Bobbie Sue and I drove down to Florida on Thursday to meet my new grand daughter who was born on the first day of this year. We love road trips. This woman and I can be in a car for days on end and have a blast. Between telling stories and singing we make the most out of a 10 hour trip. Meeting this new baby girl was a gift. To have my best friend there with me was priceless.
There is something so humbling and beautiful about a new soul. An infant is as close to God as one can get. They have no malice, no fear, nothing but the need to survive and be loved. They want to be fed, held, changed and loved. To look into the eyes of a brand new soul is looking into the Divine. I held that baby with an awareness I did not have at twenty with my first son. Now at forty-five I witness a completely different dynamic to birth and a child. They are waking into this world, taking everything in for the first time as an adventure, a classroom, and a journey. Seeing my daughter hold her little one was overwhelming. It was pure tenderness and love.
This business of motherhood is not easy. It’s even more difficult as a grandparent. I have to stand back and allow my daughter to learn from this. Seeing her living conditions and the façade of what is real and what’s fake is heartbreaking.
Bobbie and I went to the supermarket to get a few things for them. I stood in line at the deli department and asked her, “Are they gonna be okay?” This woman, who is usually stronger than an ox said to me with tears in her eyes, “I cannot be strong for you. If you want me to lie I will. I know I am here for moral support but I can’t be strong for you on this one. I don’t know. I have never been a mother so I can’t imagine how you are feeling….” I thanked her for the honesty.
I got that sinking feeling like if the earth was moving below me. My stomach twisted and turned and I stood there being elevated by Spirit. I know the answer. I just wanted to be sure. There is no certainty. My daughter doesn’t want to come home with me. She’s living in fear and wants to move forward. I respect that. Her disorders don’t allow for her to rationalize the situation. Her mate is not going to allow for her to move on that easily. I understand it. My spirit and faith in that space didn’t make it easy for him to swallow this closeness and strength. He doesn’t like strong women. Bobbie and I have been through enough abuse to see and shed light on this story. I tried to be as cordial and sweet as possible but I could see he did not like it.
When I returned to her place I sat her down and hugged her. In a small instance I whispered to her that I would come get her whenever she is ready. The things not said spoke louder than if I had openly verbalized what I was seeing. She smiled, her lips quivering, her hands erratically gesturing and nodded. God will take care of the rest. She knows she has a home. My fiancé’s mother visited as well and she lives close enough to be there quickly. I am so blessed for this new woman in our lives. I am an orphan, both parents gone, and this woman has entered my life not only as a mother but a grandmother as well.
Every moment I spent with this tiny new soul gave me strength. She is embodied by Christ. She is pure God. This little baby is the light needed for my daughter to stand up and find herself again. I looked into her eyes and saw emptiness when we first arrived. I broke down inside. Tears of joy for the baby gave me reason to put on a strong demeanor. I don’t know what will happen. I only know that the light of joy, hope, and grace in us will shine upon this situation. I have to believe it.
We returned home with many questions. Along the stretch of highway in silence I found several answers. I witnessed a new soul entering this world. I saw a twenty-three year old with challenges trying to find her place. The baby is loved. This I know. I kept reciting to myself, “On unknown paths, the bravest souls will go.”
I had picked two new words for this year: grace and adventure. I was able to live through those two words this past weekend. In grace I am allowing God for guidance. In adventure I am grateful for the journey into grand-parenthood. I am seeing something in me that I never saw before: allowance for growth. As parents we cannot force anything on our children. The only thing we can do is allow for them to reach out whenever they need us. Ah…this is tough and painful! But, the beauty of what’s ahead is in the grace of living through the awareness of faith. And, that’s where the bravest of souls always go.