The beautiful blessing of a new baby

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“A rosebud mouth and a button nose, tiny fingers and tiny toes. Lots of love and lots of hope, baby powder and baby soap. Smiley bubbles and giggles too, skin so soft, it’s all brand new. Love and wishes are sent her way with peace and happiness every day.” 

— Anonymous

This past week, our family grew in ways both tiny and mighty.

The arrival of a 7-pound baby girl was welcomed by my son and his wife, along with their firstborn son, about to turn 4. The angels surely sang on high with her first breath.

The baby’s gender remained a mystery until the moment of birth, which made the announcement all the more exciting. Josie Jayne had us all in the palm of her teeny little hand.

Those who have followed my column for many years know what a wonderful gift this is. Life for our son, Cort, has been filled with challenges ever since he was 11 after a known tick bite set his health on a downward spiral. 

No matter how many physicians were told of that tick bite, at that time we were repeatedly told that Ohio ticks did not carry Lyme disease, patted on our heads and sent on our way.

A flight to a New Jersey treatment center a couple of years into this nightmare finally confirmed what we needed to know for certain, and I.V. treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases began. 

Though our son showed remarkable improvement while on the strong antibiotic treatment given through a PICC line for 58 days, our insurance would not approve it beyond that random treatment cycle. Within a couple of weeks, all of his horrifying symptoms began to slowly return with a vengeance.

It was a constant, nightmarish battle for years, while our son became more and more debilitated, suffering beyond description. Our fears that this gifted young man would never get to live the life of his highest hopes were brutal, crushing, and heartbreaking. 

Though he continues to require weekly treatments (and will for the rest of his life) via eight needles in his belly, his determination to prevail over the damage wrought on him is positive and remarkable. He has built a good life with his master’s degree the foundation for a career with The Ohio State University. 

A wedding here on our farm in May of 2013 was the beginning of a path toward the life he wished for, with the hopes for children one day driving him to continue his education, setting goals that had once seemed impossible.

Their son, Marshall, given my father’s middle name, was a great surprise after hopes of a family had grown dim. The arrival of this baby girl four years later is our son’s answered prayer, and it shows all over his beaming face. 

“I feel like I want to hold her up and carry her down the main street so everyone in the world can see how perfect she is!” he said from the hospital room on the day we first met our new granddaughter.

There is nothing more powerful than the tiniest of fingers wrapping around our own, attaching hearts for a lifetime of wishes for pure sweetness and light.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

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