Personal Impact

Joseph McClure
Comm. Skills 1

There hasn’t been anyone who has had a larger impact on my life than my son, Damian.   Since he was a small child, he has taught me strength, endurance and empathy and he continues to teach me daily lessons on how to apply these traits to life.   I knew from the day he was born, my life had changed and would continue to grow and change just as the seasons change each year.   As I look back on our journey of almost ten years, I didn’t realize then how much he would change my life in unexpected ways.
I was a paramedic for three years when I found out I was going to be a father.   I didn’t have a preference of a boy or a girl; I was just concerned about the baby’s general health.   However, when I found out he was a boy I swelled with the pride of a lion.   Having a medical background, I asked the doctor if I could deliver my son.   He thought about it and said, “I guess that would be okay.”   This added responsibility would further heighten my anticipation of Damian’s arrival.   I was like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, and he made it a long wait.  
It was three days past Damian’s due date and I was growing impatient; when the doctors finally decided to induce.   He was going to teach me my first lesson of strength and endurance that night as I waited for the medicine to progress his delivery.   I waited quietly like a hunter in a tree stand as doctors and nurses monitored his progress.   I knew it was time, when the smell of rubbing alcohol and iodine wafted into the room like a thick fog over the San Francisco bay.   I was scared, but I knew I had to do it.   Somehow I found the strength to deliver my son and this formed a bond as strong as super glue.   His tiny body resting in my arms, made me feel like a hero.   To this day, I look back on that moment as a monumental achievement because Damian had already given me strength I didn’t know I had.
Thinking that the hard part was over, I took in the emotions around me and I was...