My first Valentine

I was just born a month early…and so tiny. They put me in an incubator and dried up my mother’s milk. They told my parents I wouldn’t live out the night. My mother refused to see me, but my father wanted to see me. They told him I would be under 5 ft tall, I would be muscularly challenged and mentally handicapped…
They had me hooked up to all sorts of tubes And later he told me I had looked like a naked rat.
When he went back upstairs in the hospital to my mother’s room he told her what I looked like and what the doctor said. She asked him what they would do with me… He looked at her and said “She’s ours! We’re going to love her.”

Ollie wasn’t a perfect man. He battled alcoholism most of his adult life, but conquered his addiction in the end and although he wasn’t shown it by his parents he loved my sister and I fiercely.
When I was a teenager I couldn’t see it for awhile…what teenager sees anything beyond their own nose? But he loved me and tried to share with me the things he loved, cars, music, his wisdom and life experience and most of all his faith.
He loved and tried to live his Catholic faith and didn’t hesitate to tell us when we weren’t making it but gently, with great practicality and of course humor.
He allowed me into his heart to witness his moment of total conversion and surrender to the Lord shortly before he died.
I am the person I am today because Ollie B loved me from that first moment i breathed and before. I will always be grateful he was my first Valentine.
May he and all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in Peace! Amen.

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