Nine years ago today I was getting ready to preach an anniversary service in Detroit, Michigan when my wife called and said, “Denny, my water just broke”!!! She was in Bristol and I was in Detroit. I had never missed the birth of any of my kids, but to make it home for this one, was going to be challenge. Alonna’s parents took her to the hospital, while my Dad began calling airlines to see about getting me a flight home asap.
Alonna was the only delivering mother in that small hospital in Johnson City, TN that day. She explained to the doctor that I was on my way and wanted to try her best to wait until I got there to birth our newest baby. The doctor and the nurses did their part to try and delay as long as they possibly could.
After hours of waiting on standby, I finally got a flight out of Detroit and for 2 1/2 hours in the air, I had no idea if the baby had been born. As soon as I landed I called, and Alonna informed me that she had not delivered the baby yet but that it could happen at any moment!!! She had been been fully dilated to 10 for three hours waiting to push and I was still 3o minutes from the hospital and obviously every minute was counting.
I didn’t even wait for my luggage…I ran out of the airport doors and two of my friends were waiting for me with the door of the car open ready for me to board my next flight…LOL!!! Off we went to the hospital. I stayed on the phone so I could monitor what was going, just in case I missed it, I could at least hear the first cry of my little girl.
We arrived at the hospital and it was such an amazing scene. The entire hospital staff was aware of what was going on and nurses were standing outside to usher me in. Not only were they on the outside, but they were lined down the hallway to Alonna’s room, clapping cheering for me as ran to where she was. When I walked in the room, everything was ready for the delivery. A nurse was standing there with scrubs in her hands, open and ready for me to just put my arms in. She said, “WASH AND HURRY”… and I did exactly that!!!
Alonna began pushing…I started cheering her on…the nurses guided her and the doctor…well, you know what he did. I walked in the room at 4:15 pm and MaKendra LeNae Livingston was born at 4:21 pm. It was the most incredible 6 minutes of our lives and I made it just in time!!!
Alonna gave birth to the most beautiful, blue eyed, brown haired baby girl. She was perfect, but she wasn’t planned…LOL! MaKendra was now our 6th child. One was is with the Lord in Heaven, but He gave us 5 to keep us busy and maybe to even giggle at from time to time. They are all unique, but MaKendra’s arrival is the most exciting, but why not, she still keeps us on our toes and in a hurry.
She’s our little softball star and has a smile that will light up a room. She’s the youngest and is still at the age where where she will get on our laps and fall asleep. It won’t be much longer until she will be too big for that and next year she will hit double digits…but until then I will hold her and hold on to her as long as I can.
Mom and I are getting ready to do our yearly tradition, as we do with all of our kids on their birthday. We will wake her up by singing Happy Birthday!!! She will begin rubbing her big blue eyes as she starts waking up and then smile that smile that we love so much. Then we’ll all stand in line to give her a big hug and say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”!!! This day will be filled with fun and excitement as we celebrate 9 years with MaKendra, AKA Kiki!!!