By Diane Burton
Summer 2007 was about the worst time of my life. My job that paid our health insurance sucked; my husband hadn’t had a permanent job for five years and the temp one he had was ending; his mother was in a nursing home an hour and a half away; and my mom’s Alzheimer’s had gotten worse.
Despite all that, the best thing happened that summer. A darling little girl was born—my daughter’s first child and my first grandchild. When I stayed with daughter after her husband’s family leave was over, I offered to get up for the middle of the night feeding so the new Mom and Dad could get a full night’s sleep. During those quiet moments as I rocked the sweet baby girl a peace came over me. The life stressors disappeared. All that mattered was cuddling that baby, the way I used to cuddle her mother.
Daughter and her husband brought the 2-month-old baby up from Indy to Michigan so she could meet the great-grandmothers. Most of the time Mom wasn’t “there”, but for a few moments we could see in her eyes that she knew the baby we put in her arms was my granddaughter. Six weeks later, Mom passed away. At her funeral, one of her friends bemoaned the fact that she’d never see Mom’s bright blue eyes again. I looked over at my daughter and we shared a secret look. My granddaughter has the same bright blue eyes.
As she has grown older, I see the spitting image of my daughter in her daughter. If you put baby pictures of me, my daughter, and granddaughter side by side, you can see the strong resemblance. The family continues.
Family has always been important to me. Big holiday dinners with all the nieces and nephews and in-laws around the ping-pong table (the only thing big enough to seat everyone), celebrating Mom and Dad’s birthdays in the backyard, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. We got together often. Dad went first and still we gathered at Mom’s. As often happens after the last parent dies, we don’t get together anymore. Weddings and funerals? Maybe some, but not all.
As Hubs and I prepare to move closer to our daughter and her family, I’m getting more and more excited. Even more excited are the granddaughter and her little brother who can’t wait until Nana and Papa live nearby. Now when/if our son has children, I guess we’ll have to divide the year between Michigan and Arizona. I sure don’t want to miss sharing in our grandchildren’s lives. After all, grandchildren mean the family continues.
I blog here on the 8th and 30th of each month and Mondays on my own blogsite http://dianeburton.blogspot.com