|Dad, holding newborn Nancy, many years ago|
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Big News and a Mission
Something monumentally exciting is about to happen in my family: my youngest sister is about to give birth to her first child, the first baby to be born in our family for many years and an event that is heavily anticipated by all of us.
Since the end of last summer when my sister told me that she was pregnant, we've all thought a lot about how unfair and sad it is that my dad isn't here on this earth with us to experience the joy that this baby has already started to bring to our family. Since the moment the big announcement was made, though, I have known that one of the biggest goals I will have as an aunt to this child, whom we have all been calling "our baby" since we learned of his/her existence, is to bring my dad into the life of this child, to teach him/her not only about his/her grandfather but also to impart the lessons and the perspective that my dad shared with all of us. It's not just a goal of mine, actually, it's a mission: I will pass those things on to our new baby, and I will help him/her to know my dad at every opportunity I get, as will the rest of our family.
I've heard about people setting up an empty chair or leaving some extra space on a church pew as a tribute to a missing family member during a wedding or other event, to mark a spot for that person who can't be present. In the Labor & Delivery room, though, we won't need a chair for Dad - not because I don't believe that he will be there, but because I know he will - and I know that he won't be sitting down for any of it. He will be pacing the floor as he tended to do when he was nervous or excited - and he will be standing right by my sister's shoulder and with an enormous smile on his face as he says to her, "You've got this! You can do it!" as his youngest grandchild enters the world and as his youngest child embarks on her journey as a parent herself.
This baby will know his/her Gramps, that's a promise I am making to my dad, to my sister Nancy, and to our new baby.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd run up to Dad with some creation of yours in your hands and say, "Look what I made, Dad!"? That's what you can say to him about this baby, Nancy, although I think he'll already know.//