Happy 12th Birthday Rachel Mast! Twelve years ago tonight at 8:40 pm Rachel Mast announced her arrival to planet earth with a healthy set of lungs! Beautiful from the moment I saw you and held you with those piercing blue eyes, dark black head of hair, chubby little cheeks, ten fingers and ten toes. You brought pure joy to my life and your daddy’s life. You have continued to bring joy to many lives and many lives have become part of our joy because of one Rachel Mast. With the exception of our wedding day when I married up and married your daddy, the day you were born was the happiest day of my life.
I knew you had Down syndrome before you were born. We chose to have an amnio because I was an older mom. Being the controlling person I am, I wanted to know if there was anything “wrong” so we could be prepared. Your daddy felt the same way. We knew when we talked to my doctor what we wanted to do but we wanted his professional opinion. I am most thankful for Dr. Mike Marshall and his wisdom, calmness, patience and respect. He said, “It is your choice. I would recommend you have the amnio. I have delivered several babies to moms who didn’t know their babies were going to have Down syndrome. They were devastated, and the day you have a baby should be the happiest day of your life.” For us, that was true. The day you were born was the happiest day! On the dark February day when I learned you had Down syndrome, I felt devastation and I felt such sadness, but joy comes in the morning! As I pushed through that weekend God reminded me of a song from my childhood days at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church where on a good Sunday we’d have 60 folks. From time to time we had these old fashioned “singings” in the evenings. The church was packed and good gospel, not so good gospel and Southern gospel flowed freely. One group sang a song called “Joy Comes in the Morning”. Based on the Psalms 30:5 it said, “Hold on my child – Joy comes in the morning. Weeping only lasts for awhile.” So twenty years later, I remembered that song and it gave me comfort.
When you were the tiniest little baby, I kind of made up a song that I would sing to you as I held you or as we danced or played or as I gazed at your while you slept. Now, you and I sing it together sometimes. It says, “When I fall in love. It will be with Rachel. Cause I’ll always love my Rachel. From the moment that I looked into those eyes, I have been in love with Rachel. When I fall in love, it will be with Rachel. Cause I’ll always love my Rachel. From the moment when I held you in my arms, I have been in love, I have been in love, I have been in love with Rachel. Da da da da daaaa.”
Joy did not come in the morning though. It came in the evening. Great joy came and continues to come in the person of Rachel. Happy Birthday Rachel!