When Grandpa Comes to Visit


When her doctor told our daughter Katie late Sunday night that Brynn, her unborn baby, was under stress and she needed an immediate C-section, the first thing she did was to call Pam and me from the hospital in California. “Can you come?” We could hear the anxiety in her voice and responded without hesitation. “We’ll be there as quick as we can.”


What did our children need and how could we help?


I blogged about Brynn’s miraculous healing in utero a couple of months ago. When we learned there might be a problem with her birth we felt even more urgency about Katie’s situation. We dropped everything and shifted into parenting mode. What did our children need and how could we help?


But then things got complicated. Pam had a knee problem that limited her ability to fly and since she already was scheduled to visit Katie in a few weeks, we came to a difficult decision. The best thing to do was for me to go by myself.


Where’s Grandma?


So after a jam-packed Sunday of ministry, a whirlwind Monday making flight plans and providing for church services in my absence and a long, trying Tuesday getting from Columbia to Dallas to California, I stumbled off the plane feeling like death only to be greeted by Katie’s 2-year-old daughter, Lydia, with a puzzled look and a stern question. “Where’s Grandma?” She seemed satisfied when I told her that Grandma would be there soon. Grandma herself was so pleased when I told her later that evening of Lydia’s question that she felt our unusual travel arrangements were justified after all.


A few hours later Lydia, her dad and I wheeled Katie and Brynn from the hospital into their car and got everyone home safe and sound.  The two family dogs cautiously sniffed the newest addition to their home and apparently found her acceptable because they returned to their naps. We had dinner then settled into the routine we’ll follow for the next few days. I took Lydia for a walk to the park while Katie and Vic looked after the baby. Dinner was next. The first night we had take-out from a local restaurant. The rest of the time I’ll either cook or serve meals brought over from their church friends.


Then it was time for Lydia’s bedtime routine. It’s been thirty years since I put a little girl to bed and I didn’t know what to expect, but she knew every step in detail.  It began with her bath. We filled the tub with water then she climbed in and dumped in the various toys, gadgets and objects that are part of her routine. At one point I saw a large baby doll floating by but can’t say how it got there. Bath time ended with Lydia bouncing up and down while shouting, “Look Pops–I jumping!”


Ring around the Rosie may not be an appropriate children’s song


When Lydia held still long enough for me to dry her off and put on her pajamas, we moved to the second stage of bedtime. I sat in the rocking chair in her room and read whatever books she wanted, managing to get through a couple of Dr. Seuss stories before she began playing Ring Around the Rosie. I decided against telling her how that song’s lyrics might go back as far as Europe’s Black Plague in the 14th century and describe the symptoms of plague victims. Katie thanked me later for my restraint.


Lydia finally crawled into her bed and went to sleep, surrounded by a stuffed animal zoo of dogs, cats, owls and assorted other animals. I slipped out of her room and back to the family room where Katie and Vic were keeping a close eye on Brynn.


I’d describe what Brynn looks like only I’ve not seen enough of her to tell. She spends most of her time nursing, sleeping and filling her diapers. That’s her with Lydia and Katie in the picture. Neither can I say much about her personality, only that her parents have given her the nickname of “Velociraptor,” the small, aggressive dinosaur from the Jurassic Park movies that screeches just before attacking its victims. This concerns me a little but I plan to be back home in Lexington before I have to deal with it.


That’s all I have to report at this time. I’ll try to keep you updated as the week goes on.



  1. Shirl Ackermann on February 8, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    The joys of being a Granddaddy! We learn very quickly to adapt to bath time, meals, bedtime and everything else these precious Little People demand from us.
    Keep up the great work Pastor Mike.

    • Mike Turner on February 8, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks Shirl! Yes, this is uncharted territory for us but we’re loving every minute of it.

  2. Lara White on February 11, 2018 at 8:52 am

    What an awesome thing for her Dad to come when the baby was born!!! Not many Dads would do that… taking care of the other children is more helpful than a new mom can put into words. I remember Katie as a teenager. She has grown into a lovely young lady. Well done Dad (grandpa)!

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