AbbyAnn Grace Wade was born at 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, the same date as my wife’s birthday. She represents the fourth generation of Marsh born in Arkadelphia, including myself, and the third to be born at Baptist Medical Center. She has one brother, Drake, who is truly the apple of his grandfather’s eye. We got the call at 10:15 p.m. that Jodi’s contractions were becoming more frequent (not to mention more violently painful), and quickly loaded up the car for the 90-minute jaunt up to Arkadelphia. When we arrived at the Wade residence, we found a darkened house and an empty drive. Quickly deducing that Jodi and her husband, Nick, had decamped for the delivery room, I drove 80 miles an hour across town, with hazard lights blazing, to the hospital … where we sat and waited for three hours more. Such is child birth.
The baby finally came, and were we glad to see her! She is a precious jewel of a child, “perfect,” as Jodi’s ob/gyn said. Momma is fine, too – she gave birth with just a single push. (Or, I imagine, PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSH!) As I watched my infant granddaughter waggle her lips in search of food (which she took to immediately), I thought of many things … my daughter’s superhuman strength … the fragile state of the world this child inherits … my own mortality. You know, normal thoughts on seeing the next generation arrive, eyes full of stars. Then I thought about how much I love this darling infant, and her mom, and arrived at the perfect metaphor: Jodi has opened the book on AbbyAnn’s life. Now all they have to do is fill in the pages.
Happy birthday, AbbyAnn, and Merry Christmas.