July 5th, 2018

On Monday afternoon, Karin hurried into the bedroom holding her phone up to my face.

“Look! See the picture?!”

It was an ultrasound image.

The picture had been sent by Gabi (I’ve been spelling her name incorrectly for quite a while. I have been writing it as “Gabby”). Gabi is Hans’ fiancee, and she is soon to be the mother of their first child. The photo didn’t show much. At least it didn’t to me. Thinking back, I’m not sure if Karin and I saw ultrasound images of our children prior to birth. All I could tell from Gabi’s picture was that there was a fetus in her womb. It was a new beginning for human life, and that freaked me out a little.

Hans called after that. He discussed the upcoming birth in his usual taciturn manner. He was concerned with how medical bills would get paid (as he should be). Hans told me that he really didn’t care about the gender of the child. He just wants the kid to be healthy. I think that is a good way to look at the situation. As an aside, Hans was not a healthy baby. He had a very rough start in this world, and somehow that affects him even now.

Hans called again yesterday. He spoke exclusively to Karin. However, she insisted on having him on speaker-phone, so I heard everything. Hans went on a seemingly endless rant about gun control. He was adamant that all children learn how to handle a firearm, especially his children. He asserted that the problem with guns involved ignorance. If people knew more about guns, they wouldn’t see them as an uncontrollable evil. I tend to agree with Hans on this issue. However, once he gets wound up about firearms, he just keeps going.

Karin said something to the effect that guns should not be in the hands of people that are mentally unstable.

Hans responded hesitantly, “I’m unstable sometimes.”

Karin asked him, “Well, should you have guns?”

He replied, “I know my limits.”

Hans went on, “I had flashbacks from Iraq awhile ago. I slept that night with my AR-15. I had no ammo in it. The loaded magazine was locked up in my car outside.”

I thought about that. My oldest son needs to sleep with a rifle to feel safe.

Hans and Gabi will have a baby. I am sure that baby will get a teddy bear or something like that. The baby will sometimes cling to the stuffed animal to feel safe and secure.

His or her father may need to embrace the cold steel barrel of an AR-15 in order to sleep.







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