Above is a photo of an all-too familiar Abigail with plastic all over her body. No worries. Nothing is wrong. This photo was taken last Friday at her first follow-up appointment at Primary Children's. All of this plastic was the various leads to monitor her vitals, all of which came back perfectly normal.
Seeing her, though, with all this "stuff" attached to her body brings back vivid memories of the recent past. It brings back one memory in particular--the memory of Lisa and I kneeling nightly at the side of our bed in Menlo Park, an antique bed frame with a thick box spring and mattress so tall that our arms rested on the same plane as our shoulders as we knelt. We would pray each night that our children at home would be touched by the goings-on of Abigail, that the spirit that we were feeling would touch their hearts too, and that the lessons that we were learning would be taught to them as well. We learned yesterday that those prayers were answered.
The setting was thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Reeves' house. All of my siblings and their families except for Marc and his family, who live in Seattle, were present. Sometime after dinner we all met in Grandma's living room to discuss and share the things for which we were grateful. Grandma Reeves had handed to everyone in the room at sheet of paper titled "My Gratitude List." Underneath the title were about 20, numbered, blank lines upon which we were to write the things for which we were grateful.
After we had each taken the time to write, everyone in the room shared the top five items on their list. Samantha was the first in our family to share. Her first item was Abigail: "I'm thankful for Abigail. She has changed all of our thinking," which is Samantha's way of saying, she has changed our hearts. Of all our children, Samantha, who is 14 and the most independent of them all, was somewhat aloof to the idea of us having a baby. Throughout the pregnancy, she seemed to be the least excited about the prospect of having another addition to the family. She was respectful, but we could sense that Sam wondered if her parents were simply too old to have another child. And though Samantha usually refers to Abigail as "The Child," we sense that heart warms each day to her sister.
Sam usually keeps her emotions and faith close to her vest. She's a deep thinker, who doesn't like to show emotion. But I have sensed lately that like Enos in the Book of Mormon that the words of her father often sink deep into heart--despite her not wanting you to know that. Apparently, that had happened during our journey with Abigial.
A few moments later Jeffrey, our 12 year old, spoke. He too began with Abigail: "I am thankful for Abigail. She has brought our family closer to Christ."
Then Daphne, our 9 year old: "I am grateful for Abigail. She has given me us a testimony."
Those few words spoken by our three oldest children were worth every moment of anxiety and worth every dollar spent in Abigail's behalf. Today, I am grateful for yet one more answered prayer .