The Blessing of a Child in Old Age

By Leslie Bertucci

In November 2003, while my husband Johnny was at a Manresa retreat for the weekend, my four children and I decided to surprise him by clearing out the garage and the attic of all the old baby clothes and equipment.

After all, the kids were 8, 11, 14 and 17. Surely, we had no more need of these items.

Johnny was surprised all right. But, not nearly as surprised as both of us were three weeks later when we found out I was pregnant. … at age 40!

Granted, not quite as old as Abraham’s wife Sarah, but at the time, I felt like it.

We made this discovery during the first week of Advent, which has always been my favorite time of year.

All the Mass readings anticipate the coming of the Messiah, especially those from the prophet Isaiah. In honor of Chapter 11:1, we decided to name our son Jesse. As in, “a shoot will come up from the stump of.”

Our daughter, Robin, who had helped me raise and teach all her brothers, was a little distraught at our news. Not because a baby was coming, but because she was going. In the fall, she would be moving to Baton Rouge to attend LSU.

“Who’s going to raise this baby?” she asked.

“I guess I’ll have to do this one myself,” I told her.

Fifteen years later, by God’s grace, our Advent son is a blessing we can’t imagine ever living without.

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