Unconditional

Cradled in my Mother’s arms,

my little fingers reaching out for Papa’s.

Daddy’s scratchy beard,

tickles my soft newborn skin,

as he leans in to kiss me.

Mama’s Daughter,

Daddy’s little girl.

No matter what age I am still.

The light is passed on-

trying to care for my Son,

Like my Parents still continue

to care for us.

The most loving Grandparents

anyone could have,

still the best Mom and Dad.

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The Strength of Faith

My Grandmother is currently on hospice and I am finding it hard to sleep as I am thinking about her. The ironic thing about all of this is that I was writing about my fictitious character Jen, and the death of her Grandfather the night my Grandmother went into the hospital. Around the time I was writing that chapter I felt a presence in the room with me, the clock said 3:33. I was so freaked out I had to stop writing and I don’t get creeped out easily. The day after that I heard 3 loud knocks on the closet door in the bedroom. At that time the clock said 2:22. No one else was in the house but me or my Son and he was sleeping, while I was working on writing my novel. The next day I heard my Grandmother had been admitted to the ICU on Thursday, the day all the weird things started happening.

My Grandmother and I shared the same faith. She was raised Catholic, however I came later to the faith when I was in High School. As I was going through discernment, she was there to guide me and answer any questions that I had.

One of the conversations we had was about guardian angels. Catholics believe in them. I then got to thinking it could be my Grandmother trying to send me a message, but she has not passed on yet.

I went to see her today and told her that I loved her, and talked to family I had not seen in a while. I was reminded of how much of a fighter she is and how she has never lost her faith. Having faith in something always gets you through the difficult times.

I remember the first trip to the mall, was taken with my Grandmother. I also remember her pulling my hair over my face when I was younger to show me how beautiful I would look with short bob and some bangs. That is the way I wear my hair now. It makes my blue eyes pop and gives my curly hair more volume. My Grandmother was right.

I remember when Her and my Grandfather went to my dance recital in college. I still have the necklace she gave me that day that has a heart in it. I remember how supportive she was of me as I was going through that time in my life. We spent many evenings on the phone talking.

The two biggest moments of my life, the day I got married and the day my Son was born, her and My Grandfather were there. I will never forget the day Grandma held my Son. She absolutely loves children. When I call she always asked about her Grandson.

She is a woman that has a faith that could move mountains and has never afraid to say I love you. Every time I talked to her she made sure she said it. Today as I left the hospital, I was the only one able to say those words.

If you can please say a prayer, or pray the rosary for my Grandmother. Please also keep my Grandfather in your thoughts and prayers. I know this has not been easy for him.

Goodnight everyone. I am going to pray and read and write a little tonight since I am finding it hard to sleep. All these memories of my Grandmother floating around.

I’m gonna keep the faith, read and write and as I do on most days, do some soul searching.

 

The Gift

We did not get approved for the car loan. However, every cloud has a silver lining. My parents, passing on the great legacy my Grandfather bestowed upon them, decided to help us out. My Mother applied for the loan for the new vehicle, since we could have not afforded another car payment anyways, had we been approved for the loan. She gave us her car. It belonged to her father. It was a bittersweet moment. In may ways, my Grandfather still lives on. He lives through my Mother.

My Grandpa would have done anything for anyone that he loved. It was just what he did. He gave love unconditionally and never asked for anything in return. My Mother and Father are very much the same way. My Mom handed the title over to Me. The last owners name, was my Grandfathers. Yes, this car belonged to my Grandfather. It was never really anyone’s car. We still called it my Grandfathers car after he died. It just didn’t feel right calling anything else. His glasses where in the glove box, right were he left them. The license plate that was his, still in the trunk for safe keeping. This is the car that continues to give. Just as my Grandfather did, and still does even though he is long gone. My Mother and I shared something special yesterday at the Auto title place. A memory of a man we all wish we could share our life and memories with.

We cried as we shared this memory. My Mother inherited the car from my Grandfather. My Mother gave the car to me. It was gifted not once, but twice. the car still keeps giving, just like my Grandfather did. As my parents now do. I thought about how that car my husband was driving, was probably not very safe. I count my blessing,s and can’t help but think my Grandfather had something to do with this. He is still looking down on all of us are all ok. I cant imagine what would have happened to Mike had he not been on a country road. I know my Grandfather is with my family. I have felt he always has been. He continues to live on and his legacy is one that has been passed to my parents and will be passed to us. This is the greatest gift of all. unconditional love, and memories and time spent with those you love that can never be paid back.

My Musical Life

This week was a good week for my Son and Family. It brought back many memories.

My Dad is a Music Director at a local Catholic Church. They have a chicken dinner every year to raise money for the parish. My Dad plays the organ for people who are coming to see the church. After I got out of work, my Mother and I took my Son up to the church so he could listen to Grandpa play the organ.

My Son can never sit still very long. I had him in a sling as I walked up and down the aisle. He got excited as we bounced and walked, listening to the music. He began clapping his hands.

I was then reminded what an impact music has had on my life. My parents first met at church. My Mother was filling in for the choir director, my Dad for the organist. My Mother was very weak because she had just had surgery on her appendix.  She needed help getting up to direct the choir because she had stitches in her side. My Dad was the person that helped her. To make a long story a little bit shorter, here is the kicker… they have been together ever since. If it was not for music I would not be here.

My parents continued this tradition for quite some time. When I was small, probably even younger than my Son… my Mother would place my car seat on the organ or piano during choir practice. Because of this I had a great appreciation and love of music. When I was my Sons age I remember wanting to be like my Daddy. I in my diaper, complete with a tie around my neck… sat on the piano bench at home. Just like Daddy, I played the piano. Matching my voice to the tone of the note as I played.

Then when I was two, I knew the instrument of my choice was going to be the violin. I loved it! My arm would not reach around the neck of the violin so I had to wait until it did. The music store that my mother taught at did not have a size small enough for a two-year old. So finally when I was three. I got to play the instrument I always dreamed of. The violin.

I continued to have a love of music and throughout my Youth I played many musical instruments. Violin, Piano, Clarinet, saxophone, Trumpet, and my latest endeavor, the ukulele. I hope it is a tradition I can pass along to my son. A love of music.

If it was not for music, my son would not be here today. It was love of music that brought my husband and I together. I met my husband at work. One of the first times we hung out, we were at a party one of our coworkers had. There we were. He was playing Guitar and singing and I was singing the harmony.

On another Date, we were at a bar in Wellington, Ohio that had a piano. We were playing the piano at the bar and taking requests to play classic rock songs.

Our Son loves it when Daddy plays Guitar. He loves strumming the strings of his guitar and could since he was about five months old. Our Son is nearly 11 months old now.

We took our Son to two Jim Gill Concerts this week. One in Brunswick, Ohio and one in Valley City, Ohio. For those of you who do not know who Jim Gill is, He is a very talented musician with a good sense of humor. He has a musical life too. He writes his own music and weaves beautiful stories into his music. He is a local musician here in the Ohio area.

The first concert we arrived there early. We got the opportunity to talk to this very humble musician. He even allowed my husband to try out his guitar. Noah loved the music. He started clapping and jumping up and down and then got fussy the last part of the concert.

Noah got fussy at the second concert when he heard Jim play “Yesterday” by the Beatles.  It is this song that Daddy plays for him. Daddy’s at work right now and Noah starts screaming “Dada!” At least Grammie and Grampy got to go!

Here I am reminded that music without music I would not be here. My husband and I probably would not be married, and our Son would never have been born. I hope we can continue the tradition of sharing music and enjoying it in our family.

The Birth of a Father

   Becoming a Father is a series of miraculous events. The father expectantly waits for the arrival of a child. Expectantly means watchfully waiting. Fathers are watchfully waiting from the very moment that baby is conceived. They are watching creation take place right before their eyes. Fathers are waiting for life to happen. Then it does. Out of love, life is born. This is one of the most important events in a mans life.

The Father becomes expectant again. He is watchfully waiting. He is watching his child grow, waiting for them to take their first step, waiting for their first birthday, graduate high school, and then college. Then they meet someone. Someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. They begin waiting for the marriage of their daughter.

My Father who I have always called Dad is singing a beautiful song “Borning Cry.” He sang it right before he came to walk me down the aisle. I hear him cry as he sings the last line “to see your life unfold.” I start to cry too. This was the same song he sang at my Baptism. The day I was born to the Father in heaven. The doors open and My Father and I walk into the sanctuary. He gives me to my Husband.

My Husband is expectantly waiting too. As I am standing at the Alter, my little son is kicking the inside of my stomach wildly. I am six moths pregnant now, He can probably feel how nervous I am. As we say our vows, my Husband starts to tear up. Then we are made Husband and wife. We are made a family.

At the reception my Father and I dance. I notice my father is starting to look older, he now has gray hair. I had never noticed it before. Probably because he is my Dad. When we are younger we think our Dads will always be here. So we never see they are ageing. Then I am scared. I  don’t want to ever have to live without him. He is one of the first people who ever held me. One of the first people that loved me. I love him. I am thankful my Dad is still here. That he is able to share this special moment with me.

A few months later, My Husband and My Father are expectantly waiting. My Husband, the birth of His First Child. My Father, the birth of his First Grandchild. He was two weeks overdue, so I was induced. After 77 and 1/2  hours of labor, his head started to crown. My Husband started to shout excitedly “He has a full head of hair! Oh my God this is so cool! Push…!! Pushpushpush!” My Dad and My Father-In-Law were listening to all of this happen, downstairs from a cell phone that was on next to me on a bedside table. After a half hour of pushing He was born.

Expectantness begins again. This time it is my Husband. He is watchfully waiting for his son to grow up.

Life is a series of events where Fathers are Expectant. They watchfully wait, for the culmination of an event to happen. They reinvent themselves, and are born all over again.

I thank My Dad and My Husband for always being Expectant Fathers, and to all other Fathers that are Expectantly waiting.

A Wise Man

   A wise man once told me to fight like hell, follow your dreams, and never give up. That wise man was my Grandfather. I miss him very much. He always gave me good advice. Some of that advice I didn’t understand tell I was much older.

Things My Grandfather Told Me

1. Never Go to Bed or Leave Angry-
My Grandfather got into an argument with his only son. That was the last time he saw him. The next time he saw his Son he was in a coffin.
My Mother and I got into a fight before she left for work. She was in a nearly fatal accident. I am glad she was ok so I could tell her how much I loved her, and that I was sorry.

2. Do What Makes You Happy-
I was a teenager that was easily influenced by others around me. My Grandfather told me I needed to do what made me happy. Not what made everyone else happy.
My Grandfather did what everyone else told him. He went to college. He failed miserably. Then he did what he really loved even though his parents told him he would always be a cripple. (He had a bad hand.) He built race cars and built and restored airplanes. He even restored Wacos for the Smithsonian!
Here I am, a few years later. I am reading a great book. I always loved to read and write. I have regrets that I did not pursue a career in writing. I did not pursue my dream because everyone told me it would never make me money. Well you know what? What I am doing right now, is not making me a great deal of money anyways!

3. There is Only One Person for Everyone. Soulmates Do Exist.
  My Grandfather said my Grandmother was his one and only soul mate. After she died, he tried dating many other women. He was even married a second time. (It didn’t last) He truly believed she was the only women ment for him. He said with the other women it was just never the same. My Grandfather told me he knew there was a soulmate waiting out there for me too.
I thought he was crazy. Then I met my Husband. I realized my Grandfather wasn’t so crazy after all. My Husband is my one and only true Soulmate.

4. When you accomplish all you set out to do, you no longer have fear. You make peace. And if you die, you are ok with that.
I’m still working on this one!

What inspiring advice did your Grandparents give you? How has it changed your life?