A letter to David from my mom last year on his 1st birthday:
If ever I doubt whether God is truly involved in the details of our lives, I will think back to the week of your birth and there will be no question. God knows the desires of a grandmother’s or mother’s heart. He recognizes that willing desire to serve her family, then He works out the details. I don’t know why I am so surprised and amazed by this every time it happens in my life. Like your great-grandmother Smith said to me the day after your birth, “Why do we ever doubt?” Your story is a remarkable one.
At the time of your birth, your family was living in Birmingham, Alabama, far away from Papa and Nana’s home in Gilbert, Arizona. In Arizona, we were greatly anticipating your arrival to this earth and also the January 24th return of your Uncle James from his two-year mission to Veracruz, Mexico. Your due date was January 31. The tricky part was guessing when you would actually arrive. I needed to be here in Arizona to welcome James at his return, and I needed to be in Alabama to help with everything that is required when a new baby is born. I also wanted to be back in Arizona by February 9 so that I could hear James give his talk in church about his mission to Mexico. The timing was complicated! It was decided that I would fly to Alabama the day before your due date and stay for a week. Of course, the ideal would be if I could be there to help after you were born and not just be there to help with the “nesting”.
Your mom’s doctor had told her all along that he would induce her on her due date if she hadn’t yet gone into labor naturally. Perfect! But, on January 27, your mom called me in despair because at her appointment that day her doctor reported that she hadn’t progressed at all and that he couldn’t guarantee that he would induce her on January 31! This is when the miracle began. Birmingham was hit with the craziest snowstorm in years and your mom and dad and Jack were stuck in their apartment for two days. Had you been born early, it is likely that you wouldn’t have been born in the hospital! Streets and highways were essentially shut down for two days and many cars had slid off roads and were abandoned. Schools, including your dads, were canceled. In sunny Arizona, I was earnestly checking the weather reports, praying that my flight would not be canceled. By January 30 the weather cleared, I made my flight, and your parents and Jack were finally able to leave their apartment to pick me up at the airport! We immediately went out to dinner to celebrate the fact that the storm had ended, I had arrived safely, and all was well. It was as if you knew that now was the perfect time to make your debut.
As we finished our meal, your mom’s contractions finally began and by the middle of that night, you were well on your way here. It was time for your mom and dad to go to the hospital. Thank you for waiting for my arrival and thank you for not waiting too long! Your timing was perfect and nothing short of a miracle.
By then it was January 31, your due date. During Jack’s nap your mom called saying that you were coming SOON and that I could hurry and drive to the hospital and she would have a friend come and stay with Jack. Or, I could just wait for Jack to wake up and come with him to the hospital. I knew that Jack would be awake soon, so I decided to wait for him. As I held my phone and nervously rocked in my favorite rocking chair in your living room, I somehow drifted asleep! It wasn’t long before I was suddenly startled awake in a way I have never experienced before or since. There are no words on this earth to describe it, but it was as if a “wave” of incredible light and love quickly passed through the room and I was left knowing that you had been born. I am sure that there were angels that attended your birth and perhaps they were just passing through to love me and to say, “Wake up, the babe is here!” Sure enough, your mom called shortly thereafter to tell me that you were a boy and that your name was David Maughan Hall. Three very special names! Tears of joy! Then, as if two-year-old Jack knew what was going on, he awoke from his nap and we rushed to the hospital to greet beautiful you!
After spending time in the hospital loving on you and taking pictures, and before Jack could play with the hospital bed remote controls for the hundredth time, Jack and I went on a Sam’s Club shopping spree loading up on food and baby supplies for home. As I chased Jack out of Sam’s Club while pushing an overloaded shopping cart, I looked to the left and noticed a Walmart next door. How fun it would be to have some “It’s a Boy” balloons to greet you and your mom and dad when you returned from the hospital. But, how risky it would be to take a wiggly two-year-old to yet another store! I decided to go for it!
This is when another little miracle occurred and I was left dumbfounded at how the Lord hears our tiniest unuttered prayers. My desire for the short time I was in Alabama was to help your mom and dad with tiny newborn you, to cook some meals, and to entertain Jack. A bonus for me would be to leave some surprises that would help your parents amuse Jack. Since it was January and it was very cold and snowy outside, what would your mom do to occupy him when I returned to Arizona and your dad returned to work?! There were two things I thought of that might help. One was a little craft table or desk for Jack, and the other was some sort of outdoor toy that he could use inside. How I wished there were some sort of “roller coaster” like mine in Arizona that was smaller and could be used indoors. Was there such a thing?
By the time Jack and I found decorative balloons and made the trek to the back of that huge Walmart to have them filled with helium, Jack’s patience had run out and he wanted out of that grocery cart. In the meantime, a friend of mine in Arizona called with an important question I needed to address about the Gilbert Temple Youth Celebration that was coming up. I was almost at my wit’s end when I turned the corner to head towards the toy section. To my surprise, there on an end cap was the most perfect sized beautiful wooden table! I didn’t even know they made desks that cute and little! I plunked it the cart in a hurry. Then I turned another corner and there in the middle isle was a huge display with a tiny, compact roller coaster that I had envisioned but didn’t even know existed. Perfect! I tossed Jack into the cart, handed him a ring pop sucker and marveled all the way to the checkout stand at the miracle that had occurred. This couldn’t be a coincidence! Was God really that aware of my time restraints and my little trivial desires? Why don’t I trust him more?
A friend of mine in a Relief Society lesson once said that she thinks that God gives us these little trivial tender mercies to remind us that He is aware of us. He wants us to deposit these experiences in a “faith or trust account” so that when bigger things happen and maybe He can’t give us immediate answers to our prayers, we can tap into that account, remember to trust in Him and to have faith that he really does know us and exactly what is going on in our lives.
David, you are too young to understand all of this now, but someday I hope that you, too, will look back on your life and realize that God is always there and is always aware. Even when times get hard and you may doubt, He will forever be near. Always have faith and be believing! You are a miracle and you were sent to earth to our family at this time for a reason. I love you my sweet one-year-old! Life is good. God is good.
With love for eternity,
Happy birthday, David boy!!! (even though it feels like you've been two for at least six months!) We love your passionate, enthusiastic, stubborn, demanding, dynamic, energetic, loving, and big personality. I can't believe I ever assumed that you would be my even-tempered and easy going second child - you must be seen and heard, and we wouldn't want it any other way!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!
David's 1st birthday post
David's birth post