Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It better be a girl

My grandmother did not have one of those filters that most people have that prevent them from saying exactly what is on their mind.  (My mother taught me the value of "how nice" at an early age and I will forever be grateful for that). Even though Grandma would tell you exactly how she felt it didn't mean that you couldn't change her mind.  Of course she would never admit that her mind was changed and she would insist that she really agreed you from the beginning.

I will never forget the day that I told her I was expecting my first child.  I called her up and said Grandma, guess what?  I am pregnant.  She was very quiet for a minute and then said, " I am not sure how I feel about this". Now granted I was in no place financially to have a child, but I wasn't quite prepared for that reaction. I said oh well you better get used to the idea.  A couple of days later she calls and says that she has decided that she is ok with me being pregnant, but IT BETTER BE A GIRL!!!!  She even bought girl things to make sure that it would happen.  Soooo, a few months later I call her up after the ultrasound and say "guess what Grandma.  It is going to be a boy'.  Response- "I am not sure how I feel about this' and a couple of weeks of silence.  I might have softened her up a little when I told her that her great-grandson was going to be named after Grandpa.  Instead of William we were giving him the Irish nickname of Liam, but his middle name would be Hunter just like Grandpa.  You'd have thought she wanted a boy from the start.  She was so proud.   She would point to my belly and say that is my great-grandson.  He is named after my husband.  She went on a buying spree like none other.  I think at one point she had bought over 50 stuffed animals from catalogs .  And this was before he was born.

While I was pregnant she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her chemo regimen did not allow her to come down for his birth, but I knew she was with me.  She called almost every other day to talk to my baby.  We would put the phone to his ear and he would coo into the phone for her.  It was like he knew how much he meant to her and wanted to let her know he knew.  When I was finally able to take Liam to meet her she took him in her arms and cried.  I had never seen this kind of reaction from her.  Those two were like soul mates.  Liam knew when to crawl up in her lap and cuddle.  He knew when to give her one of those baby smiles that melts your heart.  One of my favorite memories was the two of them in the backseat of the car cackling while she did this little piggy on his toes.  When he was older she would call and he would jabber on the phone to her.  He hadn't even said his first word yet and the two of them would have a five minute conversation.  He didn't do that for anybody but her.  When she came to Bristol to the nursing home he would play in her room.  He wasn't one bit scared of the nursing home or the fact that she was really not looking well.  He really loved her and I think he brought her joy during her final days.  I don't think Liam was old enough to remember her, but I do think he is a better kid because he had her.  I always tell him how much she loved him even though he was supposed to be a girl. I guess it is proof that sometimes what we think we want really isn't what we are supposed to have.

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