Regular visitors here know Timmy. His mom and dad, Lara and Marshall, are dear friends. They had to say goodbye to Timmy when he passed away in January, but the sweetest memories of Timmy are firmly planted in many hearts here, including mine.
When I spoke at Timmy's service, there was no way to list every single thing I treasured about him and my time with the Elfstrands. One that I didn't get a chance to mention, but that still makes me grin out of nowhere, is recalling waiting for Timmy during Lara's pregnancy, and the way we would catch up on how big Timmy was in her tummy.
I traveled frequently when Lara was expecting, on trips from two days to three weeks, and I would race to her desk when I returned to catch up on the latest baby news. Since almost everything I talk about revolves around food, of course the shorthand we began to use to talk about how big Timmy was growing, based on how far along Lara was in the pregnancy, was food-oriented.
Fruit-oriented, to be exact.
Lara sat behind a desk, just outside the president's office, that had a chest-high counter around it. After I got home from a trip, in my gentle, subtle way, I would race up and go slamming into the counter, drop my head over the edge, and peer down at Lara: "Orange?"
She would stare up at me and grin: "Tangerine."
So Timmy was big as a tangerine at that point. Cool.
Sometimes the exchange happened in the staff kitchen while Lara was calmly trying to make a cup of tea. I would careen around the corner, leap into the kitchen, eyes wide, and ask, "Cantaloupe?"
She would tilt her head a little, think a second, and smile. "Honeydew!"
Various exchanges of fruit and legume (in the itty bitty stage) happened like this. A round of applause, please, at this moment, for the fact that Lara never ordered a restraining order against me for being so crazy excited about their baby.
Thus, as you can predict, when Timmy finally arrived, I couldn't send a baby congratulations card like a normal person. Oh, no. I had to write some haiku.
Yes. About Timmy. And food :)
So, in honor of the smiles you still bring me, Timster, here's your haiku. Hope Jesus whispers it in your ears and makes you giggle. Your mom and dad still laugh hard at me. And it's one of the best sounds in the world.