I’m not sure how much I’ve ever told you, but the two of us had a shaky beginning.

Moments before delivery, your mom’s alarming struggle with toxemia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure), became deadly. Without warning, my elevated blood pressure plummeted and we were rushed down the hallway for an emergency C-section. I lost all alertness, no longer feeling the warrior all moms experience during the birthing process. I was later told that in that corridor I was dying. Within minutes, we would both be gone if you were not snatched out of the womb.

Then the miracle. The grace of our living God!

An injected drug jolted me out of lifelessness. With your father assisting the doctor (because there were no nurses in the rush of the emergency), six minute and three pushes later, your five pound body bolted into this world.

Carter Anthony Galgano.

I have never been the same. The love is so big! So huge that the feeling physically hurts sometimes.

By one miraculous, grace-filled act of God, you have changed my life forever.

That big, huge, “kind of hurts” love–I will treasure all my days. For twenty-one years I have had the privilege of mothering you. The goal Dad and I have always had as parents is that our children would be a blessing to others. I will always be your mom, but my days of mothering you are over. I have worked myself out of a job and the beauty behind it all is that I have no regrets, because the days counted.

Each choice to love and parent you mattered.

The story of your birth reminds me of an Old Testament story found in Ezekiel, Chapter 16. God spoke through the prophet as a way to tell Israel how he regarded them. God found “her” unwanted and uncared for in the middle of a field.

Although loved by my family, God, too, found me in a field, immature, without knowledge of his love and purpose. I, like Israel, had rejected him is so many ways.

The scripture goes on to say that God cared for her, washed her, salted her, and wrapped her in swaddling clothes. But it also says that his baby girl was destined for more. She was to grow up and mature and become a mother. Just as God had pulled her up and nurtured her, she was to nurture others. His image of her was not of a woman with a past, but of the present.

God expected her to make the most of now.

And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” Ezekiel 16:6

Our good Father destined for both of us to Live, dear boy! For ourselves? Oh, no… He destined us to live in the service of others.

The greatest gift I could ever give you was to introduce you to Jesus Christ.

From bedtime prayers, untold hours on my lap with scripture and storybooks, songs of praise, mealtime devotions, walks along the road, the rock where you were Pharaoh, and I, Moses, to the home school years where God was an integral part of each lesson and experiment…

I pray I have told you enough about the greatest man who ever lived-our Savior.

My prayer continues, in that you will use your knowledge of him to love and serve others well. We lived for a reason, sweet child, and I am so grateful that I was able to grow up in the “shadow of his wings”, while teaching you to grow as well.

Now to the second greatest gift I can give you…

The gift of release.

My son, with a full heart, and a million moments to cherish, I release you into the arms of your bride.

I send you into the life God has ordained for you to live in the holiness of marriage. It gives me incredible joy to think of you, living in love, with the wife of your youth. Be fully satisfied in her, as the Bible instructs.

There will be times when you doubt how to best love your bride. When those moments come, remember how you have loved as a son. You gifted me with precious phrases like, “Mom, you shine like a thousand stars.” Or (my favorite), “Mom, I’ve looked all over the world and there is no one more beautiful than you.”

I never wanted to tell you that there is one more beautiful. We prayed for her all these years.

Her name is Lauren. 

I treasured your gift as long as I could, but now Lauren will stand before you in one week. As you did for me, make her feel like she’s the only woman in the world.

Love your wife like that, my son! Love her like that.

Together, the two of you, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. There is none like Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end.

All our purpose, meaning, and ability to love is found in Him.

The final conclusion of this letter will come when we dance together on your wedding day. Full of joy, and hope, and love, I will hold my son.

Amazing Grace, my boy…

It’s all grace, grace so amazing.

I love you, Carter,