This last Mother’s Day, I came home to a special surprise.
There was a message on our voice mail and when I listened to it, this is what I heard:
“Hi, Heidi!” a young man’s voice said kindly, “This is Gordon. I wanted to call and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you’re doing well! Bye.”
This thoughtful message touched me on many levels, but mostly because I think of Gordon like a son.
I first met Gordon five years ago, when Charming and I taught his CTR 8 Primary class at church and right away we knew he was one-of-a-kind. Gordon was only seven years old at that time, but he had the spiritual conviction of a true disciple of Christ.
None of his family went to church, so every Saturday, he went to his Great-Grandmother’s house and spent the night so he could go to church with her the next day.
We loved Gordon and he loved us. Every Sunday before church he came over and gave us each a big hug. And in class, he was a delightful, sincere student.
After he turned eight years old, he wanted to be baptized.
So he approached Charming and asked him if he would baptize him. Charming told him he would be absolutely honored to do so.
After that, Gordon advanced to another class, so we were no longer his teachers. But then I got called to lead the music in Primary, so I got to be his music teacher. And every Sunday after church, Gordon came up and gave me the biggest hug he could possibly squeeze into me.
The day I announced I was pregnant.
And then Gordon walked up to me after church with a frown, “I can’t squeeze you tight anymore,” he said sadly.
“Why not?” I asked with confusion.
“Because I don’t want to hurt the baby!” he said.
I just melted and said, “Oh, Gordon!” and held out my arms for a much gentler hug.
And then right before Bubbers was born, we decided to buy a bigger home and were heartbroken to tell Gordon we were going to move.
“I won’t be able to see your son grow up,” he said as he looked down at newborn Bubbers on our last day in his congregation.
Slowly, he reached out and took Bubbers’ little hand and leaned in closely.
“Don’t forget me, okay, Bubbers?” Gordon said softly and then carefully gave him a small handful of wildflowers that he had spontaneously picked for little Bubbers right there in the parking lot.
I thanked him and he gave us all a final hug goodbye.
Then we embarked on our new life as parents and owners of a real home with a yard to tend and dreamy mailboxes. And then we moved again.
But through it all, Gordon kept tabs on us and called periodically to make sure things were going well and to ask about Bubbers.
Then, last September, Gordon called up Charming with a special request.
“I’m turning 12 years old,” he told Charming, “Will you ordain me to the Aaronic Priesthood?”
Charming was absolutely honored to ordain him. So we drove over to our old church building and greeted old friends and marveled at how much Gordon had grown.
And afterward, he came to our house for dinner.
And he was the perfect “big brother” to little Bubbers, who was 17 months old at the time.
And boy did he love getting a ride in Gordon’s wheel chair (that he was using temporarily until a minor foot injury healed).
His wonderful Nana (his Great-Grandmother) came, too, and she was absolutely delighted with sweet Bubbers.
Gordon and Bubbers played trains.
(And I loved how cute Bubbers looked in his church threads and little tie!)
And when I watched them play together, I wished Gordon could move into our spare bedroom.
“Mommy, can Gordon move into our spare bedroom?”
Gordon absolutely loved Bubbers.
And Bubbers loved him right back.
But after that, it was time for Bubbers to go to bed. So Gordon said good night…..
….. And then asked to play on our sweet ladder.
What a fantastic day!
Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we’ve seen Gordon. Just last week he called again to see how we were doing and ask about our sweet new baby.
“Why don’t you come over and meet him?” Charming asked him.
“I’d love to!” he said.
And he will. Tomorrow night.
So we’ll have all three of our sons together and I can’t wait!