As a child, my parents often told me that most things are better appreciated when we have a period of anticipation before receiving them. I suspected at the time that this may have been a fabrication to protect them in the event they were unable to produce whatever it was that I wanted. I do recall, however, several instances throughout my life when I found this adage to be true.
By far the most important one was a package that came through the mail one day in November 1995! It was just an average day, like many others, when I went to the mailbox and found a package there addressed to The Fagan Family. I recognized the handwriting as that of our son, Dan, who lived in the Chicago area. Since it was addressed to the family, I waited until Kurt was home from school and Joe got in from work. We three gathered around the kitchen table, wondering what in the world it could contain. We made short work of tearing into it and found, of all things, a large teddy bear! We really didn't know what to make of it--UNTIL--we found in the bottom of the box a greeting card addressed to Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Kurt!
Opening the card, it read: "The rabbit died," and was signed with love from Dan and Kathy. We were over the moon with excitement, as you may imagine. (It should be noted that we named the him the Good News Bear," and he still enjoys a place of honor among the pillows on the bed in our guest room.)
You see, like his parents, Dan had been married ten years with no sign of grandchildren, and we were beginning to reconcile ourselves to the idea that there would be none. Our beautiful Matlin Gail (Mattie) came in May. Oh! The joy I felt each time I rocked her; praying that God would guide her through the years ahead. We were doubly blessed when Kathy delivered Mattie's sister, Emelia Dean (Millie) in April 1998! I really don't know how this happens, but we found that we could love the second grand just as much as we did the first.
These girls have given us happiness beyond measure and continue to fill our lives with gratitude and love; they are truly a gift from God.