“Ella Vador”

by DanWolgemuth on July 22, 2011

At 7:40am, on Tuesday, July 19, Button became Tess Dani Wolgemuth. The prenatal name given to this little girl months ago was transitioned to a lifelong name that her parents deliberated over for many months. Instantly this name fit her…

Tess tipped the scale at 4 pounds 8 ounces; and although tiny, she is healthy and vibrant.

So on Tuesday morning Mary and I took Tess’ big brother (Graham is 22 months) over to the hospital for parental hugs and a first post womb visual of his sister. Tess was tucked away in the NICU and was connected to several monitors. Over and over Graham said “hold you”; but alas, the “hold you” would have to wait… at least 24 hours.

In the meantime, Graham was captivated by the ride that we took to get to the third floor of the hospital. If he couldn’t hold Tess, then that would give him more time to ride the elevator. He absolutely loved it! In perfect two-year-old dialect he broke the single word into two. Over and over he would say, “ella” (like the first name) and “vador” (like the Star Wars character Darth). He loved the buttons, the sliding door, and the transportation to the other floors of the hospital.

On Wednesday we were back, this time with direct contact with Tess. Graham couldn’t wait. He held her for a few minutes, and then, because the gentle treatment cramped his style, he was replaced with the next in line.

Once out of the direct contact with his sister, Graham wanted one thing… ella vador, ella vador.

I walked Graham down the hospital hallway toward the three shiny doors and I contemplated the implications of his request. Graham’s sister, beautiful, complex, intricate, responsive, and active was less intriguing than a mass of metal, electronics and light. The miracle of life was clouded and obscured… by a hunk of metal (a fine engineering feat, but nothing in comparison to millions of living cells, rich black hair, a heart that pounds, lungs that grab oxygen, limbs that move, tears that flow, a craving for nourishment… ).

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

And yet, so often “my soul” that should know this miracle of life chases other things. Shiny, electric and interesting things… but lesser things. Relationships give way to entertainment. Awe is clouded with distraction or business. I follow Graham’s example and I clamor for more buttons to push, more rides to take, more locations to visit…

Yes… far too often I trade the amazing gifts of God for a ride on an “ella vador.”

Welcome, Tess… you are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and you have ushered us into a place of genuine awe. And yes, your little brother loves you… even more than an ella vador.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Butler July 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Dan, your words never fail to move me closer to the heart of God! Deepest blessings to you and Mary — miss you at the office but I know you are enjoying your much-needed time away!


Lyle Ahrenholz July 24, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Congratulations Dan on another grandchild. What a blessing. As someone once said, “If I knew grandchildren would be such fun I would have had them sooner.” Praise God for new life.
Thanks for your Friday Fragments and for you work with YFC.


Glen Richardson July 26, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Dan: It has been years since were in Wengatz together…and now we are grandparents. Weird but wonderful. Congratualtions.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: