March 17, 1970
St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be the most exciting day Nate and I had had for quite some time. One of the envelopes in the day’s mail came from Mary and Bervin. It was a comical St. Pat’s card with a cheerful message about them hoping to come to Champaign for another visit soon.
At the bottom of the card was a small arrow pointing down and saying, “Open.” Waiting inside the flap was the shocking message that Mary and Bervin were going to have a baby! I screamed and threw the card high in the air, jumping up and down, and grabbing Nate in a spin.
“A baby! A baby! We’re going to have a baby!” I said, over and over again. Our family had no young children in it, and the thought of our own little one was news I never expected. Dancing around the apartment, we celebrated this new life along with Mary and Bervin’s good fortune…. and ours. No news could have been more exhilarating!
I knew Nate probably wasn’t thrilled in the same way I was, but he was getting a huge kick out of my antics and was happy to bob and weave with me in our spontaneous dance.
Later that evening I wrote in my journal:
The biggest shock-a-roo and cool-head thing we’ve ever heard is that Mary and Bervin are going to have a PAPOOSE! How’s that for fabulous news?!?! I just screamed when I read it!! Nate and I danced around for 20 minutes – I couldn’t adequately express my joy!! Nate and I will be an aunt and an uncle! And Dad and Mom will be grandparents! GOSH!
The joy was still bubbling out of me an hour later when the phone rang. It was Lynn, calling long distance from Georgia. Don had proposed — and they were engaged! When they’d stayed with us just a few days earlier, Lynn had confided that she thought Don would be “the one” for her. When I asked about a possible proposal, she had said, “Not for 2 more years. He has to go back to Vietnam.”
But there she was, on the other end of the line, describing her Tiffany diamond ring! She told me they were thinking about September for their wedding, in the Chicago area. As she talked, I had to move up and down on the balls of my feet to get rid of the sparks of delight exploding inside of me.
Talking fast because of long distance charges, she asked if I would be one of her bridesmaids and said it would be a military wedding. And she said Don hoped Nate would be part of the wedding party, too. “Does he have dress blues?” she said.
I didn’t even know what that was, but learned that all the military men in the wedding would be wearing these formal navy blue uniforms. And her last question was, “Can Nate get hold of a few military swords?” Time ran out before she could explain, but surely it was going to be an exciting wedding!
The next morning Nate told me I’d been twitching and wiggling in my sleep. Maybe dancing? Or jumping for joy? Either way, those dreams must surely have been happy ones.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.” (James 1:17)