“I’m going to pray those fears away.” — Mabel Mastin

When I was pregnant with my second son, I knew I wanted Mabel to be praying about his development and my labor and delivery. Lew’s disabilities were probably related to a lack of oxygen some time during delivery or in the early nursery period. Everything had seemed textbook typical about Lew’s gestation and birth, but obviously something had gone awry somewhere.

When my pregnancy was in the fifth month (and Lew was eighteen-months-old), I had not yet talked with Mabel about my fears. They announced at church one Wednesday night that Mabel was leaving Lexington to visit her son in California. She was going to be gone for several months. After prayer meeting, I told Mabel I needed to talk with her. We went into one of the Sunday School rooms across from the fellowship hall and I told her what I wanted.

“When is this baby due?”

“June 28th.”

“This baby is going to be born June 29.”

“Oh, I’m sure he won’t wait that long. Second babies are usually early.”

“No. This baby will be born June 29.”

“I really doubt that could be but why do you think so?”

“June 29 is Tommy’s and my wedding anniversary.” (Her husband, Tommy, had died suddenly beside her in the car going home from prayer meeting about six months before. They had been married more than fifty years.) “June 29 is when this child will be born. And about those fears of yours: I’m going to pray them away.” She prayed right then, left for California the next day and I thought no more about it until…

On June 28th at about 10:45 in the evening, I began to have labor pains. My parents had come to Lexington from Ohio to stay with Lew when Bob and I went to the hospital. We went around midnight. Bob and I were very relaxed. In the early stages of labor he read funny stories from Reader’s Digest to me between contractions. At one point Bob clowned around about warming up a bed pan for me by sitting on it. He was  acting very silly. The labor room nurse said, “I’ve never seen anything like you two. You’re so relaxed and in control.” She told Bob he was the best labor coach she had ever seen and joked that he could make a living doing it. During the next contraction I remembered Mabel’s words. There was no fear. When I could speak again, I asked Bob if he remembered what Mabel had said. “I was just thinking about that, too.”

Judson Lee Moore was born in the early morning hours of June 29, 1983.