top of page


Death saunters into a room touching things that does not belong to her. Sometimes it's in the quiet of the night, others are violently during a crime.  I use the pronoun her because only a woman is that unpredictable. 

If death was a man we could plan out our entire lives knowing when and where he would show up.  Most likely kicking in the door with a huge D on his chest.  But noooo...the death I imagine is a woman.  Mysterious.

Clearly she's never tapped on my shoulder if I am typing this. I can however recount two near death experiences in my life.  The first one was a couple of years ago.  I was standing in my kitchen talking to my wife on the phone as she drove home from work. I was scarfing down leftover ribs with the fridge door open (bad habit). "See you in a bit dear", she said as we hung up. Not a minute later I swallowed and the meat didn't move too far. It was lodged in my throat.  I couldn't breathe. People say when you're this close to death your life flashes before your eyes. Not me. Everything stopped. In between desperate coughing attempts and swallows to dislodge the meat I prayed.  "Dear God. Please don't let me die. This isn't about me, but my wife".  I was thinking she can't walk in and find me dead on the kitchen floor with bbq sauce all over my face.  Seconds later, eyes welling up with tears, gasping for air...I coughed up the meat. I fell to my knees crying and shaking with fear.  I crawled to the sofa and managed to pull myself up enough to rest my head. My wife walked in a few moments later and I cried more. It wasn't fear anymore it was gratitude.  I felt death's presence , but clearly dodged her touch.

The second time was having Jax. I've heard that childbirth is the closest thing a woman comes to death.

To actually experience pain on this level was something totally different. 

I'm nine months pregnant and our son was due any day now. Around 11pm on December 9, 2015 I had minor back pains. It wasn't unbearable so I went to sleep. I woke up at around 4:15am to use the bathroom and noticed my mucus plug in the toilet. We called the doctor and she said as long as my water hadn't broke not to be alarmed. 4:45am I went to the bathroom again and noticed a tinge of blood. My wife said, "let's go".

We live about 40 minutes from the hospital so I was a tad bit nervous.  25 minutes into the drive my water broke. We were sitting at a light to the highway entrance when I felt a little pop. (like I had been sitting on a balloon) I felt the seat get warm and my sweat pants get wet.  This is not the labor I envisioned.  Fear set in because I thought Jax would be born on the side of the highway. Now contractions were coming about every 10 minutes. I was in full labor. I couldn't even sit upright in the chair.  Until that moment a toothache was the worst pain I've ever had. Nothing prepares you for a contraction. Not yoga. Not Lamaze classes. NOTHING. 

We pulled up to the hospital around 5:30am and an attendant comes out with a wheelchair.  He wheels me in and by now I'm looking for the Doctor with the drugs. You see we took a hospital tour and I was instructed at which point to request pain medication. The nurses had me get undressed and hooked me up to the baby monitor. As I am taking off my sweats to put on the hospital gown another gush of water comes down my legs.  My knees began to buckle. They get me laid down on the stretcher as the on call Doctor walks in.

I look him in the eyes and say, "I need something for the pain".  I could barely speak. He says, "Okay Mrs. Callender let me examine you first". After a brief vaginal examine he looks over to the nurse and says, "WE HAVE TO GO". I'm like go where?! Where are my meds? Before I knew it there was a team of nurses and the doctor running wheeling me to the elevator to Labor and Delivery. In between the painful contractions I look up and see my wife trailing behind trying to maintain eye contact. Once we get to Labor and Delivery and the real fun begins.

The pain is unbearable and I feel like I'm going to pass out at any moment. Again I request pain meds, but the doctor is too busy barking orders at the nurses. So much is happening. They are gowning him up, setting up IV's and hooking me up to a vital signs monitor. But where are my meds?! It was then he broke the news to me. "It's too late for that". Too late? No one said anything about too late. This is the point where my cheese totally slipped off my cracker. I lost my entire mind in a screaming panic. Ya'll know that scene in the movie Airplane where the woman is losing her shit and folks are lining up to slap her?  *raises hand* that was me.  As I'm yelling how I can't do this my wife grabs my face and says, "You don't have a choice". I look over and ask the nurses for help. I promise I screamed for Jesus and all of his disciples.  No one showed up.  If anything the contractions got closer and more painful.  I felt the urge to move my bowels. The doctor looks me in the eye and says, "Mrs. Callender you can do this, but I need you to hold it".  Hold what? This baby is coming. Let me tell you all a little secret. In the tip of your pinky finger is your last bit of strength. It's your super power. When you think you can't do anything else it's there. I tried to gather my wits during the 5 minute break in between contractions. Then the doctor instructed me to push one good time.  I never closed my eyes. As I pushed I felt my soul leave my body, hover over me and watch the process. I promise you it felt like I died for the 3 minutes as I passed life through my body. Jax Delano Callender was born December 10, 2015 at 5:56am. As my wife cut the cord my soul came back into my body and I was able to focus and see the tears of joy on her face. I gave birth with no meds. I'm sure death was present. Hospitals are one of her favorite places. 

People never want to discuss death. Why is that? But once that person is gone we whisper in phone conversations about how they died. We make rude comments on Social Media pretending we care when all I see is.."OMG that was my cousin's sister's friend. What happened to her?". We never know when Madam Death will waltz into our presence and run her cold hands across our cheeks. The best thing we can do is be prepared.

Put your last wishes in writing or your family will fight over everything. EVERYTHING

Go Fund me is not life insurance. If you have insurance on your cell phone insure your life as well.

Get check ups regularly. Mental ones included. It's okay to need a mental break.

Stop using vacation days for chores. If you can't afford a trip. Sit at home, relax. Go for walks. Do local activities. Read a book. All libraries and parks are free. So are museums and zoos on certain days. 

If you aren't prepared to give your life for your child don't have a baby.

Oh and chew your food!


Musings of...
Life Lessons
Everyday STUFF
she is me...

Legacy  Legacy Legacy

Jax Callender

"More that just a cute kid"

The Callender Grp LLC

"Life begins at home"

bottom of page