Today is a celebration, that I know we honored casually when our dwarfs were young, either through their school or Sunday school classes, but that I have really lost touch with in the last 10-12 years.
It seem to me like an occasion that little kids observe, (because heck they are stinking cute and grandparents love them and the attention) and in that, has created a great opportunity for some art work with tiny hand prints to go to someone besides moms and dads. Where songs with your class, are performed from a stage, and are rewarded with beaming smiles of pride, from the older adult versions of their parents.
I do not believe that I actually heard about this celebration until I was working and had one of our dwarfs in a day care situation. (So early 1990's. )
This week I received a text wishing me an "early" Happy Grandparents Day. The text message started me thinking about the gravity of being a grandparent. The significance that I desired to be associated with that title, and the plans that I had made regarding my role as a grandparent when I reached that distinctive milestone.
However, in this first year that I am being recognized as a grandparent, it was not accompanied by tiny hand prints or baby snuggles. Nor did I fill any particular "grandparent" role that I ever envisioned. What it has filled me with is the realization, that along with many others, we (the Prince and I) now belong to a group of unique men and women, where celebration is categorized by a loss.
There are many that find days such as these a challenge. Mother's Day (1914), Father's Day (1910), National Siblings Day (1997), National Grandparents Day (1978) are difficult for many because these days are reminders of what they have loved and lost.
Our "becoming a grandparent story" is a bit different, thanks to a pandemic, and a series of events that lead to the premature birth of our first grand baby. A sweet, very tiny, 1 lb, 9 oz, boy who's name is Braden. He was born at 22 weeks gestation and lived for 5 weeks and 4 days here on earth.
A sweet boy, whom we did not get to meet in person, to hold, or to cuddle, but all the same he was loved and prayed for by many. By his parents. By his grandparents. By those that know, and love our family.
His short life was confined to visits by only one parent at a time, and was reliant on the care of a wonderful staff of NICU doctors and nurses, during the pandemic. As first time grandparents, none of this is how we had envisioned being promoted from parent to grandparent.
As grandparents in the midst of a pandemic, we were at the mercy of photographs and updates from his mother daily on his condition and care. We never got to see him, or touch him, but he did touch our hearts.
He was a scrapper. I could get an urgent update in the morning, and start praying for mercy in his little life, and by the afternoon, the next update would relay a re-bound in his over all health and situation. He held on to life for five weeks and four days.
Braden James went home to be with Jesus on May 15, 2020. We rest in the knowledge that he is healed in the name of Jesus. We know we will get to meet him someday. He left behind a void of a grandchild born and lost before he had the chance grow and mature. He left behind parents, grandparents aunts, uncles, and future cousins and siblings.
I know that the Lord has a reason and a purpose for all that He does. I know that someday when He deems the timing right, our home will be filled with the pitter patter of visiting grands, and that until that time, I will continue to ponder and pray about what type of grandmother I want to be. What kind of grandparents the Prince and I will be together. From this first experience however, I can tell you that what I do want to re-create, is to be grandparents that pray as if their grandchildren's life depends on it!