Where has the time gone? In two days our oldest son will turn ten years old, double digits, half way through his time in our home, half way to being an adult, not far from being a teenager, and officially a tween (whatever that term really means). As the trend has been lately, I can't seem to fall asleep at night. This isn't new, it has been months since I have been able to fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time. Two days ago my husband's grandfather passed away. His health has been failing but we weren't expecting him to pass away. Since then, the family has been busy organizing all the details for the services. My husband is a third generation butcher for the family meat market. His grandfather opened the business in 1964 and it has been an establishment for many generations and families in our community. Since I couldn't sleep and Pawpaw Moody was on my mind, I decided to dig through old pictures to see what I could find. My mother-in-law is in the process of collecting pictures for the funeral and I thought it would be helpful to her if I could contribute a few. While sitting on the floor in our closet, I came across several pictures, cards, etc. from the day our oldest son was born. Like any mother, my eyes teared up and throat became tight. As I looked through the pictures the images became blurred through my tears. Ten years? How is this possible? Have we done a good job? Is God happy with where he is, where we are at this ten year mile stone? I think I have mentioned before that my maternal grandmother (Esther Johnson) had a firm belief in guardian angels. She actually did quite a bit of research on the topic. She was asked on more than one occasion to speak and write about her views and opinions of angels. When I was a little girl she gave me a guardian angel. She told me her name was Adora and that she lived sitting on my shoulder. Grandma would write stories about the adventures of Adora and Beth (me). I loved her stories. I would eagerly wait for them to arrive in the mail. When I became pregnant with our son, I insisted that Grandma name a guardian angel for him. His arrival was a bit dramatic. We knew he was going to be born with CHD (congenital heart disease). We also knew that he would not be able to stay at the hospital with me but would quickly be transported to our local children's hospital. Three weeks early (he has always been a child that keeps us on our toes), I wasn't sure if Grandma had selected a name for the angel. Knowing how much the stories of Adora and Beth meant to me, my mom wrote a story about our son, the day of his birth, and how his guardian angel was assigned to him. The original story is a bit lengthy for this post but I would still love to share a part of it. Adora peeked outside of the operating room doors. "Where did he come from? Who picked him out and what is his name?" she yelled after Obadiah (this is my husband, Charlie's guardian angel). But he wasn't able to hear her. He and Charlie were getting hugs and kisses from Charlie's parents and Elizabeth's dad and everyone was talking at once. They all wanted to hear about Jacob's birth. Then, Adora looked down the hallway in the opposite direction. Standing in a corner by herself, was Jacob's Grandma Sally, talking on her cell phone. Adora flew over Grandma Sally's head and listened. Grandma Sally had called her mother (Jacob's Great-grandma Johnson). "Of course," thought Adora. "Why didn't I think of that? Great-grandma Johnson is the guardian angel expert in this family. She will know what to do."
"Thank you, Grandma Sally said into the cell phone. I will tell Elizabeth that you have picked out Felix to be Jacob's guardian angel." Then she walked down the hallway to the recovery room so she could be with Elizabeth.
Adora smiled as she followed Grandma Sally to the recovery room. Felix is perfect for Jacob, she thought. Obadiah and I should have picked him out right away. He is small, and he doesn't have much experience, but he is very brave and quite stubborn. Most importantly, he has the biggest, strongest heart of all of the angels in Heaven and he will make sure that Jacob has a wonderful life.
Exactly one hour after he was born, Jacob was packed up in the transport incubator with all of his tubes and wires hooked up to him. The transport team wheeled him back down to the same little waiting areas so his parents and all of his grandparents could see him before he left for the children's hospital. As everyone reached in to touch Jacob's hands, Felix flapped his wings at top speed and hovered just above the incubator where he could keep a close eye on Jacob.
The story continues but I just had to share this small part. Like I said, where did the time go? How has it been 10 years, a decade? I am so thankful for the love of guardian angels that was passed from my grandmother to me. I am also thankful for the love of writing in our family. These moments in time, documented, told in a story, are priceless treasures.
I will admit our family is beyond exhausted and we know the week ahead of us is going to be filled with so many emotions as we say good-bye to Pawpaw Moody. However, it will also be filled with the joy of watching our son turn ten years old.
So, in an odd way, I am thankful I couldn't fall asleep. Not only did I get to think about a great man but in the process of looking for pictures, I found an incredible story that had been tucked away for a decade.