A hope note
I have three sons and one grandson.
I am one of two sons.
My father was one of two sons.
The last Willis man in my paternal line to have a daughter was my grandfather’s father, Thomas Henderson Willis, who in 1887 fathered a girl (along with three sons). It’s been 121 years ‘ five generations ‘ since we’ve had a Willis girl swim upstream and make it through the Willis-male gene pool to us.
Today, our family history changed. At long last, a Willis male (our middle son) and his wife brought forth an 8-pound, 7-ounce living doll. We are smitten.
Some of us cried tears of joy. In the waiting room was a woman also shedding tears. I struck up a conversation with her. She explained that hers were tears of joy for her only grandson, born three months ago. She had just learned that he may get to go home for the first time next week. He was born several months premature. After weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, he developed an infection. Surgeons had to remove part of his intestine.
That family lives 60 miles from the hospital. The practice of kindness for strangers, performed in this case by the Ronald McDonald House, has made their three-month dislocation bearable. The parents of this only child and his grandmother glowed with pride as they described their boy to us. ‘He’s our miracle baby.’ Now up to 5 pounds, he’s ‘a born fighter.’
With babies ‘ male or female, born well or born ill; ‘ come shrieks of delight, tears of joy and tears of sorrow. May little ones, thrust into a world they did not seek, find in us a safe and soft place to fall.