Well, hereís a hint. This is version two of this column. Itís undergone extensive revision, for your protection.
After a lot of tweaking, Iíve decided to go with the straight first person reportage style. Itís served me well in this column in the past, and hopefully, will again here.
Sure, youíre missing a lot of tortured insight into my world, but hey, youíre not here for my pain, right?
Instead, I write of joy. Total joy.
I speak again here of my two best friends in the entire world, Frank and Christina. Parents of the Miracle Baby Allison (Who, by the way, will be three in October! Where does the time go?), they have been expecting their second child since early this year.
So, it comes to pass that this baby decides to make up for Allisonís unexpected and sudden arrival, by being expected and late. Three days late ... four days past the due date ... finally, five days past due. Thatís when Christina woke up, around three in the morning, with some pretty serious contractions.
Christina heads to the hospital, and apparently, the people there want to wait a while to determine if itís really time to have the baby. Now me, Iím thinking this is a clear cut case. Five days overdue, contractions, itís time to have the baby. Finally, the doctors agree. The call goes out for Frank to return home to San Luis Obispo from the Bay Area, where heís traveled for a work project.
Frank gets to SLO, and calls me around 11:00am. He tells me itís time to have the baby. I suddenly have plans for Sunday which are much more important than simply going to a Dodger game. (Even if there is a post game concert featuring the Village People, so what? This is Frank and Christinaís baby!)
I get in to SLO around 3:00pm. Stopping by Frankís house, I find his dad, Court Warren, making very sure nothing happens to the couch. He may have, in fact, been napping. (Who knew?) But anyhow, he breaks the news to me. "Have you been over to the hospital yet?" he asks. I tell him no, I came straight to the house, as Frank had told me to do. Mr. Warren fills me in with the details; they had the baby about an hour and a half ago. Itís a girl (yay!), eight pounds, very healthy. "What did they name it?" I ask. Mr. Warren stands silently, saying nothing. "Oh, all right, Iíll find out over at the hospital," I say, heading back to me car for the drive to the hospital.
When I get there, I head up to the third floor, where within the last two hours, Christina has given birth to a wonderful baby girl. Christina is there, of course, along with her mom, her twin sister Marilyn, Frankís mom, and Frank. Peeking my head in cautiously, I gage whether or not itís okay for me to come in. Everyone in the room is smiling as they indicate itís okay for me to enter.
Frank pulls me over toward the small bassinet holding his precious new daughter. "We have someone weíd like you to meet," he says. "Oh," I say, my face scrunching at how cute this baby is, "whatís her name."
Frank speaks one word, simply, with a smile. "Campbell."
Hereís where it gets a little fuzzy. The first thing I thought was, "What?" (Profound, huh?) Then it sunk in. "We had to give her a name that meant something important to us," I remember Christina saying. I remember hugging Frank, and trying to hold back tears. And I remember looking over at the newly named Campbell Elizabeth Warren, all of 100 minutes old, and thinking about how someday Iíd have to try to explain to her just how great her parents were.
Of course, not that sheíd really need me to explain that to her. Sheíll find out soon enough what Iíve known for several years now.
What can I say about friends so great as Christina and Frank? How can I live up to the honor theyíve bestowed on me? Iím still a bit at a loss for words when I think about it.
But here are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think about Frank and Christina, and their ever-growing family: Their unconditional loving support is something I would never want to live without. I donít know what I did do deserve friends as great as they, but I canít imagine life without them, and I do count my blessings every day.
The motto of Clan Campbell (of Argyll) is "Ne obliviscaris."
Itís Latin, and means "Forget not." So, Campbell, when you grow up,
when you get to read this, forget not just how truly special are your parents.
They are simply the finest friends anyone could ever ask for.