Our first daughter, Holly, born six weeks premature at a time when that meant serious threats to an infant’s survival, developed faster than the doctors predicted. She spoke her first words at five months and complete sentence soon after. Each developmental check-up showed her vocal and motor skills surpassing not only the current-age-minus-six-weeks’ norms but zooming months ahead of her actual age.
What does this have to do with a story about an anniversary, you ask? Most people scoff at these claims I make of Holly’s early achievements vocally, however, my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary brought the truth in a harmonic way.
Around the time of Holly’s second birthday, my brothers and I ramped up our plans for a surprise anniversary party for our parents. We invited family and friends, suggesting monetary gifts to go toward a special gift. Our parents never had a honeymoon, never went away by themselves, choosing family vacations instead. We set up an anniversary trip, even called our dad’s work in secret and scheduled his vacation time. I made reservations at Heritage USA in NC, ordered a AAA triptik, and arranged to stay with their dogs for the week.
I like to think we surprised them with the party, but if not, the planned trip did the trick. (Note: the photo is from the day of the party, my dad holding Holly.) As we helped them pack their car to leave, Holly chattered and sang songs, including her favorite— “Jesus Loves Me.” I sent money with my parents to purchase a singing doll advertised at Heritage. A tiny plastic record inserted in the doll gave her a voice, and the one I picked sang Holly’s favorite song.
Upon their return, my parents gave Holly the doll. She oohed and aahed over the doll’s curly red hair and pushed the button over and over to make her sing. At just over fourteen months, our preemie daughter sang along with her special doll, only having a little trouble keeping up with its speed. (Note: the photo is not of the one we had. Holly’s is long gone!)
Years later, we know why God gifted her so early with a voice. He wanted Holly to use that voice in service to Him, and she has in many ways. Never doubt the gifts God gives and His timing, no matter how unusual they may seem.
*** Do you have a story to share about a special anniversary—yours or someone else’s? Or if not, do you have a special gift which showed up early in your life or a family member’s? To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Scroll to the bottom of the comment section to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!
*** As I write this, my brother is vacationing at a cabin in Potter County, PA, my favorite place on earth. I wonder if he remembers the flashlight we used for a special purpose there when we were children. Next week, I’ll tell you about it!