It was the newest part of the day, 1:01am to be exact, on a stormy Friday. I was in labor all day Thursday, induced by my doctor. At around 9pm, the doctor decided to stop inducing, let me get some rest, and try again in the morning. Nana and Papa, and Aunt Ronnie, all left to go home and rest. My dear friend and coach, Kathy, had just ordered some food and chose to stay with me, knowing I wouldn’t get any sleep. Several months before you tried to enter the world early, and I was put on bed rest and meds. Three weeks before your due date we stopped the meds, and I was allowed to finally get out of bed. Well, by this time you had decided you were quite comfy where you were and I found myself two weeks overdue, and big as a barn. Kathy was with me through it all, every time I went into labor and they had to stop it, she was there holding my hand. She wasn’t about to give up her position as chief hand holder and tear wiper. And you rewarded her by deciding to enter the world just as her tray of food had arrived. We quickly called Nana and Papa, who had just arrived home in Kalamazoo( we were in St Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids). We called your Aunt Ronnie who was 30 minutes away, and they made it back to the hospital just in time to see our prayers answered. Despite all you had gone through, you were a healthy, alert gift from God… It was my first glimpse into your personality. It was the beginning of your march to a different drum. A peek at the strength that would save your life more than once. Your arrival was announced with the most beautiful lighting storm I had ever seen. As the sky lit up and thunder boomed, I held you for the first time, and felt as if the world was announcing you in its own musical way, a sign of more music to come. As I held you and first laid eyes on all 9 lbs 14 oz. of your wide eyed beautiful self, I was in love, a Mother’s love that has grown more and more with every gift you have brought into this world…..Happy Birthday Bubby! —

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