I Am Thankful

This post was originally written and posted on Thanksgiving, 2015. I have updated it to add new items that we are thankful for, and to remind ourselves of all that we truly continue to be thankful for.

Psalm 118:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Today is another Thanksgiving Day. A day we eat lots of turkey, and stuffing, and pumpkin pie. We watch football, enjoy being with friends and family, and when it’s all over, we wonder where the day went!

But do we really stop to give thanks, or do we just say the words?

Today I am definitely giving thanks, because I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my loving husband Ben of 32 years, who loves me, supports me, and stands by me in good times and bad. He is my source of strength who cares for me unconditionally; who helps me more than I ever expected, fixing dinner, cleaning the house, doing the grocery shopping, and all manner of other things he doesn’t have to do. He has supported my dreams and goals of publishing my first book, and supported me all of the way. He does it because he loves me. He is a good man, and I love him dearly.

I am also extremely thankful that Ben has survived two very frightening cardiac incidents over the past two years, one in which he coded in front of our daughter Ashley and me. I am thankful for the Lord giving us the right doctors and nurses who pulled him through and implanted a pacemaker which saved his life. I am thankful for his recovery last summer from congestive heart failure. I know God has plans for him, and will use both of these incidents as a testimony of faith, hope, and answered prayers.

I am thankful for our daughter Ashley and her husband Chris. I am so proud of them and so thankful to have had the honor of planning a beautiful wedding for them a few years ago. I am thankful for being able to watch them take their vows and become husband and wife. Such a mixture of emotions we had that day as Ben and I officially became empty nesters; our former baby bird has grown up and flown from our nest into her own, and has a wonderful new life ahead of her.

I am thankful for wonderful and close friends who stand by us, love us, and pray for us. Friends who are always available when we need them, and are willing to drop what they’re doing when we need their help. And I am thankful we are able to do the same for them. The Lord has placed some very special people in our lives, and we wouldn’t trade any of them for anything in this world.

I am thankful for the ability the Lord has given me for writing, and the people He put in my life who encouraged me and guided me as I wrote my book about my mother’s life. I am thankful for a new friend who has made perfect editorial suggestions to make this book the best it can be. And I am thankful that I will finally be publishing this book in the next few weeks.

I am thankful for memories of my family…of my many loved ones who are now gone. I am thankful to have had them in my life, and although I miss them all terribly, I am also thankful for knowing that one day we will all be reunited for eternity.

I am thankful for a job I truly enjoy and good people to work with. I am thankful for a reliable car that’s paid for. I am thankful for our home that we are able to share with others. I am thankful for good health, even through the trials of recovering from a rear end collision a year ago.

And most of all, Ben and I are both especially thankful to be proud grandparents to our first grandchild, Rachel Marie, who turned 6 months old on November 23. She is a precious gift, and we would not trade her for anything in the world! Our daughter and son-in-law are amazing parents. Truly, we have so much to be thankful for!

No matter how hard your year may have been, there are always things to be thankful for. We should all make an effort to remind ourselves every day of all that we have to be thankful for, not just be “thankful” on only one day each year.

So what are you giving thanks for? Feel free to leave your comments, and prayer requests if necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m Here! What Do You Think of Me?

Today I was finally born. I’m sorry you went through so much pain, but I’m here now, and all that’s over. Now we both need to rest. Because there’s an exciting world out there for me to explore with you and Daddy!

I’m so glad to finally be out, because there just wasn’t any more room for me. But those first few minutes outside were a bit scary. It was cold, and the lights were so bright! There were people everywhere, and I didn’t know who they were. And I needed to be wrapped up really well. Those warm blankets felt so good, and my little hat with that bow on it made my head feel so warm (even though it messed up my hair)! I love bows, by the way, Mommy. I was exhausted from all of the stress of being born, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

But when the doctor put me in your arms, I immediately knew who you were. You see, I heard your heartbeat, and the rhythm of your breathing; I smelled your scent, and heard your voice. I managed to open my little eyes for a few seconds, and as soon as I saw you, I fell even more in love with you! And Daddy, too! I’m the luckiest baby in the world to have you two as my parents! I know you two will love me and care for me and keep me safe.

And my grandparents…I got to see them in the hallway on the way to the nursery, you know. I opened my eyes, and there was my grandmother. She’s beautiful. Just like you. And she reminded me so much of your own grandmother. I tried to smile at her, and I think maybe I did, but I was so tired. My grandfather was there, too. He looked like he was getting ready to cry. That was so cute.

Daddy never left my side while they were taking me to the nursery in that little crib, and he stayed right there until I got settled. He was making sure I was comfortable and warm, and he just couldn’t stop looking at me, and telling me how much he loved me.

After he left, the doctors kept examining me and not letting me sleep; that did get a little old after a while. But I guess it was for my own good. After giving me a quick warm sponge bath, which tickled, by the way, my nurse put a little shirt on over my head to help keep me warm before she wrapped me in the blanket. I think it’s going to take a little while for me to get used to wearing clothes, because they feel a little strange on my skin. But I know I’ll get used to them, and I know you have lots of pretty ones waiting for me at home. There was just so much going on all the time, no wonder I kept sleeping! It was exhausting!

Finally they brought me in your room. I just wanted to be with you! I love how we have those matching bracelets…you and me and Daddy! Not that you’d ever not know it was me, but it made me feel good to know they were being so careful. But that sensor tag on my ankle was a bit much, wasn’t it!? I’m sure we’ll laugh about that later.

It wasn’t easy getting the hang of that bottle either; those first few times with it I wasn’t real sure what to do. But my little tummy was rumbling so I knew I had to learn! After a few tries I caught on, and that formula tasted pretty good! You and Daddy are really good at feeding me, too. It’s such a special time together, isn’t it??

My grandmother and grandfather enjoyed feeding me, too. Grandmom holds me and talks to me, and sometimes she just looks at me and smiles and smiles! I bet she did that when you were first born, too. I can’t tell you what she was talking to me about, but I’m sure she’ll tell you one day.

Now in case you’re wondering how I’m still writing to you even though I’m finally born, and no longer inside of you, it’s really very simple. God wanted to surprise you, so He’s letting me do this for a few more days. I don’t know exactly for how long yet, so we’re just going to enjoy it while we can. I don’t think you mind, do you Mommy?

And I’m really more tired now than I was before I was born. You notice I’m sleeping most of the time, right? I have to get a lot of rest right now, so I’ll be sleeping a lot for the next few weeks. And when I get more energy we’ll have so much fun together!

What an exciting day it’s been though, right!? I’m so excited to finally be out and meeting you and all of my family! And I’m so looking forward to my new life here!!! I love you!!

XOXOXOXOXO

Thoughts from a New Grandmother

A week ago I started writing this blog. Here’s what I’d written so far, up until Sunday night:

“Any day now she’ll be here. I’m actually telling myself that, because it actually could be any day. We’re officially less than ten days away, but you know babies, and whatever the doctor says may not be what the baby says!

Actually, it’s what the Lord says, because He’s the only one who knows exactly when. And when it’s time He’ll tell baby Rachel. And then the process will start.

I remember when I had our daughter. I was scared to death. I was ready to have her, and I was excited, but I do have to say I was scared. I wasn’t going through labor since she was breech, and the C section was scheduled. I never even had any labor pain. Ashley was just taking her time, minding her own business, and was in no rush to come out into the world.

But our granddaughter seems to be ready. And she’s making it known. Our daughter has been having pains all week. So she could be here any time. She’s been to the hospital twice and sent back home because they said she’s not ready.”

And now…

After a third trip to the hospital on Sunday night, and even though she supposedly still wasn’t in labor, although her contractions were coming every 5-7 minutes, a kindhearted and compassionate nurse decided there was no way she was sending our daughter home again. And she made sure she wasn’t released.

The next morning, May 23, at 4:20 am, little Rachel was delivered. Our daughter had indeed been in labor. Thank goodness for that nurse, and our daughter’s wonderful doctor who came to the hospital to deliver her personally, even though he wasn’t on call.

You see, when God makes a plan, He makes it happen. In His way, and in His timing. He orchestrates it all. Perfectly.

I cannot begin to express my feelings when I saw our granddaughter for the very first time as she was being taken to the nursery in her isolette. Her eyes opened and she looked at us, and I saw a glimpse of the wonder of heaven, and yes, a smile from my own mother as she watched from above. I cannot begin to express my feelings at that moment. I wanted my own mommy beside me, just for a moment to share my joy, and I felt my eyes moisten as I tried not to cry.

When your child has a child of her own, your entire world, your entire view of life, is forever changed. From the moment we saw her, from the moment we held her in our arms, we were instantly struck with a feeling of love like never before. With a feeling of awe and amazement totally different from when we had our own daughter almost 28 years ago.

This tiny new little being is the child of our child; the daughter of our daughter. She carried this precious little being inside her for nine months, and now she’s in our arms…all of our arms as we take turns holding her, marveling at her curly hair, long eyelashes, her tiny long fingers, and her cute little feet and toes.

All of our friends told us being grandparents was something totally different from being a parent. That it was an indescribable feeling. ‘You’ll see!” They said.

They were right.

Welcome to the world, Rachel Marie!

XOXOXOXOXO

Who Ya Callin’ Granny?

As soon as I started telling all my friends about our new upcoming status as grandparents, everyone started asking me what I was going to have baby Rachel call me! We already figured Ben would be either Grandpa or Granddad, but choosing a name for a grandmother to be called, in these days, I guess, is easier said than done!

There are a lot of possibilities out there now. Nana, Nanny, Meme, Gigi, Gran, Mom-mom, Grammy, Glamma, Grams; these are just some of the now popular names for grandmother.

I even looked up some of the name possibilities on line, and I was amazed. I can’t imagine being called GaMo, or Memo, Mimi, Nonny, Lally, Pippa, Glammy….and that’s some of the more reasonable ones!

Guess I’m a bit behind the times. I do have some friends who decided (and rightly so) that becoming a grandmother at the age of forty, although they were thrilled about it, didn’t mean they wanted to be called grandma, because it sounded a bit, well, old, shall we say? So they elected to be called Nana or Nanny. And I think it fits them well.

But it doesn’t sound like me.

Another friend is called Gigi by her grandchildren. I asked her how that came about, and it was actually quite simple. GG…Gorgeous Grandma! Well, she is! I like that, too, but still, I just don’t think it’s me.

When I was growing up, my mom’s mother, my Grandmom, always spoke about Granny. Granny was a distant relative I never met (maybe my grandmother’s mother or grandmother – I have no idea), but I saw an old picture of her once, and she was just that! Old! Or at least she looked old to me! (Of course, those photos from back in the early 1900’s or earlier made everyone look old!)

Then there was Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies TV show in the 60’s. She was funny, and certainly made the show what it was, but still, she was made up to look OLD as well. Irene Ryan was only 60 (younger than I am now) when she played that part, but she sure looked like she was some 15 years older, at least! Especially with those “granny glasses” that became so popular.

No, in my world, I’m NOT going to be called Granny!

I remember someone asking my own mother what Ashley was going to call her, and her simple answer….”anything she wants! She’s my granddaughter and I don’t care what she calls me.”

I always called my mother’s mother Grandmom. I don’t remember why; that was just her name as far as I was concerned. I didn’t know my father’s grandparents very well at all, and quite honestly, I don’t think I ever called them anything, because I didn’t see them much, and they weren’t like the loving, fun grandparents on my mother’s side.

Ashley always called my mother Grandmom. But to be honest, I’d never thought about it. Not at all. Even when Ashley and Chris told us we were going to be grandparents, it didn’t really hit me that I wasn’t going to just be “mom” to someone any more. A “grand” was getting ready to be added to a title.

The definition of “grand” is “majestic”, “magnificent”, and my favorite, “a term denoting the most important item of its kind.”

Hmmmm…..

Not that I’ll ever consider myself more important in my granddaughter’s life than my daughter (her mother), but that gives the term a whole new meaning.

Grand mom. To a grand daughter. Yeah. I like that. And I’m sure I’m going to have a magnificent granddaughter…the most important in the family line so far!

Just call me Grandmom! I only hope I am as good a grandmother to Rachel as the two other ladies in my family who were honored with that same title were to their granddaughters.