There are moments in life that are Markers on my soul.
December 1981, I held in my arms my first child, Melissa Anne. Allen tells me that
I was in labor for over 31 hours without any kind of help for the pain. I only remember how beautiful she is and has always been. A perfect beautiful little red head who reflected back all the adoring looks we gave her. Fiercely loyal and strong, she demands peace and will settle for nothing less. Her daddy laughingly told her once to put a 55 gallon drum in the back of his truck while he ate lunch. He was being funny but when he went back, she had done it. It never occurred to her that she could not. That remains her attitude about anything she intends to do.
March 1984, I had the shortest labor ever and I say truthfully that Holly Elizabeth has never given me any pain since the day she was born. The medical personnel forgot to come back for us so I lay in the recovery room alone with her, clutching her to my chest, amazed at this tiny and perfect little blonde baby. Faith-filled and confident of provision from the day she was born, she refuses to worry and never lets her circumstances dictate what she will do. She once travelled with a mission group across three countries without a dime in her pocket and typical Holly, she called to say she was bringing home a few friends for Thanksgiving. She brought home, fed and housed 27 people.
February 2, Allen Lynn was taken to NICU and I could only hold his tiny toes as they took blood and kept him in his special bassinet so he could breathe. Praying and believing that the LORD would heal him for two weeks before they finally placed him in my arms, a miracle and my first son. We took him home in a little white tuxedo onesie. We call him the perfect man because he controls his tongue and never wastes his words. His siblings count on what AJ says because he does what he says he will do. He expects no less of others and if he shows up at the house, things that need doing will be done. He never leaves without giving both of us a good strong bear hug, a gift from this child who does not give affection or smiles liberally or lightly.
May 22, Thomas Glynn made his premier, happy and friendly from the moment he was placed in my arms. He was named for favorite uncles on both sides of our families prophetically –he is a family man, a loving father now himself. My favorite memory with Tommy was the day he took his Daddy and I on a tour of his school. Only in Kindergarten, he knew the names of not just his teachers, but the cafeteria ladies and the people up and down the halls. He greeted them all by name with compliments and favor flowing from his lips. Every one he meets matters and family is blood.
September 17, Jackie Leon was tiny and Daddy and oldest sister had to take care of him while I recovered in the hospital from a serious infection. Named for my daddy, Leon, and his daddy’s best friend. My favorite picture of Jackie Leon is the one where he is standing in his daddy’s boots. We all made our way to South Carolina to watch him graduate from Basic Training. He serves his country and his family, following in his daddy’s footsteps. Like his daddy before him, sleep is not important if there are things to be done and it is not unusual for him to have three jobs if that is what it takes.
January 19, Sandra Denise made her debut into our family and into stardom. She was the only one born in the hospital her Dad was born in and starred in a television commercial when she was only hours old. A little girl after three boys, she was a girly girl and petted by parents and siblings alike. She is positively positive and gave me my iconic “Never Give Up” poster and attitude. Times got tough but she was my built-in personal and family cheerleader. Her naturally nurturing nature will come in handy now that she has started her own family.
September 13, Matthew Ryan was born on Friday the thirteenth. His umbilical cord had a square knot tied so tight that the doctor sent it to a lab because he could not believe this healthy bouncing baby boy could have gotten any blood through that cord. Blessed of God, Young King. He is the only boy that looks like his Mama. Matt takes the initiative to do what needs to be done and has the kind and gentle heart that befits a King.
June 8, Sarah Michelle was the only child that loved Mama more than Daddy. She was my little Princess with her Daddy’s thick curly brown hair and big beautiful eyes. She was my ego boost because she adored me for no reason at all. Quiet but not really shy, she developed her own personality and strong individuality in spite of being eighth of ten. Drop her into a crowd and she becomes the center, making everyone think she has been their friend for a long time even if she just met them. Sarah is my sidekick; she loves to work outdoors beside me and also loves to sit and read for hours at my beloved public library.
March 2001. Jonathan Hunter. It was hard to understand how people could think that losing this son would not matter since I had so many other children. We have no physical mementos at all to remember him except the note to my employer from my doctor saying I had lost him and a sympathy card from one close friend. My last son was the first child to go to our LORD but I look with hope to the day I will at last meet him in Heaven.
January 8, Zelma Grace. Named for Allen’s mother and for the comforting joy that she brought so soon after our loss. She has a different mother than all her siblings because the loss of Jonathan changed me completely. Zelma is proof that Grace nurtures us into our full potential and my only sadness is knowing that my other children were not reared in the same freedom that has caused her to flourish. She is creative, invincible and boldly expectant of favor as we all should be.
My children. Markers on my Soul. I cannot love you less. I cannot love you more.
You have all my love always.