The Story of Gary
Gary Gibson likes Facebook.
Even more than I like it. And I’m a hardcore junkie. He likes that he’s met so many “cool people” on the social network, people he’d never have met otherwise. People like me!
Gary likes Facebook, but he loves his family on a whole other level. His son Brandon is 7. He also has a daughter, Melissa, 30. Gary is 54.
He never thought he and wife, Char, would have children together. Char had 5 miscarriages before they received the blessing of Brandon. People often ask Gary if he is Brandon’s grandpa. Well, sometimes they ask. More often, they assume. Gary gets a kick out of that.
He was 36 when he got married to Char. She was 28. When Brandon was born, he was 47, and Char was 40. They were very surprised at first that she was even pregnant to begin with. “We had given up trying just because of her physical nature. Didn’t use any kind of birth control - didn’t think it was feasible. I was probably more excited than she was. The biggest concern at that point was, is she going to be able to carry it?” Due to all of Char’s miscarriages, the couple was very nervous about the pregnancy.
“For a lot of those years before Brandon happened…quite honestly, I…wasn’t too ‘gung ho’…for some reason years later…a month or two before Brandon…I had been doing some soul searching….realizing I’d been pretty selfish…started to pray about it pretty hard…if it happened, I told God I’d be the best husband and father I could be…” Gary is concentrating hard as he relives those heartfelt prayers he sent God’s way before Brandon was born.
“I feel very strongly that it’s because of my own desire and mental framework…I prayed and I was sincere about it…it’s been a blessing at my age now,” Gary says.
Of his first child, Melissa, he says, “I was a single father when she was growing up…I wasn’t a good father…when she was 4 or 5 her mother gave me custody. I raised her all those years…I really just wasn’t ready,” he admits. “When I got custody of Missy I was married, but it wasn’t Missy’s mother. It was a strain on my marriage.” Gary says that although the fact that he had a child didn’t cause his first divorce, it did prove difficult. “With Brandon, of course you learn…”
“For the most part,” Gary attests, “I think I’ve done a good job…I wouldn’t give him up for the world. But I think about, if it’s fair to him…” his voice trails off as he refers to his being an older parent and starting the child-rearing process all over again.
There have been other obstacles in the course of Gary’s marriage to Char. “My wife just had her second knee replacement. Before we started dating, she was in a major car accident. A propane truck ran a four-way stop and broadsided her, crushed her right foot. She walked with a pretty bad limp…it caused arthritis in her knees. The second replacement was worse,” he says. I can tell by the way he speaks of Char that he loves her very deeply.
Despite the trials life has presented, the unknown factors with pregnancy, the physical and emotional pain a severe accident brings into one’s life, and the ups and downs of fatherhood, “Right now life’s good,” Gary says.
“I take it day by day. I don’t take anything for granted.”
I always look forward to Gary’s Facebook posts.