Celebrating The Moments That Change Us Forever

There are a few things that happen in the span of your lifetime that changes it forever.

Today represents one of those times for me. It was 32 years ago that I became a mom. My son, Jason Thomas Walter, was born at 7:19a. after a short labor and delivery. I never knew such love. Looking at his tiny hands and feet, I was witnessing a miracle. Our love had become life weighing 7 lbs. 1.5 ozs and 21.5 inches long. I couldn’t contain the love I felt for this tiny person.

When Tom and I brought him home we were young and clueless as to how to best care for a newborn. But we learned, and our love for him and each other grew. I’ll never forget waking in the night just to be sure he was still breathing. Thankfully, he was.

Now our son stands 6′ 2″ tall and has looked down at me for nearly two decades. He has a wife whom we adore and three beautiful children. He has followed in my footsteps in loving words more than numbers. He is a copy-editor for Dave Ramsey’s organization, and it has made this home-schooling mama quite proud. All those years of dissecting sentence structures paid off. Not only is he good at it, he loves it.

On days like these I look back and remember highlights. I remember…

  • Taking him to work with me the first 10 months of his life.
  • When he got an upper-respiratory infection at 10 months and had to be hospitalized.
  • When we took him snow skiing, and he wanted to take something special to his 3-year-old sister because she wasn’t old enough to ski.
  • When he broke his leg that same day snow skiing. We bought him the special gift he wanted to get for Tracy.
  • His love for cars and playing crash on our kitchen floor.
  • His uncanny ability to rig his room with string, so he’d know when someone opened his door.
  • His insatiable love for reading.
  • His ability to remember whatever he read.
  • His love for history.
  • His love for his grandparents.
  • When he bought me my favorite candy bar when I worked in the office at his high school and was having a bad day.
  • When he graduated from high school and we thought my dad was having a heart attack the moment they called his name.
  • When he told us he had found the girl he wanted to marry and how she reminded him of me.
  • When he walked me down the aisle on his wedding day knowing he would never call our home, “home” again.
  • When he brought out his first baby for us to meet in the waiting room.
  • When after 9 years of going to college part-time, he graduated and looked back at us from the sea of graduates with that infectious smile of his.
  • When I get texts or phone calls just to say, “I love you.”

There is a saying that goes, “A son is your son ’til he takes a wife, a daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life.” But this isn’t true in our family. Our daughter-in-love, as we like to call her, has become family. So much so that it feels as if she has always been a part of us.

Four generations of Walter men. From l to r: Jason, Richard (Grandpa), Vito, Tom

Four generations of Walter men. From l to r: Jason, Richard (Grandpa), Vito, Tom

 

I am grateful to God for Jason, as I am for each of my three children. I am grateful for a husband who loves them as much as I do. And I am grateful our love continues to grow and strengthen as our boundaries expand.

Jason, I pray today you sense God’s amazing love for you and that you are confident of this very thing…He who began a good work in you will complete it until Christ comes again. I am blessed to have you call me MOM.

Happy Birthday!

 

 

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Music Memories Never Fade

 

Music has always been a big part of my family.

I remember our vacations on the road being filled with folk songs like My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean, I’ve Been Working On The Railroad, and Found A Peanut to name a few. My Mom had a song for everything, and seemed she would pop a new one on us often and at unexpected times.

I think I’ve picked up her gift, as I find myself remembering songs for my grandchildren that I haven’t thought of in years. They’re fun songs that don’t have much meaning other than the memories they evoke in my heart.

Music is like that. It causes our hearts to remember a certain time in our past. But it’s not only our memory that is stirred, we remember the emotions we felt as well. This is why some of Sirius XM’s most popular stations are 60’s on 6, 70’s on 7 and 80’s on 8. We love to be reminded of what once was.

My dad loved music too.

He was the one who loved to gather our family around the piano to join him in singing songs like, The Holy City… as my sister played accompaniment. It was his father, my grandfather, who instilled this love of music in my dad’s heart. Andrew Gray was a soloist at his church and would often share his rich baritone voice on Sunday’s with his church family at the Cranston Street Roger Williams Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island. It was after one of his performances when he had a heart attack and died right there doing what he loved most.

When my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2003, we knew what would mean the most to him. We had the worship leader at our church come and play hymns on the piano while we all joined him singing. There were lots of tears, and many of us had a difficult time singing, but the look on my dad’s face as the music played was worth the pain.

I recently was shown the following video of an elderly man who had lived in a nursing home for over a decade.  Watch and see how technology is playing a part in bringing some of this man’s life back to him in a powerful way. Be sure to watch the entire piece–it will brighten your day.

What songs have had an impact on your life?