Thursday, May 9, 2013

Her Name Is Emery

Her name is Emery, and I can't wait to meet her, but I'll get to that in a second.

First, I wanted to write about Shirley. She’s my mother—and the mother of my other three brothers. That’s right. Four boys. She was the only woman in a house full of men, but make no mistake…she was (and still is) a formidable woman to deal with. I will admit, she was not a perfect mother, but she was perfect for us. Raising four snotty, burping, farting, cantankerous boys into four (semi) functional, burping, farting men is no easy task, yet she seemed to do it with joy…and honor…and (yes) maybe even some pleasure—on a few of the days, at least. And while I know my mom will cry when she reads this, she will always hold that special place in my heart (and in my brother’s hearts too) that only a mom can hold...and her laugh…her beautiful, infectious, full-bodied laugh…is still one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard on earth.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  

Secondly, I wanted to write about Amy, my wife, and the mother of our two kids, Ben and Katie. I got to be there for both of their births—a front row seat. I stood there next to the hospital bed like an idiot as Amy passed a proverbial “bowling ball through a straw”. My only participation—aside from the obvious one 9 months earlier—was holding Amy’s hand and squishing her head into the pillow. It was the only thing that felt good to her during childbirth. Amy was (and still is) the loving, softer, nurturing side of our parental duo. I call it being “good cop” to my “bad cop”. She calls it being a mom. And while I know Amy will cry when she reads this, she is not a perfect mom, but she loves both our kids (and their spouses) with an immeasurable passion that always puts me to wonder.    

Happy Mother’s Day, Amy.  

And then there’s Ali, my daughter-in-law—the wife of my son Ben. Ali walked into our living room in Texas 7 years ago and life has never been the same since. This pretty, little waif-of-a-girl not only captured Ben’s heart…she captured all of our hearts…and their wedding day will always be one of the happiest days of my life. Fast forward to a Broncos game shortly before Christmas when Ali stepped in front of the TV set holding her 3 month old nephew Jonah. Ali told the family that Jonah had an announcement to make. None of us caught it at first, but Jonah was wearing a homemade t-shirt that read: “Big Cousin”.

Pregnancy becomes Ali. It’s been so fun watching her grow—this tiny little woman with the ever-expanding belly—growing into a mother. And even though she’s concerned that her baby bump gets in the way of her dental hygienist duties by colliding with patients’ heads, she’s got nothing to worry about. No one could ever be bothered by her. I mean, she’s so cute she makes your cheeks hurt!

And while she might cry when she reads this (I mean, she IS pregnant!), it is SO obvious that Ali is going to be a great mom. She already has a passion and a love for this baby that also puts me to wonder. God has been preparing Ali for this her whole life. She won’t do it perfectly (no one ever has or ever will), but she will be perfect for this little girl…her daughter…my granddaughter.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ali.

Her name is Emery and I can’t wait to meet her. She’s almost here, only 7 more weeks until I can hold her. I’ve seen her (sort of) as she’s moved silently across Ali’s tummy—doing somersaults in preparation for her delivery. The 3D ultrasound last week has only increased my anticipation (See Below).  

I look at that ultrasound image of Emery and can’t help but think about what David wrote in Psalms:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-17)

And in this broken, fallen world, where it seems like evil is prevailing, I find hope in knowing that whatever is in store for Emery (the good AND the bad) has already passed through the hands of God. All the kisses and hugs...all the coughs and colds...all her sleepless nights and all her birthdays...all her friendships and fights...and sleepovers and skinned knees…and broken hearts and broken bones…in all of these...God is already there.

I pray that He will etch this truth on Ben and Ali’s hearts—and on my heart too.

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