Lisa and I finally made it home from California Saturday March 30th – rolling into town around 7:00PM. After three days and two thousand and twenty-eight miles – we entered Owensboro across the now fading blue bridge and breathed a sigh of relief knowing the long journey was at an end. It was so good to see our family – all waiting for us at our house – and to be in our home again after a long four months away.
We managed to get some (not all) of our stuff unpacked from the car before collapsing into bed. We were asleep about two hours when our son-in-law called to inform us our daughter, Heather, was having contractions and not long after that they were on their way to the hospital. I am convinced that Heather was able to finally relax after we arrived home and the baby responded. What timing.
Our Easter Sunday was spent at the hospital in anticipation of Conner Jack’s arrival – our first grandchild. It really hit me when I walked into Heather’s hospital room and saw her in the hospital bed suffering through a contraction. Here was my little girl – all grown up – but it seemed impossible that this could be happening. This must be some kind of time warp – no way could that little curly topped toddler be going through this – it all felt impossible – like I had been cheated of a decade of time somehow. But there she was and after several long hours – Conner Jack was welcomed into the world. That little girl of mine was a momma – and I know she will be a good mom and James will be a good dad. Maybe knowing that can help me accept the quickly passing time that seems to have cheated me out of a lifetime. It is comforting knowing their life and Conner’s life is just beginning.
Now we wait to bring them home and start their new life as parents. I have told people being a parent is the greatest and worst thing that ever happened in my life – all at once. For them there awaits the joy of watching Conner grow up and there will be moments of joy beyond words. And there will be times in which as parents they will suffer for him as he endures the challenges of life. There will be no greater joy and, at times, no greater pain to endure.
God’s timing is perfect and we arrived home at just the right day and hour to enjoy this special moment with our family. Had Conner decided to come a day earlier – I’m not sure Lisa and I would have wanted to come home. Heather, rightfully, may not have ever let us live that one down. But all those worries are now gone as is Loma Linda and the friends we made while in California. Who knows? Maybe we will return someday to southern California but I can promise you we will be different.
We will return as grandparents – and that doesn’t sound too bad.
Steve and Lisa