Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to share a joy as though in morning business. I'd ask unanimous consent to have my whole statement appear in case I'm not able to make it through this emotional sharing.
I'm a grampa again. Incidentally, that's spelled with an "M" not an "N" and no "D". "Grampa”. It's the greatest title anyone can have. It's really indescribable unless you've felt the thrill, felt the love, felt the awe.
This weekend, my son and his wife had a daughter, Lilly Grace. My son, who also like me had the good fortune to overmarry to Danielle, a delightful lady from
I can't begin to share the emotion and feeling that overwhelms me today. It's such an incredible feeling to hold another generation in your hands. To see such a miniature person and such a huge miracle. Danielle and Lilly Grace had extremely fortunate timing for my wife Diana and I. Trey and Lilly were both born when we were close by in
Brad checked Danielle into the hospital at 11:00 Sunday morning and at exactly 2:00 p.m., October 14 that Sunday, we had a granddaughter. Lilly Grace weighed 7 pounds, two ounces, and was 20 inches long with delicate hands and long fingers.
Danielle came through, as is her nature, invigorated and enthusiastic. You would not have known by looking at her face except for the aura of a mother, that she had just given birth. The rest of us were emotional wrecks.
When Danielle went into labor, I rejoiced at the timing and extended the weekend another day and had the pleasure of holding that baby and watching her breathe and move ever so delicately with a thousand different expressions and listened to all the sounds she made. Of course, I had to let Diana hold her a little too, and her mom and dad even wanted turns.
If you would have told me that I would spend time just gazing at the miracle of life and having only that thought for hours, I probably wouldn't have believed you. But I have some instant replay memories of that little face and those moving hands and all those blankets and the cap they used to hold in the body heat locked in my mind. And I'm constantly doing instant replays for myself and thanking God for the opportunities he's given me, from finding Diana, to learning about prayer with our first child, the daughter who was born premature, who showed us how worthwhile fighting for life is. To the birth of our son, to the birth of our youngest daughter, to helping me through open-heart surgery so that I might have this chance to hold yet another generation in my hands.
I think of the prayer of Jabez in Chronicles where he says, "Lord, continue to bless me indeed" and to that, I add my thanks for this and all the blessings noticed and unfortunately often unnoticed.
So now I'm a grampa. That's not grandfather. That's too stilted. Years ago, my daughter gave me a hand-stitched wall hanging that says, "Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad." That's a challenge for grampas to live up to, too. And again, I note that the name is not grandpa with a "D". "Grandpa" – that's a title a little too elevated. This grampa is with an "M" and no "D". That's what I called my grampa Bradley, who took me on some wonderful adventures and taught me a lot of important lessons, including fishing.
Now it's my turn to live up to that valued name. He liked to be called grampa, and I'm now delighted to have the opportunity to earn that name, too. I wish I could adequately share with you the joy that's in my heart. Now, some would say, Lilly Grace, you've been born at a scary time, a time of fear, fear of almost everything, fear of war, fear of people from other countries, fear of our neighborhoods. As an Enzi, we have faith that doing the right thing, doing your best, and treating others as they want to be treated will solve most problems, which will overcome fear.
Now, in my job, I get to hear a lot of disparaging comments about our country and our government. But for you, granddaughter, you were lucky to be born in this country. I've been to a lot of places in the world now and I can tell you that there are none anyone would trade for the
In my job, I often have to remind people that I never hear of anyone trying to get out of our country. I do hear from millions who would like to be here. Now, as you, precious baby, get older – if things don't change, you'll hear people who think that the government owes them a living and all kinds of guarantees and you'll hear people portray business as greedy and you'll see attempts to keep faith and God out of your vocabulary. And all those things could come to pass except for you. You and others who will know how to do the right thing and will value the way our country was founded and has grown.
Lilly, granddaughter, welcome to this world of promise and hope and faith and love. I'm excited to have you in my life.