So, it's June 22nd, 1984. The Band - Hal Britton - a wickedly tight little ensemble -Doug Turnbull, bass; Barry Ray, lead and rhythm guitar; John "The Mouse" Fraser, drums, me, vocals and keys, and as back-up for our upcoming gig on the 23rd -Jim - are rehearsing cause we have a gig scheduled for the evening of the 23rd of June and that coincidentally is my "due" date. So, we're getting Jim and the boys up to speed so they can cover the dance numbers that folks would be looking forward to hearing. Jim and I are living in Stellarton, on Stellar Street at the time, and music is our mainstay. In other words, we are dirt poor. Hal Britton's repertoire is good: classic 60's, 70's rock, with a smattering of new music and originals of course (Beatles, Animals, Janice, Tina, Golden Earring, Deep Purple, Mitch Ryder, etc.) We were the band called upon to open for any "acts" that were coming to town and we loved doing those shows. We were tight and in fact the previous weekend had opened for Doug & The Slugs in Port Hood. I was quite pregnant at the time, but the work out I was getting from the music kept me very much in shape.
So back to the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of June. We finished rehearsal and the boys went home and we settled in for the night. First thing on the 23rd I got up, and realized my water had broken! Yay. I called the Aberdeen and they told me that labour should kick in within hours. Bring it on! Well, I've never cleared a room so fast. The boys wouldn't even sit in the room with me and hightailed it far, far away. I was left alone to wait for my contractions to be less than 10 minutes apart so I could go to the Hospital. That happened around 10:00 p.m. or so - it was a long day - I knew the rink where HB was playing would be rocking so I called Jim's Taxi and had a drive in the stinkiest, smokiest taxi around to the Aberdeen Hospital - in fact the driver was smoking and yakking up a storm.
Anyway, around 2:30 a.m. or so on the 24th, in walks "His Nibs", carrying a large bag of ice chips. I had taken all of the Lamaze classes with Alex Keir and one of the ones that Jim attended made note that having ice chips to suck on was helpful during labour. So Jim had whoever stop at a store and pick-up an entire large bag of ice chips. Better still, he was 'IN THE BAG', and smelling almost as good as the taxi. Well, my breathing was so under control that as Jim sat with me, he started falling asleep, which really, really, really bothered me. The nurses made him go to the doctor's lounge and sleep. Thank you. Please don't think badly of Jim. It was 27 years ago. I forgave him a long time ago, and in fact can now have quite a laugh about it. At 5:00a.m. I am pushing in earnest. Jim is awake. We are in the delivery room. It was supposed to be Dr. George MacDonald for the delivery, but he's in Newfoundland, so Dr. Kent Clarke delivered my beautiful son at 5:18 a.m. on June 24th, 1984: Introducing LEE JAMES STEWART, 8 lbs 7.5 ounces.
Back in those days babies were all taken to their mothers at the same time for feeding. I can very clearly remember the first time I heard all of those babies coming down the hall crying, and from my ward bed being able to immediately recognize my son's cry. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
May you all be blessed in hearing a most beautiful sound today that fills your heart with gratitude for everything that you have been given.