Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Nick Macy at Forty
by Pa Rock
Forty years ago today I was at Camp Kue Army Hospital on Okinawa awaiting the birth of my first child, Nicholas Karl Macy. Nick was already about two weeks overdue, and he chose that warm and sunny Tuesday afternoon to make his big entrance into the world.
That was back in the days when some doctors, and military doctors in particular, didn’t want fathers cluttering up the delivery room, so I was parked in a small waiting room just outside of Delivery. Nick was a big boy (nine pounds) and his arrival necessarily took awhile. I remember that I had a headache and the nurses wouldn’t dispense aspirins, so a doctor had to step out of the delivery room and hand me a couple of headache tablets. The other thing I remember is that I spent my time watching reruns of Sanford and Son until Nick finally decided to leave his secure and warm world to venture into real life.
(I had the opportunity to revisit that waiting room on the fifth floor of Camp Kue Hospital while I was recently living and working on Okinawa. As I stepped out of the elevator I immediately faced the waiting room door – and I was just as immediately transported back nearly forty years. The room was exactly as I remembered it – except of a wall-mounted flat screen television which had replaced the older, clunky one that I had watched then. Several years ago Camp Kue Army Hospital was turned over to the Navy and renamed Lester Naval Hospital. The old, original building has closed since I left Okinawa a year ago, and military personnel and their families who require medical care are now seen at the new Lester Naval Hospital which is located at Camp Foster – a Marine Corps base.)
But back to Nick. He began school in Mountain View, Missouri, and attended there through fourth grade. Starting in fifth grade he attended the Noel (Missouri) Elementary and Junior High School where he had the burden-to-bear of being the principal’s son. We moved to Neosho, Missouri, in 1989, and Nick managed to graduate from high school there in 1991 amid a great deal of family conflict.
Nick now has a fourteen-year-old son of his own whom he raises on a half-time basis as a single parent. Life has not always been easy for my oldest, but through it all he has remained a good person and a great parent – and he has always made me proud.
Happy birthday, Nick.