I took the photo above on the patio this morning. We’re in store for another beautiful spring day around here. Yesterday, Meagan and I had fun shopping at garage sales and a resale shop for Brooklyn. I must say, that’s the way to go, especially for toys and clothes that they grow out of so quickly. It’s starting to seem real for all of us, that this new little soul is going to come into our lives very soon. And yet we often seem to add, “if everything goes all right” at the end of a sentence when talking about the baby and the future. We’ve tried to stop feeling that way, tried to assume that everything will be fine this time, but I think the truth is we are all balancing precariously on our own individual emotional tightropes. Going through each day eating, talking, working, pretending everything is okay all the while afraid deep down that one more heartbreak may be one more too many. Sometimes I worry that we need this little girl too much, is it really fair to expect one small baby to heal so many bruised and battered grownup hearts? Then again, maybe we’re already falling. Maybe we’ve been falling since we lost my mom and baby Kiley, maybe the moment we hold Brooklyn for the first time each of us will finally find that soft place to land.
Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Need some help picking your next book? Go to this reader generated website, plug in one of your favorite books and get a list of similar books. The painting in this post is by the French painter, Jean-Baptiste-Camille. Looking at his work has gotten me thinking about taking one of the photos I did of Andy and Meagan and painting it. I seem to be “thinking” about going back to painting more and more lately, which is good I suppose, now I just need to put those thoughts into action! I still haven’t quite kicked the flu, it’s been over two weeks and I’m feeling a little frustrated. Luckily, I did a lot of the prep for Meagan’s baby shower earlier this month so I’m not stressing about the fast approaching May 3rd date. Meagan is feeling good and baby Brooklyn is over three pounds now so we are all counting our blessings and waiting for the day we can count her tiny fingers and toes!
I strong-armed my son Andy and my daughter-in-law (actually, it was my son who needed the coaxing) to model for some iStock pics this weekend. Before we got started I offered to do some photos for them of Meagan’s growing tummy. So far, everything is going great with this pregnancy. When they first got pregnant again we were all so guarded, trying to push back our emotions, afraid that…well, just afraid. Some of Meagan’s friends, when trying to comfort her after she lost the first baby, told her that everything would be fine this time because they already had a heartbreaking event. And as we stumbled through the baby’s loss last year and my mom’s progressing illness and difficult death, we sometimes told each other the same thing. Sometimes. Most of the time we knew the truth. That pain and heartache know no boundaries. That they will come into every life, even when we think we least deserve them, even when we think we just can’t take any more. But we have also learned another truth. That hope is not just a word. It is a light that can lift you up off your knees and carry you into a tomorrow where broken hearts are slowly mended – where joy replaces fear.
I went to a baby shower for a friend’s daughter on Sunday. At first, as I watched the radiant mom-to-be open one cute pink gift after another, it made me happy. But I have to admit that by the end of the afternoon I practically ran out of that room. While slipping into my coat before I made my great escape, I overheard another friend say that she had just finished addressing her own Christmas cards as well as her mother’s cards. I had just finished addressing the invitations to my mom’s memorial. My own granddaughter was due on September 7th, my mom died on September 30th. As I drove home under a canopy of golden autumn leaves, I had one of those moments that sneak up on you, that suddenly wash over you just when you thought you were doing really great handling the trials of your life. I let the tears fall freely and I remembered a dream I had when the kids were still pregnant.
Two weeks before Andy and Meagan found out that the pregnancy was in trouble, and three weeks before they lost the baby, I had this dream. In the dream we had a house full of family and I was scurrying around like I do when I suddenly saw this little baby sitting in a highchair at a table. The baby wasn’t part of the crazy dream, it was slightly transparent, blond and blue-eyed with a faint glow surrounding it. I sat down across from the baby as the rest of the dream paused and fell away. I asked the baby if it knew what the sex of the coming baby was. The baby looked at me, smiled, and answered, “Can’t you just be patient and wait two more weeks until they find out?” I said, “No, can you tell me?” (not at all surprised that the baby, who looked to be about nine months old, was talking to me). The baby giggled, a sweet, sweet little laugh like the sound of peeling bells, then it looked down shyly and said, “It’s a girl.”
Of course, now I wish I had asked the dream baby if the baby in my daughter-in-law’s belly was healthy, if everything was going turn out okay. After they lost the baby (it was a girl) I was angry that I’d had that dream because a part of me was hoping that the baby in the dream was the baby that I would be holding in my arms by my birthday come September. If I could ask for any dream right now it would be one where I see my mom, young and healthy, her arms cradling a blond, giggling blue-eyed baby girl.
Can you tell my sister is head over heals in love with her first grandbaby? They were over for a pre-holiday visit so baby Aryeille could meet the California contingent for the first time. They adored her of course, I mean, who could resist those chubby pink cheeks? (It’s okay Bob, she only cried for a minute, we know you didn’t pinch her cheek that hard!).
“Never have children, only grandchildren.”