Friday the 13th. I woke up with Christian and pretty much blasted into my day by getting us packed into the car and off to my parents house to get ready for their 30th anniversary party. I arrived, and got right to work with decorating and such. Seven hours later and the doorbell was ringing. Mildly frantic I opened the door to a rather early first guest, but, all was well, things were almost finished and I was determined for everything to be perfect --- but, chaos follows me and we seem to have grown accustomed to one another. My sister in law and nieces arrived just in the nick of time, and I put my nine year old niece straight to work on taking orders and serving the guests appetizers and dinner, all 50+ of them.
Deep breath, no problem. David jumped in, babysitter had the kiddos upstairs and I was sweetly reminded to keep my chin up, for the night wasn't about me -- and soon I would find out that it was about someone else too.
I knew early labor signs were making their appearance to announce the approaching arrival of my friend Carley's third little one, so when I realized my cell phone was almost dead (in true Tamara form), I sent David on a scavenger hunt among a house full of people to find somewhere to connect the usb part of the charger. Nowhere to be found, he jumped in my car to give it a quick boost on the car charger. Dinner requests were being voiced and we had all but nine or so plates to serve when David burst into the kitchen to let me know Carley had significantly progressed and I needed to leave asap. Plate of food in hand, I shoved it off on some poor soul, let the table I was serving know my bestie was having a baby, and ran out the door. I must've broken every traffic law known to man before I flew out of my car, camera bag in hand in front of Carley's home. Trying to regain my composure, I quietly opened the front door to a room containing some of Carley's closest loved ones.
Contractions were getting heavy, but being the superwoman that she is, they barely phased her. She made time to laugh, converse, and make sure her kids were totally taken care of. Her mom was sweet enough to bring me a Sonic slush, and I think the extreme sugar rush managed to counteract the previous panic and bring me to a state of jovial lucidity.
About an hour and forty minutes into my own arrival Owen Wayne made his appearance, at exactly 10:30 weighing in at a hearty 9 lbs and measuring 21 1/2 inches long. Not long after his birth Carley was back to her contented and joyful self, a true testimony to the woman God has made her to be. I stayed for a while longer and got to hold this precious new child, and then made my way out the door and home to my own little family, but not before one last stop.
See, Friday was also Orthodox New Year, so my parents asked that I stop by before heading home. How could I say no? I wearily sat down at one of the tables in their home with the remaining handful of guests, added to my sugar high with some Rum cake followed by pasta, deliriously wrote down the list of names for the thank you cards, and excused myself for home. Quietly I crept inside knowing that little Christian would be fast asleep. I laid down in bed next to the resting David, and cried. Honestly, I couldn't tell you why. Maybe I cried from being tired, or relieved that everything I was anxious about had come to fruition. David held me and finally I dozed into a long, peaceful rest. I hope the same rest was found for Carley and Bryan that night. The same rest for the midwives, doula and family members who were there to offer love, medical attention and support. The same rest for little Meagan who earned her first paycheck serving dinner with the most deserving little spirit. And I hope that everyone who doesn't believe that everything will be ok finds that the same rest is available for anyone who tries their hardest, but ultimately gives it back to Jesus.
Beautiful things tend to come from beautiful people, as seen in the case of one of my artist friends Jolyn. In the midst of pursuing career paths she hasn't lost her dreams and love for art. She let me invade her studio space for a little one on one photo time, and I got to see the beauty emerge first hand. For a closer look at this artists' work, check out http://www.pinkbeaststudio.com/.
Around 34 years ago a man was working at a local college when a coworker of his mentioned that his relative thousands of miles away would be interested in an American pen pal. This less than partial truth led to a letter to his future pen pal of four years. Some hundreds of letters later, the young man took his first trip around the world to meet the woman who he only knew through written thought.
11 days into this face to face friendship he knew that this woman was to become his wife. And so, 30 years, many adventures and hundreds of stories later, God used one letter to join Bill and Dusanka in a life long union.
Last night we were blessed to celebrate their anniversary with many of their friends. I am so beyond blessed to have these two people as my parents. Their adventures, silliness, youthful spirits and passionate love for one another never ceases to amaze me. In eager anticipation I wait to see what God does with them through many more years of marriage and service to one another.