It was a beautiful day.

April 6, 1991 was a beautiful day. The forsythia were brilliant yellow. The sun, more brilliant still. Both were perfectly set in unseasonably perfect temperatures. We (Nancy and I) would have loved to sit on our deck, watching Andrew play in the back yard.

Alas, Nancy would have to waste the whole day in bed. In the hospital. And Andrew would be dragged around town, visiting relatives before finally taken away for the night.

The next time Nancy would be outside, it would be rainy and dreary, more like April.

And in her arms would be Hope.

Hope Elizabeth Swanson, to be precise. We stood outside on the beautiful day, Nancy counting slowly, and suddenly it was time. To the hospital, to the birthing room, through the intense, brief pain, and suddenly Hope.

Andrew and HopeThough we remember the weather of that day, we never think about it having been wasted. And though there have been times that have felt like the rain of the day she came home, drippy and gray and chilly, those are not the times that cloud the memories of the past 19 years.

She’s at college today, the same school I wrote about visiting two years ago. And I find something I wrote there about choosing to go to that school particularly appropriate today:

I’m thinking that there are way too many times that we are absolutely convinced that we aren’t interested in what someone is talking about because we “know” what they will say. We “know” what going there would mean, how choosing that would ruin our lives, how that place would be no fun. We almost miss out on the very thing that will allow us to be transformed, to be completed…because we don’t want to take that call, to hear what that voice has to say.

Ah, dear Hope. I’m glad you are there. And I am so glad you are here, that I listened to that Voice.

Happy Birthday Beautiful.


7 responses to “It was a beautiful day.

  1. thanks, Daddy.
    I love you.

  2. me too, daughter.

  3. she’s pretty amazing, isn’t she?

  4. Jon,

    Thank you for the beautiful story.

    Happy Birthday, Hope.

  5. Indeed it was a beautiful day…made more beautiful by Hope’s speedy arrival. And she has brightened our days ever since.

  6. Happy birthday, Hope. Though we have never met, I am glad you brought hope into the lives of Jon & Nancy.

  7. UGH. 3 Swansons brought tears to me today. Happy birthday Hope and happy birth day J and N.