Twenty one years ago today, William Harry Maddison III, affectionately known as Tre’ made his debut at a hospital in Waxahachie, Texas. Tre’ carries the honor of being the first grandchild, first grandson, and my first nephew. All that together makes for one special guy, but that is just the story’s beginning. You see, over 1500 miles away in Mountain Home, Idaho, on the exact same day, August 9, 1990, another baby arrived. This baby, my son, Matthew James Miller, was stillborn. What a schizophrenic day for our family; rejoicing over the birth of one child and mourning the loss of another. The day was especially difficult for my mother; two daughters, two grandsons, two states and two opposing emotions.
A few days later, my husband and I traveled to Texas to bury our son and meet our new nephew. Much of that trip is a blur, buried under layers of scar tissue, but several vivid memories stand out: the suffocating torrent of emotion that engulfed me after viewing that tiny casket, Tre’s father serving as a pall bearer at my son’s funeral, and watching my mother snuggle with her new grandson. Part of me yearned to hold Tre’, to smell his baby fresh scent, and eventually I did, but not for long. The pain of my loss was still too raw.
Time and distance eventually wrapped their soothing balm around my fragmented heart. When we returned to Texas four short months later, I could not WAIT to see my nephew! I held him, fed him, bumped his head taking him out of the baby swing (sorry, Tre’!) and even took him for an overnight visit. After the holidays Tre’ and his mommy came to Idaho and lived with us for a while. A scene replays in my mind of the day we bought Tre’ his first pair of shoes. Going from bare feet to high top sneakers can be a difficult transition for any toddler, but Tre’ was most cooperative. His happy clomping throughout the store had the other shoppers grinning with delight. I’m smiling even now as I relive that moment.
Babies are born every day, and all of them have a purpose, no matter the circumstances surrounding their arrival. God is SOVEREIGN. Nothing surprises him. He always has a plan. William Harry Maddison III brought life when there was death, joy when there was pain. Each year the celebration of his birth reminds me of the gift God sent. There is no more mourning, only rejoicing.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRE’!