My grandson, Solomon (above), has brightened our lives as a happy 1-year-old
One year ago today, I woke up about 7 am in Capitola, California, and picked up my phone. There was a text alert on the screen from Jane Loafman back in Edmond, OK. It said something on the order of “congratulations on Solomon’s birth.”
Turns out that my daughter had given birth overnight, and I slept through her calls and text messages. So, I got the news from Jane, with whom I have attended church for many years at The Springs Church of Christ in Edmond.
Solomon’s mother, my daughter, Sarah, still won’t forgive me for not being present during the birth.
I had a great excuse for being 1,600 miles away.
My 86-year-old mother had suffered a heart attack and undergone emergency bypass surgery while visiting a friend in California about a week earlier.
So, I flew out to give her support from a familiar face while she recovered, first in the hospital, and then in a rehab center. She was unable to fly back to her home in Fort Smith, Ark., for about three weeks.
After staying with her for about 10 days, I flew back to OKC on a Sunday evening. My friend Ed picked me up at the airport and drove me straight to the hospital, where I met Solomon for the first time.
The timing of Solomon’s birth was a big surprise for all of us, because he was 8 weeks premature. He weighed only 3 pounds and change.
Sarah and my wife, Paula, urged me to hold him that first day, which I nervously did for just a few seconds.
I remained in Oklahoma for a week, then flew back to San Jose and Ubered down to Capitola to continue providing support for my mom until the doctor gave her permission to return home later that week. We flew back to Fort Smith together.
Now, a year later, my Mom is thriving as an 87-year-old widow who still lives on her own.
And Solomon has made tremendous progress, as well. He’s now a 20-pound, almost-toddler, crawling, climbing and bringing joy to our lives.