A ray of golden sunshine

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The day has finally arrived.

As I write this, it is Monday morning, Feb. 13, and sunshine has come to our family in a new way.

Just a couple of hours ago, my first grandchild was born. She was 6 lbs. 4 oz., 19 inches long, and is (of course) perfect in every way. Mom Emma and dad Luis are proud and tired, and everyone is doing well.

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This child is the first baby girl for my baby girl — my youngest child, Emma.

Her name is Aurea (pronounced Aw-RAY-uh), a Spanish word that translates literally as “golden.” It can be taken to mean “sunshine,” as well. Her middle name is from a Michoacán, Mexico, dialect that translates into something similar. You could say she’s our double ray of sunshine.

She is the first grandchild for our families, and the first great-grandchild.

Before Emma was born, I remember walking with my wife and other children through the parking lot of a store. I counted the kids walking in front of me and had a sudden moment of panic — where was our other child?!? I spun around looking, then realized we didn’t have another one. But it really felt like we should.

A couple of years later, Emma was in my arms, with big beautiful eyes, dark hair and a look of absolute innocence.

She managed to maintain that look of innocence, although (no surprise) she was not always innocent. Her smile and laugh are infectious, and it seems the pregnancy even helped them grow more evident.

Emma was the child we were missing, our baby girl.

Now that girl has welcomed her own, and I have no doubt Aurea’s parents will love her they way they are loved.

As Emma grew up, just like with her siblings, I prayed with her every night that God would never allow her to forget how much she is loved. I told her repeatedly that no one on Earth could possibly love her more than me, her daddy. But by some miracle, God loved her so much more than I did that it is absolutely amazing. Don’t ever forget it.

“I love you so much, Emma. No one on Earth loves you more than I do, and somehow —,” I said one night.

“I know, Dad,” she interrupted. “But God loves me so much more!”

I pray she passes that assurance on to her child.

Welcome, Aurea Estrada. I hope you will understand how much you are loved.


News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.