Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Becoming a Grandma 

The News, part 1, April 2013

Last April I had the chance to run in the inaugural Nike Women's half marathon. The thrill was not that Nike came to Washington DC, or that I got a Tiffany's necklace at the end, but that my eldest daughter, Kristin, came all the way from San Diego to run the race too!  We love seeing her, we miss her (and her husband Glenn, and our other children) so it is a great treat when anyone travels 3,000 miles to come see their parents.
On top of the thrill of seeing Kristin, she shared some news with us that first night.   "Mom," asked my dear firstborn, "are you ready to have a new name?" I was a little slow and had no idea what she was talking about. "Are you ready to have the name of grandma?"
She videoed my response, and I reacted in disbelief, I was sure she was kidding.  My kids often tease me and I tend to be rather gullible.  I think it took about a minute to realize she was serious and I let out a scream of joy.  
This is our first, and as a new grandma, I was thrilled.  I had strict orders to not tell anyone until she was over the 3 month mark, and I sort of kept my word.  I told three of my friends who were also thrilled for me.  
As the three month mark passed, I shared the great news with more and more people.  It was so fun to share the news at work (I'm a teacher).  I was the 8th staff member to become a grandma this year.  Everyone told me it was the best thing ever.  Nothing can compare.  As my husband's parents used to tell us, it was a lot of fun to have grand-kids, spoil them to pieces, then give them back!! (Usually on a sugar high, from what I remember).
                             Chris and Kristin, Washington DC, April 2013

 The News, part 2, June 2013 

On June 17th I got this text from Kimberly, daughter # 3 (I have 4!)
"Mama! Kristin just found out it's only $100 to find out the gender.  I'm pitching in $25.  Want to help us?!? I want to know the gender!"  
Of course we helped.  Thrill of thrill.  The appointment was set for June 27th. I was teaching summer school at the time and sent Kristin and Glenn a message to call me as soon as they knew.  I did not want the news from a text, but to be thrilled with them voice to voice!
July 27th came, and Kristin sent this text, "Hey Mom are you still at work?  We just left our ultrasound-there is some sad news-call me when you can."
My heart sank, my eyes filled with tears. These were words I knew did not bode well.  I called my dear daughter, and with tears she shared that her sweet little baby had a condition called anencephaly. I actually knew what this was, and knew it was a fatal diagnosis.  The tears, I am not sure I have ever cried so many.  And as a mother and a new grandmother, I could not even express my grief.  There were no words, I  was hurting for my daughter and her husband,  hurting for me and my husband, and  hurting for all my other daughters.  
My journal 3 days after this news said this:
"I'm not at a place where I can pray yet at all.  I'm not mad at God. I know He will use this in some way to bring our family and others closer to Him.  I do ask why.  Why a couple who is so great and would make such great parents not going to get that right now?" 

To help me process this journey, I started this blog.  This is my first entry. After writing and reliving this bit of the journey, I am a bit tired. This will be a difficult journey for our family.  Kristin and Glenn have chosen to love and care for this baby (a boy!) as long as they can.  In future blogs I will share about that courageous choice.  Thanks to all that listen and read this.   

information about anencephaly anencephaly.net


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