45 years ago, I’d reached the end of my third pregnancy. We were in the center of one of Wisconsin’s common snow storms. I knew it wouldn’t be long before this little one would be born. It took some time to wake my husband, who was in one of those deep sleeps – the kind that happens when you’ve been anticipating something and can’t sleep and when you do, you can’t wake up. I shook him a few times – got our other two dressed in their snowsuits and tried again. At last he realized I was in labor.
We hustled the children off to our neighbors and sped to the hospital. We did not know the gender of our soon-to-be born child. We were in one of those many stages of life, when money was short and uncertainty about the future ran rampant. Of course, being a woman, I am also a worrier. I think that attribute is part of being a mother too. I guess someone in the family has to do it.
When I originally became pregnant, I was approaching my 30th birthday. At that time, it was unusual for women to bear children beyond their twenties. Our future was unsure. We had two children already. Adding another mouth to feed seemed impossible. My husband, being the rock that he is, tried to convince me that everything would be fine and that God would always provide for us. I continued to worry.
When the sweet, baby girl was born with a complete head of hair, all her fingers and toes and perfect in every way, I knew that everything would be fine. The worries would continue and still do. Being a mom is a lifetime experience which requires you to be concerned about your children until the day that you die.
Our Christmas angel arrived home a couple days later with part of her umbilical cord still attached. Our son seemed very interested in that phenomenon. We named our new daughter, Joy, Noel. The following days were filled with visitors, lots of hugs and attention to this new little bundle. It was nearing Christmas and we were leading up to another birthday celebration – Jesus’ birthday.
As we sang the many familiar carols, our son seemed puzzled. When we returned from church he said, “We were singing about my baby sister tonight, weren’t we?” I thought it had something to do with her name and singing about joy, but he continued, “Remember the song, Oh, come all ye faithful?”
We sang the first verse together:
Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Come, see in the manger
Our Savior and King
To Bethlehem hasten
With joyful accord;
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!
“See, mom,” he said. “It’s talking about going to Bethlehem with Joy, full of cord.”
That delightful memory, mingled with the many to come, seems to pop up every year as we sing, “Oh, come all Ye Faithful.” Our daughter continues to be our Christmas angel. She grew into a wonderful woman and also had a child born in December. Our joy has been doubled through both of them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO MY BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS ANGEL, JOY!