I suppose the novelty of seeing another grandchild enter the world wore off a bit on Monday at 12:10 p.m.
Don't get me wrong. I was happy to see Wade enter the world at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. It was a joyous occasion. Wade is the third baby my children have had. And there is another grandchild by another marriage. But as I waited for a scheduled C-section on my daughter Jennifer, I had some time to think about life in general from the context of how it appeared outside the hospital.
There was nothing special about the day outside. I couldn't tell by looking at things outside that another person was coming into the world. It was cold, and there were clouds and overcast that occasionally gave way to brief sun. A helicopter spun its rotors from the hospital roof and lifted off to some unknown emergency. I could see busy traffic zipping on McHenry Avenue a block away. Landscapers were blowing grass from a sidewalk next to a freshly mowed grass strip.
A somber looking group of people outside the entrance told me that they were there for sadder reasons. No doubt that someone they love was not facing a good moment inside the walls of the Doctors Medical Center.
Feb. 10, 2014 was the official start to my grandson's life. It was also the start of life for 361,481 others across the planet. In fact, every second there are 4.2 births in the world.
It was also a day that 2,468,435 lost their lives. It would be the last day of life for Hollywood legend Shirley Temple who brought so much delight to millions for many decades.
That is simply life. We come and go. We come in the same way but don't necessarily go out the same way.
My daughter later posted a Facebook video of the actual moment as doctors pulled the baby from her split belly. The camera stayed on her face and I could see the emotion come over her as the tugging on her abdomen gave way to the sound of an infant crying its first cry. I cried as I watched it, thinking that his cries would be followed by many more. There will be many tears and difficulties in his life, as there are for us all. But there will be many smiles and joys too.
I watched the video again and remember, like it was yesterday, the moment when Jennifer was born also via C-section 26 years ago. It was a poignant moment. I was watching a defining moment that illustrates how life goes on in an endless cycle.
Thirty minutes after his birth I was ushered into a hallway where I held my grandson. He looked bewildered in his bundle of blankets with his alert eyes moving, hands pressing the side of his face and his little lips pursing. It's at that moment that I feel that I am watching something that has a greater design than I am capable of understanding. Man and woman alone are not capable of creating life. They supply the materials but life itself comes from something much more supreme.
Because it's precious, life certainly does matter. All of us who have life must live it like it matters.
I hope Wade Odom does just that.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know at firstname.lastname@example.org