It seems like only yesterday that one of the most important events in my and B. J.’s life occurred. I was the pastor of the Graham United Methodist Church. It was Memorial Day 1993. I was walking for my health. I often walked from the Graham parsonage to Mt. Zion Baptist Church--a good walk.
I had almost made it to the church when I heard a vehicle approaching me from behind. I turned to see B. J. driving our white Dodge Caravan. My heart skipped a beat. I knew what was happening. We were expecting our fourth grandchild. We were packed and ready to go to Lawrenceville, Ga. hospital at a moments notice. That moment had arrived.
“Get in!” B. J. said. “Tammy is in Labor.”
I jumped into the van and B. J. almost burned rubber as she turned around. We threw in our last minute things and headed north. We had been present for the birth of our other three grandchildren, Terah, Whitney and Dustin and we surely did not want to miss this one. It was probably the quickest time we have ever made to Atlanta and Lawrenceville.
By the time we got on the Atlanta Bypass, serious dark storm clouds were looming over Atlanta. Before we reached the hospital, the storm broke with a fiendish fury. Even in clear weather, driving on the Atlanta Bypass can be challenging. In a deluge with wind, lightning and thunder, it can be horrifying. However, we pressed on. We wanted to be with the family for the main event.
We reached the hospital, rode the elevator to the maternity ward where our son, Richard, excitedly greeted and informed us that the expectant mother had not delivered yet. “They say it will be about twenty minutes.”
Outside the storm was lashing with all its ferocity. On the weather channel, tornado watches had been posted for the entire area. However, we were focused on a beautiful event that was occurring inside--the birth of our fourth grandchild. We flopped on a couch and tried to relax but that was not to be.
Shortly, our son entered the room and announced proudly, “She is here yall!”
There was exhilaration in the Lawrenceville hospital. The storm outside lost its roar as we rejoiced at the birth of a healthy girl.
We gathered for a “naming session.” I suggested that we name her “Stormy” because she had come in on a big storm. However, my suggestion got caught up in the wind and blew away. She came away from the hospital with the name, Caroline Melissa Boyd.
After almost nineteen fun filled years with Caroline, last Wednesday, we made another quick trip to Atlanta to see Caroline graduate from the Dacula high school just a few miles from where she was born. Dacula High School is one of the top-rated high schools in the U. S. B. J. and I were almost as excited as we were that stormy day she was born.
The indoor arena in the huge Gwinnett County Civic Center will seat thousands. We had special reserved seats with friends and family for this very special occasion.
Our anxiety intensified as the time (8:00pm) drew near for the program. Then the announcement came, the music crescendo increased and as the long line, 306 graduates, entered the arena we stood in honor. It was an amazing scene! The graduates were so prettily dressed in their blue robes and caps. In addition, our Caroline that we had held in our arms just a few years ago at the hospital just up the road was so beautiful! We were as happy for her as were, of course, her parents, brother, and sisters; they were all there happily cheering. Later in the program when she walked and received her diploma, a great shout when up from her friends and family.
What makes us even prouder is that Caroline is continuing her education. She has already been accepted at Gainesville, Ga. College and plans to enter there in the fall.
Have to close with a word about our oldest granddaughter Terah who will graduate from college soon. B. J. and I hope to be present when she walks across the stage to receive her diploma in journalism. Like her Papa, she loves to write. She is presently the editor of her college newspaper (already a paid professional). We are proud of Terah, too, as well as all the other grandchildren.