I took this photograph over the weekend during a family barbecue. Aunt Bessie is 98 years old. My new granddaughter Brooklyn is only 8 weeks old. When I look at the two of them it feels as though I am looking at the whole of a woman’s life – the history of girlhood and school days, of friendships and lovers and work and marriage, the fierce new love a young mother feels when she holds her sleeping child, and the fierce grief a woman lives as she strokes her dying husband’s hand. Can you see it? All that has happened in the creases and lines of Bess’s beautiful face, and all that is yet to come in the smooth angelic face of my baby granddaughter. A life nearing its conclusion and one that is just beginning. The circle of life, strung out between their two ageless spirits like the glistening white pearls of Aunt Bessie’s necklace.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~Havelock Ellis
See other (nearly) Wordless Wednesday participants here.
This week’s Photo Friday challenge is Young and Old. Okay, I know my son Andy isn’t exactly old, although compared to his newborn daughter he is! In this photo I caught Brooklyn giving her old man a perfect little pout:)
Fathers, be good to your daughters…You are the god and the weight of her world. ~ John Mayor
Okay, so right after Brooklyn was born I felt like I should write a heartfelt, touching, tear producing post about the instant joys of becoming a grandparent. But as wonderful as this week has been, the truth is, I felt a little numb, almost like I was stuck in a dream and any minute I’d wake up, and poof! Meagan would still be pregnant and we’d still be waiting for a baby. I was feeling kind of bad about the way I felt, like I was already failing as a grandparent until Doug expressed the same feelings. I’m not sure why it affected us like this. We’re guessing it may be because we’d been waiting for Brooklyn since the kids lost unborn baby Kiley last spring. Basically this child has been anticipated for eighteen long months, during which time we also lost my mother to a terrible, year long illness.
Years ago, Andy once told me how to remember which direction tightens and which one loosens things; righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Now when I go out to water my flowers and I turn the hose spigot on and off, I often say it silently to myself, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey and I’d begun to wonder if it was possible for our emotions to turn on and off in the same way. I suppose I was expecting a lightning bolt of happiness to strike me the moment I held Brooklyn for the first time at the hospital, that my newfound love for her would wake me up, would fill me up and make me believe that I actually deserved to be happy. But Doug and I both left the hospital the day she was born in a bit of a daze.
Today we had to go over and babysit Brooklyn so that Andy could take Meagan to the doctor’s for complications from the epidural. At one point, I took the baby into her room to change her. After she was cleaned up, I swaddled her in a blanket so that only her head was peeking out and I picked her up. She started to fuss so I began rocking gently back and forth and talking to her in that instinctive, sing-song mommy voice women seem to be born with. Brooklyn quieted down. She began to study my face carefully and then she smiled, the sweetest, purest little smile and that was my moment. It didn’t happen in a brightly lit, crowded hospital room, but alone in the silence of a darkened nursery. And it was not so much a bolt of lightning, but a gentle lefty-loosey, a gift from the tiny pink lips of my first grandchild that went straight to my heart.
Did some more baby bump portraits this weekend of Meagan. She’s feeling good but getting to the point where you start to get uncomfortable and wonder just how big the baby is going to get before it comes out! We tried using a window as our backdrop on some of the pics and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Still learning the ropes with my camera though, and now I have a new flash too, I do wish I was a bit more technically proficient sometimes:)