I was hoping she'd be born on August 26th -- the first Anniversary of her great grandfather's death -- but the 29th is close enough.
The year + 3 days between my Dad's death and his great granddaughter's birth has come with many ups and downs. I think much more often about mortality. My amazing friend Craig died in December at age 50. And other friends and family have received the awful news of a cancer diagnosis. I wonder if this is what life will be like now in my later years... Worrying about who will be next?
I have been searching for another love, but lately, I've been morosely thinking that I'd rather be single than be a widow. I don't know if I could bare the grief of losing a spouse to death.
But why am I here talking about death, when just the opposite has occurred. A beautiful, perfect baby has been born. How will Dad find his way in her? Will she have his love of Math? His corny sense of humor? I look at those tiny hands, at that blissful, sleeping doll and think how miraculous life is. I remember that day I became a mother -- the day I looked at my perfect daughter, this baby's mother -- and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was a God. There is no way something so wonderful could have just been created "randomly."
When the people we love die, life can feel so meaningless. Is this it? We're just going to live until we die? All this "stuff" we do all day... why do we even do it? Why does it even matter? We are just going to die.
And then there is a birth. I look at the innocent baby and know she will have the love passed down from her great grandfather who loved me who loved her mother who loves her. And I know then that it does matter. Every smile my father gave me. Every day he worked hard to give us a wonderful childhood. Every tickle he tortured me with. It mattered. Love matters.
And now, beautiful little girl, though you will never get to meet him, your great grandfather's love lives within you.