Nicole rang my cell mid-day. I asked the client I was sitting with in therapy to pardon me, and pressed the button to answer, knowing this could be our grandson’s arrival. She called the night before to let us know her contractions were coming fairly close together. She was overjoyed and yet concerned. Our son was driving her to the doctor. If they admitted her, they would call in the extended family troops. I encouraged her that many have gone on before her. Take heart. It was hard to believe we were about to be grandparents.
I catch the sphere of emotion that descends on me from the brief interchange and file it away. I enter back into my office making apologies for disturbing the client’s session. Our children depend on us, too, for emotional comfort and I knew accepting our daughter in law’s call was priority. I return to quiet and was as present as I could be under such circumstances. I gather my thoughts to continue treatment. This was an emotional week for me.
As I rejoice in a new life being brought into our world, I got word of another dear one passing on just days earlier. Hattie, my best friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer. The last visit I made during her convalescence, Hattie asked me to look after my friend and her granddaughter. She was an example of an invested grandmother. She picked her granddaughter up from school regularly, worked on homework, participated in supporting her at swim meets and piano recitals. I knew her loss was going to be hard to grieve.
Hattie was born into the greatest generation. A godly woman whose belief system was strong and defined. I envied her resolve. And for years, I comforted myself in her style of a defined faith. One that fit within the boxes that I had been taught.
As I listened to the pastor preach her funeral, I had grown into living a grace-filled approach to life, valuing truth and listening to the Spirit’s leading. The pastor encouraged us to cease depending on religious ritual to be a good Christian, rather strive to develop the inner-quiet of contemplative worship. The doing of deeds while valuable is more about me, the inner-quiet about a reliance on God’s leading. The pastor’s words seem to slip over the tops of many of those sitting in the memorial pews, however, I perked up in my seat and listened intently. It was not what I had expected to hear that afternoon at this memorial. It spoke to my heart about a life well-lived. Hattie, an elegant lady, loved the Lord and walked with Him daily. As I fiddled with my bulletin, I imagined her stepping into eternity with full sight, while we remain looking into a cloudy mirror filled with mystery. We will miss her, my dear friend and her daughter most of all.
The Lord brought to my mind my own mother, born the same year as Hattie, her steps slowing and her memory fading a bit. I wondered how long I have to enjoy her laugh and hear her stories. She, too is of that great generation and I realized one by one they are marching on before us. I must come face to face with my own mortality as I am soon stepping into grandmotherhood with the arrival of my grandson. I am overcome. This precious, new life is coming to us. My sadness and joy were intermingled.
My therapy session comes to a close. Before I continue on with sessions, I take a moment to hit the contact for mom. I wonder if she is napping in her chair or putting together her puzzles. I hear her pick up the phone. “How’s you’re day, Mom?
I am only hours way from me becoming a grandmother and I am wondering how I got here. It was just yesterday I held his father in my own arms. As excited as I am, I just needed to hear your voice.”