August, 1986 Jim and I were in Arizona. Jim had signed up to attend a Physical Therapy Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. As Jim made preparations to attend this seminar, he decided he would take me with him and we would go out a week early. He saw it as an opportunity for us to vacation and possibly see the Grand Canyon.
After being in Phoenix a few days, I became very sick. I was so sick that Jim thought I ought to go to the hospital and get checked. The doctors thought I had just picked up a bug and gave me something that would relieve the nausea. Within a few hours, I did feel a little better. Jim signed us up for a tour that would take us to the Grand Canyon for the day. We ventured out with a tour group and had a wonderful time enjoying scenery and meeting other people on the tour from other states as well as from around the world. Needless to say, it was wonderful memory for a newly married couple.
After an outing to the Grand Canyon, it was time for Jim to start his classes and I began to get sick again. Jim jokingly said ” I just can’t take you anywhere!” Then, he got wise to the situation and went to the local pharmacy and picked up a pregnancy test. Yes, the results were positive. But, Jim would not believe it and so we did a second and a third. It was obvious that a little Hawkins would arrive in about nine months. Yet, newly married Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins were in total shock. This news of a new one coming into their lives did not fit into their five-year plan of waiting to start a family. They both asked each other and thought to themselves “what are we going to do?” and ” are we really ready for this?” Of course, as Jim says “we had commitment” and ready or not we were going to be Mom and Dad. An unexpected blessing was expected to arrive in March, 1987.
On March 24, 1987, from the delivery room window, all you could see was the dark sky of rain and storms rolling in one after another. In the delivery room was a weary mom to be becoming more tired and weary from being in labor for over a day. Along with the weary mom to be, was dad to be who had only slept a few hours in a hospital chair. However, the time finally came for the newest Hawkins to enter the world. As Andrew Mitchell Hawkins entered the world, the storm clouds broke and the most beautiful rainbow appeared outside our delivery room window. I knew then that no matter how unprepared Jim and I thought we were, God had a plan for us by placing this beautiful baby boy in our lives. Drew was God’s promise to us.
As I reflect on what began as a stormy day that turned bright and sunny, I reflect on the days and the years that followed. I see a dad and a son not only bonding as father and son but as best friends. Up and at it at five in the morning, Jim would get the paper to read before going to work. On those early mornings, I would awake and come to the living room to see Drew in Jim’s lap reading the paper with him. As Drew got older, they would meet in the kitchen Jim with one section of the paper and Drew with another section. They were like two old men talking about what was in the news and the weather.
Along with early morning reads of the newspaper, I reflect on many vacations that we took with Drew. When going to the beach, Jim and Drew would design a sandcastle and would spend all day together building it. If we were at an amusement park, they would find the fastest and most daring roller coasters to ride together. Fun was and is still not an option it is mandatory with Drew.
Along with roller coaster rides, reading the headlines, and building sand castles, there were tears shed at times. The memory that holds close to my heart is when Drew was nineteen. He had to let go of his best friend that had been in his life since he was six. Abby was his dog and companion that waited for him to come home from school to run and play. She was the friend that had watched him grow up.
I will never forget watching Drew and his dad spend an evening in the rain, digging a grave for his best friend. It was that evening, I saw a little boy who had grown into a fine young man with a lot of character. I saw the message that God had sent me on that March afternoon of 1987. This message was that there was a young man who no matter the circumstances stood true to his faith. He was and is not afraid to show what he feels and is loyal to his Christian walk.
August, 2011, another blessing will happen. Drew will take the hand of a lovely young lady by the name of Megan to begin a new life with her. On the day he stands at the altar awaiting to meet Megan there, I will not only be reflecting on the joys and blessings of what Drew has brought to our family. But, if only in my mind, I will see that beautiful rainbow I saw on the day he was born. I will be thanking God for the unexpected blessing that came to be in August, 1986 and arrived on March 24, 1987. For, it was that unexpected blessing that has been nothing but a wonderful blessing to his dad and me.
Drew, much love and happiness is wished to you today. May you experience the joy of an unexpected blessing one day. Happy Birthday!
We Love You,
Mom and Dad
PS May you always have a ‘School Boy Heart.’ Dad and I always think of you when we hear this song:
- Picture of the Day: The Grand Canyon (theatlantic.com)