- 23 days ago, this became a better world.
- 22 days ago, I completely fell head over heels in love with my brave and beautiful daughter.
- 19 days ago, we officially starting nesting and bonding at home as a smitten family of three.
- 18 days ago, our inbox, mailbox, and front porch starting exploding with expressions of love and support from the amazing people in our lives. You ALL humble us – Thank you!!!
- 12 days ago, our fur-babies decided to accept this squirmy little person as part of our pack.
- 07 days ago, we were aware that our daily rhythms and routines were shaping up fairly well.
- 03 days ago, we pushed ourselves to let our awesome neighbors help us attend the Elton John concert we’ve had tickets to for over a year. (Thanks Caitlyn and Mark!!) And yes, we left early to come home 😉
- Everyday, we look at our precious daughter with overflowing gratitude that she found her way home to us.
- Today I decided to try to capture some things in a blog post.
February babies. I am one too. I’m not trying to get belated birthday wishes from anyone. I share this because it’s an indescribable connection to the one person I miss the most right now and yet feel closest to as I become the proud parent of a February daughter. My Mom had to really bundle me up to leave the house. My Mom had to be aware that February is in the midst of flu season. Me being first born, my Mom had all the first time jitters taking care of a completely dependent little person. My Mom became a statistic to breast cancer 27 years ago. My Mom and I were best friends. My Mom gave me my heart, my strength, and my moral compass. My Mom, luckily, was a thorough documentation and I have been pouring over my baby book activating the conversations we would have had together now sharing stories about me as a baby or giving me advice on things that worked for her as a parent.
My Mom and your Grandma, Darby, has been absolutely present through our entire journey to find each other. You’ll find a photo of her looking over your changing table in your nursery. Music has always been something special and almost sacred in my family. Very early on after Mom passed away she started sending me songs when I needed them most during a stressful time or after a long week. It has always been crystal clear she sent them because they are songs that were not current on the radio, but from vinyl albums we played at home, songs I played learning guitar along the way, or something from a random/favorite movie soundtrack. I didn’t share these instances with many people over the years as I thought most wouldn’t believe me. But I love sharing it now on a public blog like this because it’s great to assure all of us that the love never dies (to quote the movie Ghost) and the connection is still there if you are open to it. My Mom started sharing songs with Jenn years ago also and more than once we have both been standing in a drugstore crying under some crappy speaker in the ceiling. (If you ever come across us in this state, just come grab our hands and join in. They are happy tears!)
So, it’s no surprise that “the day” we got the call to come meet you, Darby, my Mom was pulling out all the stops with a freaking mix tape! (Yes, I said mix tape and I’m standing by it as tenured individual who used to make them a hundred years ago or so.) En route to the hospital, Jenn and I made ourselves stop to grab a fast bite to eat at Skyline. I went from being happy and chirpy with the waitress to sitting there with tears streaming down my face as a Gordon Lightfoot song I haven’t heard in almost three decades brightly announced itself.
“If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost you can see …”
~ Gordon Lightfoot
The waitress was a bit more tentative and tender with me after that moment, and Jenn needed to manage paying the bill for us to head up the road to the hospital. Over the next 72 hours as we popped out of the hospital for food or other errands, a fireworks finale barrage of favorite household songs from growing up and various current singer songwriter gems (like She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5) were like the warmest hug on a leg of the journey only Jenn and I could be on. My Mom and your Grandmother, Darby, truly outdid herself! Proud grandparents know no boundaries. Period.
Since we’ve been home becoming a family these last three weeks, music has been on almost constantly. It has created a calming environment for all of us settling in together. I have purposefully DJ’d many songs pointed up to Mom as well. After all, communication is a two-way street! The folks at Spotify are probably experiencing some heavy bandwidth challenges because of our household!! A mixture of melodies, both old and new, have formed into a range of playlists that we will cherish from this beautiful time we have had together to become a family.
“Ooo, I believe, fate, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience, and with faith
She’ll make her way, she’ll make her way …”
~ Natalie Merchant
Darby, the first 15 songs of your playlist came out of this time together. God willing, I will be here through all the milestones of your lifetime in person to savor each and every one. But just know, little angel, that if God has other plans, that I’m not really going anywhere and you will find me speaking to you softly as I do when you are sleeping right now through your songs. And in the meantime, there is a fierce and loyal village of family and friends who are losing their minds to meet you and hold you after this silly flu season wraps up. Tomorrow, after being out of town and recovering from really bad colds, your local Grandparents are beyond excited to finally be able to come pour their love all over you. Again, proud grandparents know no boundaries. Period.
And lastly, just in case anyone is wondering. Baba’s cry when they get home, when all the tasks can wait, and when their heart is so full it could burst. Your Baba loves you now and always, Darby.