The Game of Life

“Mom her water broke. Get to the airport.” I slammed my phone down.

No alarm clock ever got me out of bed faster.

It was over a week before the due date. My youngest would be having her first. My baby having a baby. A tender thought that tugged on my heart.

I got dressed and packed my bag in a combined total of 10 minutes and jumped in the car. Racing through the streets of Phoenix in time to get on the freeway ... and stop.

Accidents everywhere. Walls of cars. What in the world was happening? Then I remembered.

The game.

That blasted, fabulous Championship College Football game last night. A game that I watched with a bowl of popcorn in my lap. A game that brought thousands of fans into the Valley of the Sun. A game that was responsible for clogged streets and my now rising blood pressure.

Missed the first flight out. Told my desperate story to an airline agent and was able to snag a standby on the next.

I grabbed a seat next to the gate and took a deep breath. Time to dig deep and find some patience. Sitting in an airport 800 miles away. My hands were tied.

I glanced at those around me. It was a sea of orange. Cell phone conversations all around me. There were tears and tragic stories of money spent on a lost game. “How did this happen?” they cried. A lot of energy surrounding …

The game.

In my own little world, conversations kept my cell phone beeping at each piece of news. Updates on labor and the impending delivery. Hurry mom!

I imagined the scene. My daughter and her husband battling through unknown territory. An event which was a perfect storm of anxiety and beauty.

“Heavenly Father please help them through this as I try my best to get there.” No sooner had I said it, I received a text.

An expression of love. Husband and wife coming together in an event which would soon change their lives forever. Two becoming three.

Tears filled my eyes. “I’m coming little one. Grandma’s on her way.”

Finally the boarding process. Took my seat and fastened my seatbelt. The plane was full. I heard my name over the loud speaker.

“Passenger Heidi would you please raise your hand.” A flight attendant quickly came over. Reached into the seat pocket in front of me and pulled out the selection of alcoholic drinks. “Honey, you order whatever you’d like and I’ll get it for you.”

Good heavens … did I look that bad?

“The pilots have been notified that you are trying to make the birth of your grandchild. They will do their best.”

I was both grateful and amused. Is there a red turbo button they can push that I didn’t know about?

The plane landed. I ran through the Salt Lake City airport. Rushed through the hospital halls. Dashed over to labor and delivery and found myself standing at the door to her room. I placed my hand on the door.

Paused for just a moment. Recognizing the passage from one realm to another.

As my feet passed through the doorway all stress stayed behind. The journey didn’t matter. No worries. The morning melted away. I was fully present.

In a room filled with light.

She was ready. The time was now. Her husband and I each held tight. Encouraging and assisting in the miracle of birth. A wonder that doubles the size of your heart and whispers to your soul. A spiritual and physical gift.

The focus now is this new little family. They are the center of the universe. And their kingdom has a new princess.

Kody, Ashlyn and Hazel Hansen

Kody, Ashlyn and Hazel Hansen

Life is beautiful. And good. My heart has welcomed in another little one.

My soul is at peace. I won the race. But more importantly - the game was won. The real game.

The game of life.

Aubreigh Parks Photography

Aubreigh Parks Photography

One of eternal and unconditional love. One agreed to in another place and time. A plan of happiness.

Certainly a significance noted this day in heaven. I am sure there were cheers. Words of encouragement and joy celebrating the entrance of a new player on earth.

Oh – and that other game?

I can’t even remember who played.