Tag Archives: babies

On Becoming a Grandmother-to-Be!

Jane Okay:  we’ve seen the ultrasound pictures.  It’s official:  my daughter is pregnant.  My first-born baby girl, who cannot possibly be old enough to be a mother, is going to have a baby sometime in early December.  Hello, Jane, this is real life!  Take it in:  Lizzie is actually a grown woman, married to a very sweet grown man, and now she is going to have a real baby.  As you can see, I’m having trouble believing this.  But don’t get me wrong:  all this difficulty getting my brain to believe the news does not mean I’m not excited.  In fact, the opposite is true.  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.  I may have moments of worrying about her nutrition or her labor or her financial state (because babies turn into expensive little beings), but the overwhelming emotion in my heart and soul is complete and total excitement because, here’s the real important news:  I’m going to be a grandmother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (It’s all about me!)  

Come December, there is going to be a little baby in our family, and that wonderful thought blocks out all my worries about anything (I know:  this kind of thinking has gotten me in trouble in the past!).  Best of all, this baby is one I won’t have to stress over so much (the way I obsessively did with our 4) because I won’t be responsible in a sleepless night kind of way for this baby’s reading ability or spirituality or even its dental health!  My only job will be to love it and love it and love it some more!  How amazing and wonderful is that?

Enough said for now. I’ll just share a picture of my girl when she herself was a baby, a mere 26 years ago, so you can share my amazement about this event.  Stay tuned!  I have a feeling I’m going to be blogging about this event a lot!

Lizzie with our beloved Rufus
Lizzie with our beloved Rufus, 1987

P.S.  Tom says I never mention him in the blog, so I will report this:  Gramps is pretty excited himself!!!!!  And, by the way, that’s Tom on the floor in the picture, showing the effects of sleepless nights with Lizzie, the miraculous baby who never slept.  (I wonder what her baby will be like!  Is she in for some karma?  Mean , mean grandmother!!).

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Gwendie is well into her 7th or 8thlife, this one in Asheville, NC as a late-to-the-pen writer. In past lives she has been a daughter, a wife, a mother, a Professional Woman. Now she is exploring the vast universes of past and present into which she delves for stories.   

I’m an old grandmother.  Well, I’m not so very old, just 68 years young, as my cancer doctor says, but old to be just now having a grandchild.  Actually that’s not even quite true.  I have three step-grandchildren from a previous marriage, but I’ve seldom seen them, and they don’t really consider me their grandmother.

But this one, this precious little angel girl who was born last Thanksgiving Day to my son Jonathan and his beloved Irena (no, they’re not married—does anyone do that anymore?), is one of the great gifts of my life.

You see, three short years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer (the incurable kind).  At that time, my son was adrift in life—a college graduate with no permanent job, no “significant other,” no idea what he should do with his life.  He lived with me for the first year after the diagnosis, being there for me during the mastectomy and the first harsh chemo.  But as I grew stronger, so did he, and he left to find his way in life, several states away.  I was glad for him.  Even gladder when he found a job, an apartment, and some months later, a ladyfriend.  But when they got pregnant and were thrilled at the prospect of a baby, I was more than glad for them.  And then, when adorable Daisy was born, I was so happy for them and so grateful for me. 

Gwendie's Daisy

Grateful because I’ve been given this time, even with cancer, or maybe especially with cancer, to see my own progeny grow and mature and begin to experience the wondrous gifts of life—love of a spouse or partner and love of a child.  And such a child—the most beautiful, sweet precious little creature on earth—something most grandmothers say, but in my case, it’s true. (Smile.)

Although I would love to be here to see little Daisy birth her own little daughter, my age and my health give me next-to-no chance of that.  But for me, the very fact that she exists, that she’s so loved by her parents and her grandparents and the rest of her family, gives me great satisfaction and a belief that “my work here is done.”   The continuation of the species, of MY family, of my genes, has been accomplished.  It seems to tidy up the package of my life nicely. 

As it does for mothers and grandmothers everywhere, my heart melts when I see Daisy, whether in person or in photos, or on Skype video, smiling and bubbling and looking right at me.  At the same time, my spine stiffens and my resolve hardens to continue to contest this chronic cancer as long as I can.  For Daisy, but mostly for me.  It’s the Grandmother Treatment for cancer.   And so far, it’s working.