I remember just being home with my mom, Joann, and dad, Ralph Sr. I was just a little kid, as far as I remember. I was playing in the living room of our one-bedroom, half a double-shotgun house. As I was playing, I heard Mom yell out to Dad with panic in her voice, "Ralph! Ralph! The baby stopped breathing!" Just as my dad jumped up and grabbed the baby, I jumped up, too, and I was right behind my dad. He was shaking the baby, tapping the baby's face, and doing all he could think of to try to get the baby to start breathing again. Of course, the baby was turning blue, and my mom was really getting ready to lose it. My dad took the baby through the short hallway, with me right behind him all the way, past the bathroom, through the kitchen, and out the back door. Holding the baby tightly, my dad thrust the child into the cold air, and the baby began to breath. My mom was bringing up the rear behind me, and she saw the child was getting air and getting his color back. She was in tears, but they were happy tears at this point because all was well with her little son. That's how I saw it, anyway.
It's a memory that has been with me forever. If you're waiting for some super exciting ending to this story, well, I could make one up, but I won't do that. Fast forward to 2011, and I was sitting around the table at my home with my daughters, DeShaun, Dayna, and DeAnna. Also at the table was my mother, who lived with us at that point. We were all just taking it easy and started to take turns telling stories and talking about old memories. I ended up telling my girls the same story I just told you. This was the first time I had ever discussed this event with my mom. I never had the need to because I knew she knew the story. After all, she was there. I finished the story and Mom looked at me and said, "Lil Ralph, that's amazing." I said, "I know, huh? Lucky for my little brother that it was cold that day, right?" My mom said, "Very lucky for the cold; but Lil Ralph, that wasn't your brother. That was you. You were the baby." "Are you sure?" I asked. She said, "Sure I'm sure. You were my first born and you were my only child at that time." I felt like the breath had been knocked out of me. "What? So you mean to tell me that I didn't follow my dad? I was right behind him. I could see him holding the baby. I followed him out the back door. I saw it all." She said, "Well, that is exactly how it happened, but there is no way you could have ran behind your daddy because he was holding you – my only child at the time. You must have had an out-of-body experience. That's the only explanation." I never really believed all that much in that kind of thing, but after that conversation with my mom, I kind of believe it now. Wow. An out-of-body experience? I always thought it was my little brother. So that had to be the year 1960, when I was born. And so my life begins...
© ralph lherisse, 2018. All rights reserved.