At the end of a hot, heavy summer, September finally came. Leaning over my swollen belly, I sat on the ground pulling weeds. My husband took one look at me and announced, “You look like a woman who can’t take this another day. I think the baby will come tonight.” By eleven o’clock that night contractions began. In fact, throughout the long, dark hours of the night, a contraction came every two minutes. My poor husband got no sleep. By dawn, he announced, “I keep hearing a voice saying ‘here comes another one but nothing ever comes.”
Eventually, the sun rose. Our doctor canceled his plans to go fishing knowing that at any minute he would be called on to deliver a baby. Maybe I should mention that my doctor did not believe in any form of pain medication when giving birth. Gamely, at four months pregnant, I had agreed. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Suddenly, I grasped a need to renegotiate this agreement. Too late for that change in the plans!
And so, on September 4, our baby girl arrived. Neither one of us weighed enough. I looked like a starving Biafra child with my extended belly and thin as sticks arms and legs. I had also cut my long hair into a style appropriate for a man and hormones had created dark coloration that resembled a mustache above my upper lip. Yes, it was a delightful sight to behold.
We named her Joy Renee, meaning ‘joy reborn.’ Throughout all the years, she has always represented a birth of joy to me. She has always been cute and funny. Sassy and stubborn, as a child and teenager she provided lively adventures for her dad and for me. Today, my baby girl continues to be cute, determined, and funny. With maturity, she added a sign of fierce courage needed to sacrifice for the good of others, a faith that moves mountains, and a love that surpasses expectations. Above all, she remains joy reborn. Today, I give thanks that she came on my bus.