover there might be ‘complications’ - Turner’s Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome or worse. A geneticist places the couple’s pregnancy on high-risk after viewing a least favorable 4D ultrasound and cell tests taken from the mother’s placenta. She sends them home with her best wishes. Yet Michael and his wife prepare for a miscarriage. Not far off what families hear during a trapped miner rescue effort - “Beware, trouble ahead”.

Michael’s original thoughts return to tempt him, “End it now, save yourself the suffering.” Against his normal instincts Michael along with his wife and mentor openly discuss the situation. Under Michael’s leadership they decide to forge ahead with the pregnancy. Mike realizes no one can take his place of leadership for his family, regardless the issues and odds stacked against them. Figuratively Michael must dig.

Seven and a half months later Michael’s son Vincent is born with not a single solitary medical issue. Beaming and wiggling for joy Michael’s baby thrives. Like the mine working rescue team the doctors, geneticists and even Michael’s mentor stand in awe. Yet not Michael, holding his son Vincent and glowing he makes the connection, “Son, there’s no substitute for you.” Undoubtedly over time, hearing his father’s story - to take a stand against all odds- Vincent will learn of his father, ‘Dad, there’s no substitute for you.”

Because I believe there's no substitute for you,

Kurt Ramspott - Founder

Guys For Life

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