Happy Birthday to a Special Lady

Forty-six years ago today, Jeanne Mathis Johnston, whose name back then was Jeannie Walker, got out of bed about 4 or 5 a.m. and began cleaning house. Strange time to do that, but I thought I knew what was going on.

Sure enough, she told me she was having contractions. They were so mild she wasn’t really certain whether she was in labor or not. Since there didn’t seem to be any big hurry, I waited until about 6 a.m. to call her obstetrician, who told me to go ahead and take her to the hospital.

Back in those days, the fathers weren’t involved much in the delivery process. I was allowed to accompany her to a little room where she would wait until the time came, and then I was ushered out.

A family friend was going to be her nurse-anesthetist, and she told me she would call me in time to get back to the hospital for the birth. I went to work and then met my dad for lunch. He would also be the baby’s pediatrician, so I was pretty sure I’d get the message when the time came.

Sure enough, he received a call before we finished lunch telling him to come on to the hospital. He went wherever doctors go at times like that, and I went to the fathers’ waiting room. As I said, fathers didn’t have much to do with childbirth back then.

I probably hadn’t been there more then 20 or 30 minutes when Dr. Savage, the obstetrician, came to the door and called my name. He told me I had a healthy baby girl.

Oddly, I’d never considered having a girl. Jeannie and I both talked about nothing but a boy throughout her pregnancy, but the moment those words came out of the doctor’s mouth I knew that a baby girl was what I’d always wanted. Don’t ask me how such things happen. I don’t know, but I can remember the feeling as if it were yesterday.

The first time I held my daughter and she wrapped her tiny fingers around mine, she and I both knew I belonged to her. As she grew up, she never tried to take unfair advantage of the fact she had me wrapped around her finger, so I was content to let it continue.

When mama and baby came home, my mother-in-law came to stay with us to help out, but when I got up for the 2 a.m. feeding (yes, in those days we fed babies on a schedule), she decided she wasn’t needed at night. Actually, I think I hurt her feelings a little bit, but this was my time with my daughter. Jeannie nursed her, so she got to do the rest of the feedings. This one was mine, and I didn’t share.

I’d heard horror stories about the terrible twos, about teenagers, and other such things, but I didn’t believe it had to be that way. As she grew up, I can honestly say there was never a time—she never went through an age or a stage—when I didn’t thoroughly enjoy her.

Due to her mother’s and my divorce, I wasn’t always able to be the father I’d like to have been, but there was never a day when either of us doubted our love for each other. Whether it was sitting on the hall floor rolling a ball back and forth or picking out a wedding dress, we’ve always had good times together. Well, there was one Christmas when I wanted to buy her a dress and she wanted a disco outfit instead, but we won’t go there.

On this 46th anniversary of that special day, I want to wish my daughter Lynn Walker Heatherly a Happy Birthday. I love you, sweetie.

I was going to embarrass her with a baby or toddler photo, but none of them are in my computer, so here’s one of her as an adult. She was dressed to accompany her husband Gary to a U.S. Navy ball. By the way, she gets her good looks and figure from her mother.


What do you remember about the birth of a daughter or son or brother or sister?


Writers may not have it all together, but together we have it all.


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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20 Responses to Happy Birthday to a Special Lady

  1. Rose Marie Russo says:

    Hi David, it’s always a pleasure, Happy Birthday Lynn. May All Your Dreams Come True. Enjoy you day.God Bless You and Your Family, Amen


  2. Beautiful post and family! I hope she has a wonderful birthday.


  3. Fran Babb says:

    Happy Birthday Lynn and many more. Bless you! I remember the birth of all my children and they were all special. My youngest, who is now a grandfather of 1 3/4 children was born in the head of a hollow in Kentucky. He was delivered by a 75 year old midwife after 50 hours of labor. While waiting for him to be born, I was told not to rub my stomach, i would turn the baby, that after he was born, I had to turn him upside down 3 times a day to exercise his liver, and she also told me all about how to hex somebody. Quite an experience with him and the other 3. Charlie was quite a man, he accepted my children and help raise them.


  4. Donald Sneed says:

    Dear David, As always, I was blessed by the happy birthday you wished your daughter.My mind goes back to May 5,1949—the birthday of my oldest son–Jonathan. As you said, fathers played only a minor role in those days. Marzelle had been in labor forever,it seemed and most of the waiting family and friends had long since “bitten the dust” and gone home. Only Marzelle’s closest friend and I remained in the waiting room when at last the nurse announced the arrival of a beautiful baby boy–at 2:24 A.M. Jon is now heading up a group of psychiatrists in The Woodlands,TX as they treat the victims of mental illness. He has been a wonderful son and recently celebrated his 66th birthday. Blessings, D.S.

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Barb Estinson says:

    Love this precious post on Lynn’s birthday, Bro. She is a special, extraordinary person. I am blessed that she is my niece.


  6. Happy Birthday, Lynn!


  7. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Lynn is very sweet and kind, plus plenty smart and industrious, too. You couldn’t have blessed me with a nicer daughter when we married. Lynn’s mother has imparted wonderful traits to her daughter, but please take credit for your important 50% contribution. Love, Wife


  8. susielindau says:

    Happy Birthday to Lynn!


  9. Jane Merrick says:

    David, Lynn is special!!!!!! Love, Jane


  10. Lynn says:

    What a sweet post! Thank you!


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