I’m not sure where to begin. Last Thursday Otto came into our lives and we are forever changed. Can I start with how much I love this little boy? I can’t even describe it. I fell in love all over again, just like I did when our first grandson arrived. This little guy comes with a few health issues - the main one being AVSD. His heart condition has been monitored closely and has caused a few other problems that we hoped would not present themselves. For more details, you can read my daughter's blog where my son-in-law explained it so well:
It has been a rollercoaster ride this week as we celebrate his victories and cry together when there is a setback. At the time of this blog post, he remains in the NICU and that is ok with all of us until he is strong enough to come home. We are hoping for sometime this weekend. Keep praying please! We see your prayers at work every single day.
Then there is my grandma. My grandma is 97 years old and is ready to go home. We have spent the last few nights after we leave Otto to go hold Grandma's hand for a little while. We try to always have someone holding her hand. When you take it or try to pull away, she squeezes it. In some ways, I know she feels that we are there. I have said goodbye a few times and then she stays here another night. It’s hard to see her this way and she would not want to be seen this way. Only God knows when it is her time, so we patiently wait for her to go home on his terms, not ours.
Even though she is 97 and hasn't recognized me for awhile, I will still be sad. It's another season of life that is ending. While I am losing my last grandparent, I am becoming a grandma again.
I have so many good memories of going to Grandma’s house. They lived on a farm and we had a lot of fun there with all my cousins. Like those movie-reel-in-your-head kind of memories, you know what I mean? The other thing is she had some sass and I loved that about her! She wasn't afraid to tell you what she thought and sometimes it was a little hard to take, but just like anyone else in life you, have to take the good with the bad. Don’t worry, Grandma - I will make sure your sassiness is carried on.
So here I am thinking of the circle of life this week. So much to absorb with Otto’s new life and Grandma’s on the verge of ending. I got off the Lion King song and started thinking about the song Lifesong by Casting Crowns. I haven't heard it lately, but it kept running through my head:
Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifelsong sing to you
I want to sign your name
To the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you
Otto’s life song is just starting and my grandma’s is ending. What about mine? I have some time left to sing, Lord willing, because I have much to sing about: “Knowing that my heart was true!" I was not singing when I was drinking.
I used to get very uptight and anxious when life got shaken up like it has this past week. These are things I'd never imagined being able to cope with without alcohol. But here I am, sober and living life to the fullest in both the joy filled moments and the times I am holding my grandma’s hand for the last time. That, my friends, is a miracle. I have no other explanation.
A week from now, Otto may be home or he may not be. My grandma might still be here or she will be in heaven. Nothing is for sure and we are just going one day at a time right now. (Those AA phrases keep showing up.)
Here’s what I do know: God will be with us through it all. He will be exactly the same today as he will be at the end of next week. He promises that and I believe him. In doing that, I have incredible peace in all this.
This morning I snuck in a quick bike ride before heading to the hospital and Lifesong came on. If you passed me with your windows open, you might have heard me. I was singing pretty loud right along with it. I considered that early morning ride with that song in my ears a gift. God put that song on my heart for a reason and it totally set my tone for the day.
So did the next song, Steve Winwood - "Roll With It."
I can do that.
Peace on your weekend.