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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Awaiting a Bundle of Joy!

These past few weeks have been truly busy as we prepare for the arrival of our newest grandchild.  My daughter is scheduled to deliver our new grand baby tomorrow, and we are all so filled with excitement.  It is even more exciting since we will not know until tomorrow whether it is a boy or girl, refreshing actually in a time when everyone needs to know NOW! what they are having.  

Rachel doing her Fire Marshall Bill impression
Yet with all this, I still feel a heaviness and sadness, as I think of how this newest addition to our family will not have the pleasure of getting to know their Auntie Rachel.  As I sat thinking about this, I could not stop the tears that fell freely of their own volition.  Thinking of how Rachel would have been an awesome aunt, how she would have spoiled any nieces or nephews, and how they would have loved her antics.  Especially in the way she made a point of making you feel so special, of letting you know that you were the most important thing to her in that moment.  

As a grandmother, I know the joys of seeing my grandson as he runs into my arms screaming gamma, that feeling that I am someone so very special to him.  I know that any nieces or nephews would feel the same way about their auntie Rachel.  I see it now with my son, and how my grandson seeks him out after he has greeted my husband and I.  How he is content to just sit in his lap as he plays video games or watches TV.

It is these subtle moments that remind me of what is missing, what could have been, and what will never be.  This newest addition like their big brother, will know Rachel through our sharing and stories.  They will see her picture, and when they ask, 'Who's that?' we will answer Auntie Rachel.  And I strongly believe, they will sense her presence in their lives, know her in ways that we as adults can not fathom or understand.  

I was gently reminded yesterday by a dear friend, that Rachel has been keeping a watchful eye over this soon to be born child. She has more than likely already had the pleasure of meeting him or her, and has told them of the love that is waiting.   What a beautiful image, what a wonderful thought and such a comfort to believe that our spirits our connected in ways that our humanness cannot comprehend. 

When we grieve, we feel the joys tinted by a hint of sadness and longing.  Our grief does not dampen the happiness, it simple creates an aching.  Jokingly, I have told family and friends, that I can luckily shed tears tomorrow, that for all outward appearances, will mimic tears of joy.  But my heart will know that my joyful tears, with have a bittersweet taste.  And as I hold my new grand baby, I will offer up a simple prayer, and I will ask Rachel to be his or her guardian, as they travel through life.  My heart knows that she will act on their behalf, constantly guiding their steps. 

Recently, I finished reading a book entitled, 'Outside Wonderland' by Lorna Jane Cook.  A story of three children who were orphaned at a very young age, and how unbeknownst to them, their parents would catch glimpses of their children from afar.  Unable to interfere, they would send their love to them, and watch as their now adult children would make pivotal decisions in their lives.  The book conjured up so many beautiful images for me, of Rachel looking in on her father and I, her brother and sister, her nephew and so many other family members who had meant so much to her.  It was also comforting to believe that my dad and grandparents may be doing the same. 

So with faith that the new arrival in our family, will be carefully cared for and loved from afar, and that Rachel will look in on her new niece or nephew from time to time, I welcome this much awaited baby.  I will share the love of a grandmother, and the importance of family, and that love is the most important gift we have to give one another.

Love after all makes all things bearable.  Love conquers all.  As I so often hear, we grieve because we love.  And when all is said and done, I thank God for love each and every day.  For it is love that reaches beyond all borders, and truly survives the test of time.  Love has been known to soften even the hardest of hearts, and to dare to go what others fear to thread.  Even death cannot take it away from us, it is the love that makes Rachel so much more present in my life.  It is love that keeps her always in my heart. 

And tomorrow there will be another special little person in my life, who I can love unconditionally.  Who will undoubtably leave indelible footprints on my heart.  A heart that I find has a greater capacity for love than I ever dreamed possible. 

Blessings! and until we meet again.

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