oma’s bag

Photograph courtesy of Unsplash. Photographer Debbie Hudson.

Many months ago I received a very special invitation to attend an exceptionally important event.

The birth of our grandchild!

The invite came with very limited & easy to follow instructions:

  • Must be available at a moment’s notice.
  • Must Pray.
  • Must be in charge of bringing important items to be used during the birthing process.

I was delighted. I was honored. I was humbled.

My unabashed answer was, “YES!”

But then I did secretly wonder, “What will I be doing? Will I be in the way? Will I make someone uncomfortable?” (I seem to have an uncanny knack for doing this at times, giggles.)

To avoid any potential for disaster I was tickled to find a plethora of intel from other grandparents who had already traversed through this same uncharted territory. Some of the roles they suggested a grandparent will play in the delivery room were: Photographer, Monitor, Relief Coach, Errand Runner, Informational Resource, Record Keeper, Calming Agent.

These all sounded wonderful to me. As well as, virtually stay-out-of-trouble proof!

And so I began the process of packing my Oma bag!

Which all told only consisted of five items being left in my charge.

Any guesses what those items may have been??

  1. My new camera. (Good thing I had 9 months to learn how to use it!)
  2. My amazingly long phone charger cord.
  3. Cuppycake’s Bose wireless speaker. (Tuned to my Pandora Pride & Prejudice station.)
  4. A cherished statue of the BVM (which I used as my focal-point during the delivery of each of our children’s births.)
  5. And snacks for the dad-to-be. (Well…..maybe I did forget the beef-sticks at home.)

In the end I did partake in some of the roles mentioned by other grandparents during their own experience; but truthfully -when it came right down to it – the most important role I played was that of being a quiet

Witness.

A witness to the miracle of life brought into this world through the unifying love of two very special people.

And for that unexpected reason I am so very grateful I said, “Yes.”

Our beautiful granddaughter – all 8lb 13 precious ounces of her!

“He will love you and bless you and multiply you…”

Deuteronomy 7:13

These past several days as I’ve continued to witness these two young parents navigate together through the newness of parenthood I’ve been struck by one impressive thought

I thought growing old would take longer!

Photographer Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplashed.

Isn’t that funny how it happens in the blink of an eye?

You blink and they are 8. Then 28. And then they are parents, resembling the you you once were.

Isn’t life resplendent that way?

hugs & blessings for all the grandiose miracles God allows us to see, as we blink!

extra hugs & blessings to my darling daughter & son-in-law – thank you for allowing me to witness the formation of your very own “party of three.”

Blessing of the Children.

 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Matthew 19:13-15

pondering heart

A special baby shower theme.

I know I may have begun the Lenten Season with a low-grade sense of dis-courage-ment but, by God’s grace, I have entered the Easter Season with a felt joy in the experience of Jesus alive, and a new courage as he says to me, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

St. Ignatius invites those who have made decisions to follow Christ to experience the grace of Christ’s resurrection. We have considered the consequences of being faithful to being his companions. We have heard him telling the early companions that the world will hate them as it hates him.

We have been invited to be in the world but not of it.

He has prayed that we not be taken from the world but be a blessing within and about the world.

And He has given us His mother as the most beautiful reminder of how to courageously achieve this.

When we experience meeting God in the risen Christ, my thoughts often turn to Mary, the mother of Jesus.  What must she have pondered in her heart during all those gospel moments throughout her Son’s earthly life? The Annunciation, the Presentation in the Temple, finding Jesus in the Temple when He’d gone missing from them, the Passion, and standing at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion. Did her heart ache with the desire to have us meet & know & love her Son too?

The gospel writer Luke has a special attraction to Mary and her pondering heart.  Mary did not take what was happening to her at face value, but sought the deeper, hidden intentions behind her experience.  She was perplexed and pondered what sort of greeting the angel Gabriel gave her when he said “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).  She pondered the words of the shepherds, (Luke 2:19) and kept all the mysterious events of Jesus’ childhood and “treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51).  We can only imagine her ponderings at the foot of the cross. 

Mary is nothing like the passive recipient of God’s will that is normally assumed of her. She is perplexed.  She wonders.  She ponders her future and the meaning of God’s will.  She questions God – “How can this be?”  (Luke 1:34).  I wonder if that question occurred to her repeatedly as she endured the life, death, and resurrection of her Son.

Mary is the model of courage.

And trust.

Beauty…at its finest.

It has been beautiful for me to watch my daughter, during this Easter Season, pondering in her own heart all that God is asking her to do – as she prepares to take on the role of motherhood for the first time. And just as Mary waited and prayed while her Son was in the womb & all throughout His life leading up to the tomb – I pray our daughter draws on the courage of the Blessed Virgin Mary; to strengthen, guide, and sustain her in all the mysterious moments of raising her expectant child.

St. Ignatius piously pictured Jesus, at the Resurrection, as appearing to his mother first after being raised from the tomb. What a most beautiful embrace of mother and Son that would be.

The very same beauty I know will occur as our daughter embraces her own child with this same faithful love for the very first time.

hugs n’ blessings to all the beautiful new life being celebrated this Easter Season!

“Just always be waiting for me.” 
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Girls upstairs celebrating the momma-2-b in the Old School House and the fellas were downstairs in the Swann Tavern (Lost Boys Hideout) diaper-preparing the soon-2-b dad!

A suitcase packed with everything necessary for: “Oma & Gompee’s or Bust!”

“Can anything harm us, mother, after the night-lights are lit?”
Nothing, precious,” she said; “they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children.” 
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

baby bump

So in love already…

Our daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first child.

And our entire family is eagerly awaiting the warm welcome we will bestow upon this ‘little-one,’ as he or she becomes the newest added member to our (oft’ times) crazy family-unit this Spring!

There are so many things I can already imagine doing with and for our expectant grandchild! And don’t even get me started on the special feelings & emotions that take place when your own child is expecting one of their own. (Tissue Box alert!) Is it just me???  Because as the weeks go by and the big day draws closer and closer I have found you want to share so many things you’ve discovered while raising them. All of which now seem to have become bygone-days, far too quickly!

Continue reading “baby bump”