Sunday, January 10, 2016

"There's Nothing Like it"

When our son, William and his wife, Mary Kate announced to us their pregnancy we were thrilled to say the least!  Our first grandchild!  No, wait, there’s two?!? Twins!

For months we have been anticipating their arrival and entering into that holy fraternity of GRANDPARENTHOOD.  Dozens of already established members of this wonderful society told us repeatedly, “There’s nothing like it!” or “If I had known it would be this much fun I’d have had my grands first.”

I can now say, “THERE’S NOTHING LIKE IT!”  If you follow me, Susan, William, Mary Kate, Ragan or any other relative or friend of ours you have encountered numerous pictures posted to the wonderful world of Facebook.  Gone are the days of photographs with film and having to wait a week for development.  Praise be to God!  Today there is instant gratification and sharing.

Some have heard the account of January 3, 2016 from our perspective.  It began like any other Sunday just like yours.  You know; you wake up, stretch, drink your coffee, have some devotional time, walk and feed the dog, shower, dress for church and find a flat tire on your car!  So, Susan and I take my loyal Toyota truck to church.  Having just returned from some extensive time with families in Virginia and Alabama, and an extension of our time in Alabama to help with Susan’s mother who fell and broke her hip, we were greeting folks at church as we entered.

William had made for me and gifted me at Christmas a “two peas in a pod” lapel pin which I chose to wear on my suit coat for the first time.  Susan and I met our pastor, Bill Ireland in the hall and he inquired into Susan’s mother’s condition.  He then asked about William, Mary Kate and the babies.  We told him the news we received at Christmas that a date had been set for the C-section: February 2nd…and my phone rang.

On the other end was William.  The timbre of his voice was higher than normal and syllables were flying by.  What we understood him to say was he had just preached the 8:30 service at his church, had an urgent text from Mary Kate, another minister copied his sermon and told him she would cover the 11:00 service.  He would keep us informed but would be going to the doctor or the hospital to check to see why Mary Kate was so sick.  (Keep in mind the scheduled date was a month away and that was even early.)

Our pastor assured Susan, the Minister of Music, that she needed to do whatever she needed to or wanted to do for her family.  Susan, the wife and expectant grandmother told me, “Go get the flat tire fixed!”  So, off I went, back home, change clothes, put air in a tire and see what it needed.  Ragan, our oldest son was finishing up his Christmas vacation with us and was still at the house getting ready to come to church.  He drove behind me to find a tire repair shop.

Before we could get to a tire shop, I received a text from William, “You’re going to be a ‘Tom Tom’ (hopeful name they will call me!) today!”  Susan received a different text, “Holy Smokes!  Fully Dialated!”

This all transpired while Susan was preparing the choir to lead in worship.  She kept her phone with her and advised the pastor of the progressive nature of the news.  Everyone encouraged her to go ahead and leave, but remember, she had no vehicle.  We had communicated that she would leave whenever Ragan could arrive at church.

I found no place open to repair a tire on Sunday and made the decision to drive my truck to Richmond and not take a chance on the tire, which was holding air.  I turned on the radio knowing that our church service was being broadcasted.  Here’s where it gets good!  At 11:25 a.m., the choir begins singing the anthem, “Benedictus (Blessed is the LORD).”  I am driving up the highway back to the house and those words open up the dam of emotions…at 11:25 – 11:30 a.m.

The pastor begins his sermon from Matthew 2, the account of the Magi’s journey to see the promised one.  He states, “What a joyous day today has already proven to be.  Susan, Tommy and Ragan are now beginning their journey to go see those promised precious babies.”  Again, the emotions well up inside and then out!

Sweet Adeline Charlotte Deal and Dorothy Hope Deal were born at 11:28 a.m. and 11:29 a.m. respectively.  The
exact moments that God Himself appointed for their earthly journey to begin, for the choir to sing “Benedictus” and our pastor to verbally pull it all together.  “Blessed is the LORD!”

Having now begun my journey as a grandfather, I agree:  “There’s nothing like it!”  (Rest assured:  more will come!)