In February of 2004, we learned that Chip and Jamie were expecting another baby! This news brought bitter-sweet emotions and guarded anticipation, since they were still adjusting to the sudden loss of their first-born child, Amber Lynn. But, shortly after Amber's death, the pastor of a small church near Warner Robbins had prophesied over Chip and Jamie that God had another child for them, so the news of a new baby wasn't totally unexpected. While on a trip to visit Jamie's mom, a couple of weeks after Amber's funeral, Chip and Jamie had dropped in on this little church thinking that no one there knew them; but the Holy Spirit of God was there, and during an impromptu altar call, the pastor called them forward, prayed for them, and delivered this prophecy.
After Jacob was born in June of 2000, Chip and Jamie had decided to limit their family to two children, so they could focus more of their attention on Amber with her special needs. But after her death, God opened their hearts to the arrival of a new baby boy on October 18th. For several weeks, I had been concerned about all the shopping trips Jamie had been taking out of Cartersville, because I was afraid she would go into labor and deliver quickly, this being her third child. But, when I cautioned her about this, Jamie told me not to worry because she always took several hours to deliver after she went into labor.
Well, early on the morning of October 18th, Jamie told me she was in labor, so I got dressed and followed them to Cartersville Medical Center. After being put into a delivery room, her labor pains began to suddenly increase, and Jamie asked for an epidural, but the nurse told her she was not far enough along yet, so they would have to wait. Well, five minutes later, Jamie went into a five-minute-long contraction and then had Joshua Liam Cash by natural childbirth! Chip had left the room momentarily to take Jacob down to Cousin Katie's waiting car, where he could be taken away from the frightful scene of mommy in labor pain, and by the time he arrived back on the second floor, he heard screaming as he got off the elevator and wondered who that was! Well, it was Jamie, and Chip and I had to assist the astounded nurse in a very quick delivery!!! Fortunately, at 20" long, Joshua only weighed 7-lbs 1-oz, and he did NOT inherit Papa Ned Cash's skull size (as Jacob did!), or Jamie's natural delivery would have been much more traumatic! So, after about five minutes of hell on earth, Jamie had a healthy baby boy with none of the side effects of an epidural injection, which was a nice benefit, but definitely NOT what she would have chosen, voluntarily!
Once Josh got here, it became clear that Chip and Jamie had birthed another baby boy with size "2" feet! Although his hands and feet are not as broad as Jacob's, they are every bit as long! So, it will be interesting to watch these boys grow up and to find out "who" will be the taller! Currently, Jacob is off the charts for a four-year-old, and his doctor says he is the height of an average six-year-old! Joshua has long, slender fingers, like his big sister, and looks like he has the hands of a concert pianist. In fact, Chip and Jamie named him for his uncle, Jeremy "Lee" Causey (Jamie's baby brother, who drowned just before his fourth birthday) and his big sister "Amber" by combining their middle names: hence, the name "Liam." His deceased Great Granddaddy Bill Yancey would also be proud that "Liam" is a derivative of William, so he shares his name as well. One thing we are certain of is that his big sister, Amber, must have sprinkled angel dust on Joshua Liam as he left heaven for life here on earth as he is a very special baby. FYI, he'll be dedicated at Mount Paran North on March 6th.
It's hard to believe that Jacob will be starting kindergarten this year! He's also been taking karate classes and has developed the ability to beat me at arm-wrestling already! Also, he is a natural musician, preferring "The Beach Boys" music since birth! And, although Joshua has the hands of a keyboardist, Jacob has the heart and soul of a keyboardist, frequently sitting down at any available keyboard and playing tunes. One day Jamie overheard him telling newborn Joshua, "You're my brother, and when we grow up, we can have a band, and I'll sing and play piano, and you can play guitar, or drums, or whatever you want to play!" Chip and Jamie are very proud of their boys, and who knows, maybe there'll be another baby or two in their future?!
Shortly after Joshua was born (in fact, the next day,) I had surgery to correct a three-and-a-half-inch, ventral hernia that had formed below my rib cage as a result of some previous abdominal surgery. My sister, Judy, took me to Piedmont Hospital and brought me home the same day. Fortunately, Chip and Jamie were home with Joshua, as I was incompetent to handle much of anything for a few days. This is surgery that should definitely NOT be same-day surgery, but thanks to the insurance companies, many post-ops are sent home way too soon these days. Chip got first-hand knowledge of "unskilled nursing" as he had to help me in ways he never thought possible!
In early November, we lost heat in our house on Granger Drive, so we called the rental agent and asked that he send someone out to fix it as soon as possible, since we had a three-week-old baby in the house. The temperature outside was in the thirties and was forecasted to drop into the twenties within forty-eight hours, so we were justifiably worried. Also, we had been reporting problems with the heat since we had moved in, but they had never been fixed. Well, to make a long story short, we went for almost a week with no heat because the property manager refused to fix it! When the City of Cartersville found out about the problem, they sent a building inspector over immediately, and he sent a citation to the rental agent and owner, which got their attention and action, but they still didn't really fix the problem. Instead, they sent over a repairman who basically got the heat back on, but ignored the cause of the failure (i.e. a bad damper), so the heat pump was overloading, shutting off, and operating on the emergency heat strips only (yielding HIGH ELECTRICITY BILLS).
Since we refused to sign a new lease, in light of the problems with the heat, we were forced to vacate in sixty days, so we had to start looking for another house, even though we didn't really want to move. But, despite our worst fears, we found another house about fourteen miles away that is even better than Granger Drive! It has a landscaped lawn, a built-in playground for the boys, a fenced-in back yard, a separate downstairs area for me, and very modern conveniences that the Granger Drive house lacked! We are located about eight miles from Rockmart and love the rural setting, which is also closer for Chip to drive to UPS in Atlanta everyday.
After spending four days in the hospital, I came home to a house full of empty boxes for packing for our move, which we completed by November 30th. Although this was difficult timing for us, we were glad to be in our new home for Christmas, and we are blessed with a new and better landlord, who may even be willing to sell us this house in a couple of years. For the time being, we are happy to be renting and look forward to a happy and prosperous new year.
As many of you will remember, we officially launched Amber's memorial website in 2004, and we invite each of you to revisit it from time-to-time as we add new content. You can find it on the internet at: www.amberlynncash.com. Please take time to view and sign Amber's Guestbook so we will know you stopped by. And, if you have any special memories of Amber that you would like to share, let me know, and I'll include them on her website. She is forever in our minds and hearts as we continue our daily lives without the pleasure of her company.
In closing, I'd like to wish each of you a very prosperous and productive new year. I'm writing the last few words of this newsletter on February 13th, and my thoughts and prayers are with each of you.
Love in Christ,