Walker and I were married the weekend before Thanksgiving and Lance and Karre were just two of many faceless names my husband asked that I send a wedding invitation. Then they couldn't come to our wedding, because they had just had a baby boy.
Six weeks later, at Reagan and Lisa's New Year's Eve party, I sat on a couch feeling slightly nauseated, completely stunned, and conspicuously declining the flutes of champagne provided to ring in 2003. Then Lance and Karre appeared, proudly snuggling the reason they had missed our wedding.
His tiny little head bobbed as he tried to avert his tiny little eyes from the strobe light that had been positioned by the couple who were a few years away from parenthood. I held baby Thomas in my arms, staring at him in a way I'd never stared at a baby before. I'm gonna have one of these. Soon. One of these. Soon. Oh my Lord. Me. One of these. Soon!
The following August, I had one of those. We named him Shepherd Emmanuel.
Nine years later, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, great buddies Shepherd and Thomas stood together, sheepish, proud, and so so handsome. They've confessed their need for a savior, and expressed a desire to commune with him regularly through the sacrament of the bread and the wine.
After their first communion a celebration followed at Lance and Karre's house, who are so much more to me now than just names. And this time, I did not decline the champagne.
Congratulations to my sweet son Shep and his sweet buddy Thomas. You are loved dearly by parents here below and even more so by a Heavenly Father above. May your hearts' desire always be to commune with your Savior, whose heart's desire is always to commune with you.