Everyone has a nativity story, a story of birth, of life. For me, there was truly no room in the Inn.
My mother had gone through this before, and it had ended tragically. The next time, she imagined, would be different - circumstances that would center around marriage and a home, an ending that would include life.
She was a few years older yet only one year past her teens. In between days working at the broom factory, she day-dreamed of escaping the tiny north Georgia town for a more romantic world. It was the 1958 Christmas season that introduced her to Dave, a Navy man, and it was as if he flipped a switch. The New Year's Eve party rivaled any tales coming from the big city. The Commercial Hotel, Cornelia's Waldorf, overflowed with beautiful women, elegant men and endless champagne. The songs, the dancing, the dawn of morning. Don't ever let this end, she must have pleaded. Precious time faded, and the good-byes morphed into heart-felt promises, to rest in each others arms until it was his time to ship out. He would return.
These memories held her within that moment, and dreams of their reunion gave her stock in a tomorrow. She waited, and as she did, changes began to happen. She was a little more moody, a little more uneasy, and the signs told a story that would unfold over the next few months. Still, no word from Dave. The two short weeks together were now her catalyst for breathing and the subject of her prayers each night. Although there had been others, he was her first.
Days turned into weeks, turned into months. The baby was coming, but Dave was not.
There was a broom factory worker who knew of an older couple who dreamed of a child. And with pressure from her mother to give away the disgrace, she agreed to a meeting and a beginning to the end. The transaction was simple, the legal documents were few, and in October, a baby was born. The baby traveled to the opposite end of the county, and the birth mother went home to her mother and routine days at the broom factory.
I'm not sure this is how it unfolded, but for the most part, spot on. The older couple are my parents, now long gone, but forever the ones who made room for me.
We all have moments that define us. A chance meeting. A heavenly message. A baby's touch. Those that transform and transfer us to a more befitting place. As with most things in life, they rarely happen as we think they should. There are disappointments, sharp turns. People come, and they go. Rarely is anything black and white. But then, suddenly, as the angels proclaimed, the colors fade into one another, and in the clearing, there's wise men, angels, a heavenly host, and best of all, a star.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.