There are some things you are better off not knowing,” my mother used to say. You know, I think she was right.
There are some things you are better off not
knowing,” my mother used to say. You know, I think she was right.
Funerals of loved ones are painful, but they often
are the only times extended families get together. Inevitably,
conversations turn to childhood stories. That happened during the time
of my brother’s funeral a few weeks ago.
I started thinking about the birth of the three
children in our family. I do not remember the birth of my older
brother, but I do remember the birth of my younger sister. Dad came
home from the hospital and gathered my brother and me from the
neighborhood. He was beaming.
“Boys, guess what?”
We had no idea what to guess.
“You mother just gave you a new little sister.”
I had no idea what to think of that. Having no idea
where little sisters came from, I just accepted the news. The events
surrounding Judy’s birth were festive, even jubilant. When I realized
how happy Mother was, I joined in the celebration. I had no idea how
much Mother wanted a daughter until later when I realized I was
supposed to be a girl – thus, my name, Lynn.
Years later, I heard my mother recounting events
leading to my birth. “Someone needed some money and came by the
parsonage trying to sell a billy goat,” Mother explained. “Roy (my
father) was always helping someone, so, he bought the goat, thinking he
could resell it.
“Well, no one could afford to buy it in our small
town. So, when I went into labor, the closest hospital was in Seminole
(Texas), and Roy knew they had a livestock sale barn there. So, he put
the goat in the back of the car and took it and me to Seminole.
“After Lynn was born, he took the goat to the sale barn and sold it. I think he lost five dollars on it.
“When we got home and we presented Lynn to everyone,
they kidded us and said that the preacher traded a goat for a baby, and
after they saw how scrawny (that was a long time ago) Lynn was, they
said the preacher got the worst end of the trade.”
That inane little story has helped me remember that
the circumstances of a person’s birth are not nearly as important as
the fact that God is the giver of life. Regardless of the circumstances
of an individual’s birth, God creates the person in his image. He
creates the person with a soul, personality, purpose and plan.
Knowing how challenging I was to raise, I am sure
there were many times my folks wished they had kept the goat!