It takes a village

Staff writer

sent m God sent me an angel four years ago but it wasn’t easy.

I received a phone call from my son-in-law one morning. My daughter, three months from her due date, was at the emergency room.

I was out for my morning walk when I received the call and, like any grandma would do, I hailed down the first car that went past me. Thank God it was my friend, Cynthia Barrett. She rushed me to my vehicle and I hurried to the hospital where Don Hodson was examining Nikki. Her umbilical cord had detached, and ready or not, we had a baby on the way.

Nikki was transported by Marion ambulance to Newton Medical Center. Isaiah was born, with the help of his pediatrician and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from Wichita, on May 22, 2009, and weighed only 1 pound, 13 ounces and was about the length of a ruler, 13 inches.

As soon as he was stable, he was transported to the NICU at Wesley where he spent the next few months developing.

Thankfully, with all the prayers from our friends, family, and the community, he was able to go home just a few weeks short of his original birthdate.

It has been four years and you would never know this little boy had such a traumatic entrance into this world.

He is all boy. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails. He loves everything from playing in mud puddles to catching fireflies. He can be snuggled up on my lap one minute and wear me out the next.

The last time he was at my house I thought he was going to eat me out of house and home, in and out of the refrigerator every few minutes. He ate a whole carton of strawberries and then asked for more. Must be another growing spurt.

He loves playing in the park and it doesn’t take much for him to convince me that I should be climbing on the playground equipment right behind him. He’ll say, “Come on, Ya-ya, go down this slide again.”

We celebrated his fourth birthday Memorial Day weekend. He informed his mom and dad that he wanted a policeman birthday party. How can anyone tell him no? He wants to be a policeman when he grows up.

It was Police Chief Tyler Mermis who recently really came through for Isaiah. Tyler found out it was Isaiah’s birthday May 22 and surprised Isaiah by pulling up in front of the house in his police car.

I asked Isaiah what he thought about the surprise and he said, “It was cool, Ya-ya.”

Big brother Damien thought it was pretty cool too. Tyler had them try on his bulletproof vest, gave them stickers that looked like police badges, and turned on the emergency lights in the car. Isaiah thought the lights were just about the best thing ever. Then Tyler really surprised Isaiah and took both boys for a ride in the slick black police car.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. We have seen firsthand how the community has helped and encouraged Isaiah. I cannot think of anything better than to see my grandson grow up to be a policeman, just like Tyler Mermis.

My daughter was quoted on facebook as saying, “You started your life a little rough, but you wouldn’t know it today. Glad you are here to celebrate.”

Thank you, everyone, for being there, for being the village we are proud to live in.

Happy fourth birthday, little man. We all love you.

 

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