Jake Frost describes how his youngest child has been a source of unexpected blessings from his family, blessings that could only have come from God.
We had an Unexpected Blessing born to us this summer, after nearly a decade since the birth of our “last” child (as we had thought). Our new little baby girl has been an absolute joy for our whole family. We call her “Little Wonder.” And, truly, she has been a wonder for us: a source of unexpected blessings.
Especially through a difficult time that came shortly after her birth.
My wife’s father, Little Wonder’s Grandpa, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
When we received word, we changed our summer plans to go visit him.
Meanwhile, Grandpa went through rounds of tests and scans and blood samples and consultations. He had been hoping for treatment options at the end of all the diagnostics.
What he got instead was a question. The doctor asked: “Do you have children? If you do, now might be a good time to visit them.” Grandpa told the doctor that his daughter was bringing her family for a visit in three weeks. The plane tickets were already booked. The doctor said: “You might want to ask your daughter if she can come sooner.”
We changed our plans again to come in a week.
When we arrived, Grandpa was in bad shape, in a lot of pain and only barely able to get out of bed.
But when he saw his newest granddaughter, his face broke into a huge smile.
He reached out a hand to touch her, and she grabbed his finger in her little fist, gurgling and cooing to him with an open-mouthed, toothless baby grin.
She wouldn’t let go of his finger, and he didn’t try to make her.
They were quite happy to be together.
And the doctor had been right. We got there just in time.
At the beginning of our visit, Grandpa still knew who we were, asked questions, made jokes, and was so glad to see everyone.
Over the next days, his daughter and granddaughter were constantly at his side, along with the rest of his family, and that new little baby brought comfort and joy and peace to him, and Grandma, and everyone else.
Grandpa died while we were there, with his family around him.
A few weeks later I was talking with my wife and she said what a blessing it had been to have Little Wonder with us through that time and the hard days that followed.
Then after church one Sunday, my wife and I were talking with our deacon about favorite books, and we struck on one we all had in common: Anne of Green Gables.
As a back-of-the-matchbook recap, in Anne of Green Gables an elderly brother and sister (Matthew and Marilla), neither of whom ever married and both of whom continued to live into their old age at the old family farm called Green Gables, seek a boy from the orphanage to help with work around the farm as they get on in years. But a mistake is made, and Anne is sent out to them instead of a boy. They end up keeping Anne and raising her.
Years later, as Anne is leaving Green Gables for college, Matthew says to Marilla words that the deacon repeated to us as one of his favorite lines from the book:
“She’s been a blessing to us, and there never was a luckier mistake ... if it was luck. I don’t believe it was any such thing. It was Providence, because the Almighty saw we needed her.”
It didn’t seem like mere happenstance, either, that the deacon had those words on the tip of his tongue to share with us that Sunday morning after church.
It seemed a way of letting us know: Don’t worry, there is a plan, even if it’s not what you thought it was.
It appears the blessings that have poured into our lives with the coming of our Little Wonder were unexpected only by us, not by the One Who sent her to us.
Copyright 2023 Jake Frost
About the Author
Jake Frost is a husband, father of five, attorney, and author of seven books, including the fantasy novel The Light of Caliburn (winner of an honorable mention from the Catholic Media Association), collections of humorous family stories ( Catholic Dad and Catholic Dad 2), poetry (most recently the award winning Wings Upon the Unseen Gust), and a children’s book he also illustrated, The Happy Jar.