The Gift (Day 2 from an untitled collection)
Over the years I have done many different things that showed me the grief was still there expressing itself in other ways; for a while, I collected dolls from the Heritage Signature Collection and Ashton-Drake Gallerie, a few months ago I started crocheting things for the babies at our local hospital; every holiday I would put together a special gift for the first baby born. When I found out about the baby was a girl I was in heaven making outfits in various sizes, styles, and colors; I had made a very special gown [the first time I had used crochet thread] that I hoped would become a family heirloom to be passed from generation to generation; I made it for her to come home from the hospital in. Lord, for this child I have prayed since the day I found out my granddaughter was pregnant, but Father you know my heart I sent it with you when I said goodbye and gave my little girl back to you. Lord, why have you chosen this day for her to be born? “Before I formed her in the womb I knew her. Before she was born I sanctified her.” (Modified from Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV) was His answer and He reminded me of the day my granddaughter told me about how she chose the babies name, Elizabeth, it had come to her in a dream and means, “assurance of God.” I thought it was beautiful.
On my granddaughter's sixteenth birthday I had passed down to her the birthstone ring I had been given on my sixteenth birthday, I had kept it all those years because I wanted to give it to my daughter to be passed down, it was my hope that it would now be passed down to my great-granddaughter on her's.
The message came later that day my great-granddaughter, a month premature, was born at 3:42 p.m. weighing 5 lbs. 7 oz. and was 15 in. long. I cried all the way home the first time I saw her, she had to stay in the hospital because of an infection, so I had gone there to take her a few things I had made. I was still torn somewhat between the excitement of my first great-granddaughter and the longing that was still in my heart. The following weekend I went to the baby shower, I had gotten a picture of her that morning wearing the heirloom gown. They had come from the hospital so she was still wearing it when they arrived for the shower. The room was full of people and I didn’t want to fall apart so I took a deep breath and smiled. I was doing alright until I was asked if I wanted to hold her, my insides turned to jelly and I could feel a panic attack trying to rise up, fighting to maintain control I offered an excuse and said I shouldn’t. It wasn’t long until I excused myself and said my goodbyes. Lord, I’m sorry but I just couldn’t, not there, I didn’t want to break down in front of everyone. What am I going to do, I want so much to be a part of her life, help me to get beyond this.
It was Christmas and my granddaughter was on her way so we could visit with her and the baby, I was so excited they were coming. Later that day as I watched the two of them together I knew she was going to be a good mother, it was like the baby completed her; it was truly beautiful to watch. I was sitting in my chair watching them when my granddaughter brought her to me and placed her in my arms. I felt that longing in my heart wraps around this beautiful baby girl. As I held her in my arms looking into her eyes, touching her tiny hands and fingers, the longing of so many years was satisfied. My great-granddaughter became the apple of my eye and had completely stolen my heart. Sitting there with her in my arms I thanked God for the gift of that moment. Since that day I can truthfully say the torment of my loss has gone.
Soon it will be her second birthday and she, and her little sister, are the joy of my heart, every moment I get to spend with them is a pure delight. One has a fair complexion, blond hair, and blue eyes; the other, born in March of this year [6.5 lbs. 19 in.] is medium complected with dark hair and big brown eyes. I look forward to spending time with them and watching them grow into amazing young ladies. When I shared with their mother that I was writing this story and the special gift that came with the birth of my precious great-granddaughter, she put it this way, “So for you, it was like assurance that he [God] wasn’t forgetting or dismissing your grief, he had a plan to help you heal from it; then she said, I love this story.” I think I held on to the grief so long because I felt she had been forgotten, to everyone but me. It seemed I was always trying to bury the grief of losing her because for whatever reason my family never mentioned my miscarriage, it was as if I had never been pregnant. God has given me a beautiful gift, my great-granddaughter.