I was watching TV with my youngest son Monday night — something I rarely do in the first place. Which is just one of the reasons the moment will always stand out.
We had planted ourselves there after his Scout den meeting because a former student from our local Catholic high school, whom we watched with great admiration during his days at Shanley High School, is scheduled to be on The Voice in the coming weeks, and we thought maybe, maybe this would be the day. So we looked on with rapt attention, only to suspect we’d missed the day our hometown hero Mike Leier would have his big moment on national television.
As we watched and waited, my phone dangled just behind us on the top of the couch, hooked up to the outlet behind to get juiced up enough to accommodate an evening phone interview. I glanced toward it for a moment when I saw the Facebook status update notification light up. And then I squealed out loud, realizing what it was!!!
“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” The expression became a common one to me during my writing journey with Ramona Trevino these past couple years. She even took to saying it herself a few times, knowing it was my word but certainly worth borrowing when the occasion called for it.
The ushering in of a new life is certainly an occasion for such a word to be used, and I couldn’t help but call it up in that moment. Especially when I saw her cute, chubby little face for the first time!
It’s been a long time since someone super close to me — someone almost like a sister — had a baby. And honestly, the excitement I felt over seeing this new little life was a bit overwhelming. Even though I knew this baby was part of our journey from the beginning, and would play a very special role in both our lives, I didn’t quite expect the rush of feelings I would experience.
I never had a younger sister, but surely, this is what it would have felt like to be an auntie to the baby of a younger sister, I thought. I fell instantly in love. I stared at the image over and over, unbelieving that just hours before, Ramona and I had been talking on the phone. “I think my water may have broken,” she’d said. And soon I’d received a text noting that she was on her way to the hospital and likely would be having little Ramiah before the night was through.
When our youngest was born in 2005, Facebook hadn’t really even become a thing yet — not like it is now anyway. And I had yet to discover the world of blogging. It’s hard for me, the natural communicator that I am, to recall a world without it, but most of my life rolled along fine for years with no Facebook updates.
Yet I have to admit, this is one of the most exciting aspects of social media, this chance to learn about big events so soon on the heels of the actual event occurring; like the birth of a baby, especially when you’re as far as Texas is from North Dakota. It brings two worlds so much closer together and I love that about it. And I’m so glad Ramona’s oldest daughter Lorena was willing to keep up with the status updates. Of course she would! She’s never known differently.
I’d been holding the precious image of a bundled Ramiah in my heart through the earlier part of Tuesday when her mama, who had undergone a C-section (Ramiah weighed in at nearly 10 pounds) texted me and our third collaborating sister, Lauren, with another photo, this time with Ramiah’s eyes popped open and looking like she was ready to go shopping or out to lunch.
“Hello world! Hello Auntie Lauren and Auntie Roxane,” read the words below. Now it was confirmed. No wonder I felt so close to that little pumpkin. She was claiming me as her auntie, even if only through her sweet mama.
Well, I can’t get this little sweetheart out of my brain. She came at a time when I surely needed some good news. The week after the release of our new book, “Redeemed by Grace,” has come with more than a few moments of consternation; things not fitting for this blog post, but suffice it to say, the beautiful news of new life was welcomed beyond imagining.
I don’t know exactly what role this dolly will play in my life, but I feel so very close to her already! After all, she was listening in on the million phone conversations her mom and I had those nine months she was cozy in her womb. When we laughed, when we cried, when we yelled, “Weeeeeeee!” together, baby Ramiah was there, sucking her thumb, swimming in amniotic waters, hanging out with God, waiting for the day he would say, “It’s time, little one. Go to the others who love you now, so you can begin making your way back to me.”
I honestly don’t know how Ramona can possibly take all of this in. A book, a baby, all within a week. But I know this. We are both so filled with gratitude. All these months before, so much preparation, so much waiting, so much paving the way for what would go down these last seven days.
All of it miracle, blessing, gift.
Thank you, dear Lord, for bringing hope into our world once again in the form of this precious child!
Q4U: What looks like love in your life this week?