I loved being pregnant! I always had good, easy pregnancies, and was treated like a fragile princess from the moment the pregnancy was announced. I’ll admit deliveries weren’t great – I had 3 C-sections – but I was THE CHAMP at carrying babies! All three of my full term pregnancies were wonderful to me. Nathanael was the long-awaited one. Dannye was supposedly the last one. But Pamela – Pamela was the baby that I never thought I’d have, but the Lord had a different plan!
Twenty-five years ago today, March 10, I gave birth to that precious bundle of tears. Yep, I meant tears. Pamela didn’t stop crying until she was 3 years old! I was so very blessed to have that third baby, but oh, she tested my endurance!
As an infant, Pamela would not be comforted by anyone but me! When I went to Bible Study Fellowship, there were times she wouldn’t even take a bottle if she was at a sitters – the sitter my other two children adored! Pamela wasn’t even sure she liked her Daddy until she was two; but she did love her siblings very much, and called Dannye Reigh her “Udder Mudder”.
Pamela’s nickname became “Sweet Tater” very shortly after she was born. The nickname came from my Nana, and Pamela certainly loved it! In her toddler years, we would go through a ritual each night: “Pamela, are you a Mashed Tater?” “How about a Baked Tater?” “A Tater Chip?” “I know, you’re a Rotten Tater!” Of course, to each of these we heard a resounding, “NOOOOOO! I not a _______ Tater!” “Well, then, Pamela, what kind of Tater are you?” “I’m a SWEET TATER!”
Both my girls had pretty bad allergies, but Pamela never outgrew her’s. She also had pretty bad asthma, and when she was about ten, she developed severe polyps in her sinuses. Over the next ten years, she had 6 full surgeries, and I can’t even tell you how many office surgeries! Pamela was so sick, so much of the time. And she did cling to me!
I’ll never forget that first surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. I firmly believe that she only had courage to go through it because one of the precious elders in our church told her that she was going to be a missionary in that hospital. Pamela took that very seriously, and I don’t think she ever forgot that charge. But me – I had the hardest time letting them wheel that baby (she was eleven) away from me into the operating room!
Pamela was very different that my other two in many ways. She couldn’t stand to be alone, yet once she had her “securities” near, she behaved quite independent. Pam had a mind of her own, and being quite a little talker, didn’t mind expressing it! She was our entire family’s “Baby Girl” and never wanted to be anything else! As a matter of fact, if I slip and call Arulai “Baby Girl,” Pamela even now reminds me just WHO is actually my Baby Girl!
Both Nathanael and Dannye Reigh came to know the Lord at a very young age. Both were about 5 years old. Both were anxious to seek Him, to know Him, to trust Him. Pamela didn’t seem to see a personal need for God. She certainly believed in God, in Jesus, and loved them both. But she just didn’t need Him. I always felt that she assumed that God, like everyone else in her life, would simply say, “Oh, it’s you, Pamela! Come on in!”
One day, when Pamela was eight, we were all in the van, and Dan said, “Mama, you know what Pam did? She invited Jesus into her heart!” I asked Pamela about it – tried to get details, make certain she was clear on everything. She just matter-of-factly said, “I just asked Him and He did it!” What assurance I didn’t get from her explanation, I see in the fruit of her life! Oh, my, how she grew, softened, truly blossomed!
One amazing change took some time, but over the next few years Pamela went from a clinging, crying Mama’s Girl to a truly independent (yet submissive and loving) young woman. It was actually a bit difficult to give up my Mama’s Girl!
Due to Pamela’s allergies, and our discovery of mold in our home, Pamela had to move in with my folks for about nine months during her mid-teens. I’d have never believed she would make it through it, but she did! She was a great blessing to my Mama and Daddy during that time, and even drove them on a three week trip to the Northwestern United States. Some of Daddy’s greatest memories are of Pamela, only 15 and with a Learner’s Permit, driving up and down, in and out of the mountains. He talks about her driving and giggling the whole way! That trip was also Pamela’s first experience of real snow! So many great memories they shared!
There is so much more to say about my Tater – her decision to go to school in Florida, the heartache of being forced to change from her nursing major because of her health, meeting and falling in love with Will, marrying him with the knowledge that it would take and probably keep her many miles away from her family. All the while growing, trusting, and depending on her Lord, and almost always with that beautiful, sun-shiney smile! The smile that through these years gradually replaced those tears!
Thank you, Father, for “sneaking” this precious one into our lives. The blessings have been unending!
God bless your day!