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Saturday, July 13, 2024


A Child is Born

By Rick Racela

Anya came to us in the usual way, after nine months of intense anticipation by all the family. There she was on the 11th of April being held up by a smiling nurse for all of us to admire as she howled at this cold, noisy rough new world. As for me, the new Mama (grandmother), I could hardly see her for the intense welling of love already there for this helpless, wonderful, indignant little creation of God. We had long known that our oldest son, Dennis, and his wife, Celeste, would be bringing a girl into our family to join the twins, Collin and Isabella, who had on a Christmas Day seven years ago, ushered us into the world of grandparenting. They had opted to know in advance the sex of their baby, in spite of my warning them “not to spoil life’s greatest surprise.” So we knew this little one would be called Anya Napier VanGuilder Hall. Her mother, like me, likes to give a child as much family significance as possible. Napier is my mother’s maiden name and VanGuilder is from generations back in Celeste’s family. For months we watched the moving mound of Celeste’s body and talked to the little girl waiting in there. Then on November 15th Art and I drove to the airport for the delivery of our second granddaughter to come this year. When the exhausted parents came out of the door after a 13-hour flight from Moscow, Russia bearing a howling, helpless, wonderful, indignant little creation of God, I could hardly see her for the intense welling of love already there for Emma Morgan Amina Steurnagel. Again, her mother, like me, likes to give a child as much family significance as possible. Emma is my mother’s name and Amina is the name the woman in the country-region of Russia gave to her little girl before she gave her away. For 13 months we had talked of her and to her picture on the refrigerator, wondering what she would be like and how would it be to bring a stranger’s child into our family. Then, there she was at the airport – not a stranger’s child at all — she was the daughter of our baby girl, Meredith, and her husband Paul. We were captivated by her blue eyes that disappear in the Oriental fashion when she smiles and by the wonder of a little toddling girl who already reaches up to her mother’s arms as the safest place in this whole world to be. A child is born and she brings joy to all of us who love her. Patricia (and Art) Hall

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