Tuesday, 17 May 2011

25 Years On...



Saturday 10 May 1986. The day my wife was due to give birth to our first child. When Saturday morning arrived I woke up to a bright sunny day in Aberdeen where we lived at the time. I brought Mrs Smith a cup of tea in bed and asked if she was okay. She smiled, thanked me and said she felt fine. ‘That’s good’ I said, ‘Because I’m going to the football’ Pat’s smile faded quicker than a bank manager’s bonus. ‘You mean you’re still going?’ she asked, somewhat incredulously. Time for quick thinking I thought to myself. ‘Well, yes, if you don’t mind. It is Aberdeen Hearts are playing and my mate  Graeme is giving me a lift there’ This seemed to placate my wife of less than four years. ‘But what if I need you?’ she asked. This was the tricky bit. ‘Don’t worry, darling,’ I replied, ‘I’ll phone you a couple of times to check how you are’

A couple of things here for younger readers and those who, like Pat, are not in the slightest bit interested in the beautiful game. Firstly, mobile phones were some way off general use in the mid 1980s. Those that were around tended to be used by high-flying business types and were the size of a small mid-terraced house. Therefore, my means of checking if baby Smith was on the way would be by the use of public telephones - call boxes. Secondly, I was factually correct in stating the big game was between Hearts and Aberdeen. And that my mate Graeme, an avid Aberdeen fan, would be driving me there. However, I did omit the fact that as the game was the Scottish Cup final it would be played at Hampden Park, Glasgow - 140 miles away. A fair point, I concede. I looked at it this way. Yes, my wife understandably wanted me to be present at the birth of our first child. As, indeed, did I. Nonetheless, I had to balance this up with the very real possibility that Hearts may never reach another Scottish Cup Final. I had followed the Jam Tarts for eighteen years up to this point and had never had a whiff of success. This chance might never arrive again. Whereas, there was a good chance my wife would have more children. So, off to Glasgow I scampered leaving a less than happy Mrs Smith and an outraged mother-in-law who threatened to decapitate me on my return (a tad harsh in my view)

Hearts lost the final 3-0 and it was a long journey back to Aberdeen in the company of Graeme who in the 1980s was getting used to seeing his team win cup finals. To his credit, he didn’t hang around much after the game and we headed back north in little under three hours. There I found a smouldering Mrs Smith still pregnant....

Saturday 17 May 1986. 3.25pm. Laura, a bouncing baby girl arrived and changed my life forever. It seems like yesterday - now she has three children of her own. The photo above was taken last week to celebrate Laura's daughter  - my gorgeous grand-daughter Ava's - first birthday.

Happy 25th birthday Laura. I'm proud of you.

ps thanks to those who have sent their best wishes regarding Mrs Smith's hospital admission last week. Since I last posted she was re-admitted to hospital on Saturday with more chest pains. Curiously, the large amount of tests she has had since going back in have not found anything amiss with her heart, other than it is slightly larger than normal (big-hearted Mrs Smith? Surely some mistake?) She is due to get out of hospital and return home on Wednesday, diagnosis as yet uncertain. It's a strange world we live in.

 

5 comments:

Vicky said...

Seems that the more we know about the body and the more technology... well the less we actually find out!

I know a good few years ago when I had what at the time seemed a heart related issue, I had test after test, pocked and prodded by Dr's (tho with some I didn't mind!) yet at the end of it all, after ecg's they told me that I had... well they came to a conclusion that they couldn't really say!

Sometimes when we know what an ailment is we can just get on with things, whn we don't it can sometimes fester away at us and actually cause more symptoms.

If anything, Mrs Smith's tests will have shown what it wasn't and that itself is as good as we seem to be able to get nowadays.

Adullamite said...

I find the woman wanting you to miss a cup final yet holding on to the bairn another seven days somewhat disturbing. It grates against the 'big-hearted Mrs Smith' ideal I'd say.

Still hopefully she will be home by Wednesday and she can get the place cleaned up for you. I suppose those ECG's etc have still found nothing serious? I am trying not to use the phrase 'psychological' as with women it gets a poor response. I'm grateful it is nothing obviously serious or that would show up by now.

miruspeg said...

Oh Michael you were very game travelling 140 miles away from your pregnant wife, you were so lucky she didn't drop her bundle!
But all's well that ends well as the saying goes.

You have a gorgeous family and I'll be sending big-hearted Pat much love and light so she can come home and take her position as head of the house again.

Peg xxxxxx

Mike Smith said...

Vicky - maybe it's a wummin thing!

Adullamite - quite...

Peggy - head of the house? Whit?!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Happy 25th birthday Laura-- She's beautiful and so is her family.

Hope Mrs. Smith is on the mend and they get tot he bottom of things.

Cheers, jj