Today marks seven months since Jesus took Mama home. It also marks eight days since Mama’s youngest grandchild was born.
It’s been a bittersweet time for me. When my brother gave me the news that he and his wife had a healthy baby girl, I was elated! And then very soon I was in tears. Because Mama so loved babies! I’ve become a grandma twice myself in the last 22 months, and I know there is nothing like it!
I called Dad and told him I was going out to buy sweet girl things for the baby, before I went to the hospital for a visit. (They hadn’t wanted to know ahead of time the baby’s gender, so everything was generic at the showers.) I told him I wanted to buy some gifts to be from him and Mom, too. Because Mom would have done that. He agreed and told me to take as much money as I needed.
I looked in my daughter’s baby book. I saw the photo of Mom and Dad holding my little one, looking at her adoringly. I read the list of things Mama had bought for her. I blinked back tears and went shopping, looking for things Mama would give her grandchild…looking for things I would give my niece. I bought lots of tiny, adorable pink things.
I choked up several times, and blinked back tears, as I shopped and wrapped and drove to the hospital. And then I held my precious niece, so tiny and perfect, and all I could do then was smile! Babies have that effect on me. Holding a sleeping baby puts me in my happy place, and sadness evaporates, at least for those moments.
The next day I held the wee one again, when my brother and his wife stopped to visit Dad with her. Dad’s eyes are so bad he can’t see faces, but I asked Dad if he wanted to hold his grandchild. “Yes,” he said. “I want to hold her hand.” I arranged the baby in his arms and helped him find her tiny fingers. And he sat that way, for a long while, holding his granddaughter, while her little fingers clung to his big one.
I wondered what he was thinking. I blinked back some tears again, wishing Mama could enjoy this little one as well and wishing this baby wasn’t missing out on knowing her.
The next day I drove Dad to a doctor’s appointment. As we were driving he said, “You know yesterday when I was holding the baby’s hand?”
“I was wishing Mom could be there to hold her. You know how much she loved babies.”
“Yes, she did. I was wishing the same thing.”
“But then I thought if that book, Heaven Is for Real, is right, there are babies in heaven. Remember how the little boy met his sister who had miscarried, and he hadn’t even known about her before that?”
“Yes, I do remember that.”
Well,” Dad said, “If that’s right, then Mom has lots of babies to hold in heaven.”
“That’s true, Dad,” I said, through tears. “That’s a beautiful thought. I love that!”
And I do love that thought. I think of two of my own babies, lost through miscarriage. I guess I don’t know if babies stay babies in heaven or not, but I’m assuming they grow up. My children would be older now then, but they are with Mom!
And my nephew and his wife had some miscarriages in the last few years….I picture Mama loving caring for her great-grandchildren in paradise with Jesus! I take such comfort in these thoughts.
Mama is not alone. She is surrounded by loved ones and friends in the presence of Jesus! She has babies to cherish and hold. And I have to think Jesus would let her know about her new granddaughter.
Meanwhile, back here on earth, I’ll try to be the best auntie I can be and tell this little one all about her Grandma Nina! My brother assures me I’m in the starting line-up for babysitting.