Write Again . . . A day to remember

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

Few things — if any — come close to the feelings one has when a new life comes into a family.

Attempting to describe one’s emotions when seeing that new life for the first time is not really possible. However you try, the words fall far short of fully expressing how you truly feel.

Well, now. The call came early that morning. It was my mother. I remember her exact words: “Son, Sally has gone to the hospital.”

Oh, my. This was it!

You see, I was in Manteo, where I was a teacher and coach. Sally had gone home to Washington a week or so previously, to be there when the time came. Manteo, and Dare County, just didn’t have all the medical advantages they now do.

I immediately called in and left a message with the school that I wouldn’t be in that day. Then I went to school, quickly wrote out instructions for the substitute, put some work assignments on the board, then headed to Washington.

When I arrived at the hospital my mother and Sally’s mother were there. The baby wasn’t.

The new mother-to-be was fast asleep. She had gone into a holding pattern, so it seemed.

Later that afternoon — it seemed an eternity to me — Sally got down to business. She presented us with the most beautiful little girl the world had ever seen. Sarah Yorke Houston. Even now, even now, I become teary-eyed thinking of it.

After some time, waiting near her room, I saw Dr. Ray Silverthorne come out. An ordained minister, deliverer of a million babies, and a truly special human being.

He came up to me, and as I was hoping I could properly try to thank him without crying, and very seriously — almost alarmingly so, or so it seemed to me in my very emotional state — said rather conspiratorially, “Sally’s asleep. They just brought her supper. Go on in and eat it, so it’s not wasted.” And he continued on down the hall.

You’ve got to love it.

And now that beautiful baby girl will be 51 years old Dec. 7, and has three children ages 19, 16 and 14.

As Willie would sing, “Time just slips away.”

APROPOS — “ A child, more than all other gifts earth can offer declining man, brings with it hope and forward looking thoughts.”

— T. S. Eliot