Do you see the yellow tulips in the corner of this photo? They have a story to tell. Yes, they have something to do with my new grandbaby, as you might have suspected. But they really have more to do with my wonderful sweetheart and his love for his daughter. The story begins more than twelve years ago and I'd love to share it with you.
When our daughter was in labor with her first child - our oldest granddaughter - things went very slow and she became exhausted. The long day turned into night and the longer we waited for progress to be made and baby to arrive the more exhausted and discouraged she became. My sweetheart had been in the room with us for the early hours of the day but when things began to 'labor' on and progress he exited to the waiting room directly across the hallway from our daughter's hospital room. He spent long hours, with many frequent updates from me, doing word puzzles and reading a good book. As midnight approached and it was obvious that our daughter had a l-o-n-g ways to go before delivery my sweetheart knocked on the door and told me he was going to the store. The store? At this hour? He reminded me that a local supermarket just down the hill from the hospital was open twenty-four hours a day. He said he wanted a snack and would be back soon. It seemed he wasn't gone long before he knocked on the door once again. When I opened the door there he stood with a big grin on his face, a pot of the most gorgeous yellow tulips you can imagine and a small gift bag in his hand. 'What are you doing'? I asked. He replied, 'I brought her something to cheer her up!' As he entered the room and placed the pot of yellow tulips on the counter across from our daughter's bed I saw the first smile I had seen on her face for many hours. It lifted her spirits and meant more than words can tell that her dad had done something so special because he cared and wanted to do something to help. And what about the gift bag? When she opened it, nestled gently in tissue paper was a single jar of strained baby peaches! Something special for the baby. There in the middle of the night, in the middle of her labor, my sweetheart touched the heart of his 'little girl' in a way no one else could have done. It was a father-daughter moment that didn't go unnoticed.
What about the tulips in the photo? You may have guessed it already! A week ago this evening my sweetheart drove to the hospital where our daughter was again experiencing long, difficult labor. He had worked all day and yet his heart had been there with us and as soon as he could he headed our way. He called to tell me his location and I knew approximately the time he should arrive. As time passed and he hadn't come yet I decided to step out of our daughter's hospital room and call him to see why he was delayed. No need to call him. As I stepped out of the room I looked down the hall toward the nurse's station and there, rounding the corner, was my sweetheart with a big smile on his face. And yellow tulips in his arms and a tiny gift bag in his hands! I knew immediately what had caused the delay - once again the heart of a father longed to touch the heart of his daughter with love. And encouragement. And maybe a smile! And I knew what was in the little gift bag. You guessed it - a single jar of strained baby peaches. When our daughter saw the little bag she knew immediately what was inside. Later that night my sweetheart told me the peaches were just a token gift for Baby Hannah until the day she is old enough to sit and enjoy peach pie (his favorite) with him!
There have been yellow tulips along the way - a gift from our oldest granddaughter to her mother on one of her birthdays - and there will most likely be more jars of strained peaches before our dear little Hannah grows up - but they will never be so sweet as the gift from a father's heart to his daughter. At just the right moment!