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Heather is my Daughter, the Apple of my Eye January 20, 2005

Time away from her is one of the main things that  I regret about starting this business called smoke school. It sometimes breaks my heart to be so far away and for so long. She is growing up so fast. Seems like yesterday, 13 years ago when I was hunting that illusive 10 point buck deep in the woods of South Louisiana. I heard Catherine's voice. I walked through the woods towards the sound. Catherine was there beside the creek. It was a cold December day. The leaves were gone, the trees were bare. A thin layer of ice was on the creek. Catherine said, "You have to come home. Bill Wilson is bringing us or new  baby tomorrow. We need to get a baby bed."

 I did not even know we were on the list for adoption. Bill took us by total surprise. Bill's son, Van was my best team pitcher for our Little League Team, The Bad News Bears, for past 3 years. I knew Bill was a lawyer and that he ran an adoption agency, but I had no ideal he had put us on his list. I literally could not believe it was true. Nothing that good could ever happen to me. God simply would not give me a second chance to have a child. Yet he did. The next day, Bill Wilson and his wife brought a new born baby- Heather Lois Whitlow into our life. We named her Heather after my assistant baseball coach's daughter, Heather Oliver, who had graced our dugout for a couple of years. Jack Oliver, formerly of the Louisiana Baton Rouge Fire Marshal's Office and I coached a Little League team together for several years. The Bad News Bears were quiet a team. We were bad news because we were a calamity of errors. Sometimes Jack and I just had to sit back and laugh. My philosophy was if a momma or daddy brung her child to baseball practice, then that boy deserved the right to play some in every game. My daddy let me sit on the bench a few games and I hated it. The kids ought to play. It does not matter if you win or loose, it is how you play the game. I guess that practice carries on into my smoke schools. If the person comes out to the field-test, gives it 100% effort, then the test ought to be fair, simple, and honest and the person deserves to pass.

We named Heather Lois after my grandmother Lois Harp, who taught me that yes Jesus loves me. She taught me through her words and most of all through her actions right up to the day of her departing this world, that I should keep smiling and always look for the silver lining. All things do in fact work together for good for those who love the Lord.

Heather types these stories and poems probably when she should be doing her homework. I find them on the desk beside the computer. I figure they are on the hard drive so I search. When I find them I shall put them on this web page for all the world to see.

Friends By: Heather Lois Whitlow


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