No brunch at the golf club today. A family tradition gone by the wayside under Covid’s watch.
No family gathering – at least not in person.
The world is silent. Streets remain empty. Few cars. Few pedestrians.
Shuttered behind closed doors, we wait.
Behind the front door of their home in Vancouver, my eldest daughter and her family wait. Not just the Easter Bunny to arrive but for the arrival of a precious, beautiful baby girl.
My eldest daughter is pregnant. Her baby’s due date, July 9. But, they’re pretty sure she’ll have to deliver 3 – 4 weeks early via C-section due to a liver condition that can appear during pregnancy.
The other day, I was telling her how I am consciously choosing to not think about the arrival of my granddaughter. “It hurts too much to think I won’t be able to be there,” I tell her. “Yet, not thinking about her means I’m missing out on the excitement, the anticipation, the joy her birth brings into my world.”
I must let myself feel. All of it.
I want to compartmentalize my feelings.
Good ones in this wide-open space of my heart beating wildly free. Hard to cope with ones over here, in this lockbox of steel and titanium.
This infant will be coming into a very different world than her brother entered just over two years ago. He too arrived early, but his world was filled with touch. Laughter. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews gathering to meet him, to hold him, kiss him, ooh and ahhh over him, cuddle him.
My granddaughter’s arrival will not be filled with extended family gathering to meet her. There will be no baby shower. No gathering of family to welcome her home. My daughter must cope with the losses amidst the beauty of giving birth.
There is so much missing. So much that will be missed.
But there is one thing that is not missing. There is one thing that will sustain and support my daughter, her family and their precious newborn as they adjust to bringing this new life into the family circle.
It is always there. Flowing. Embracing. Filling each moment, every heart.
I must remember the Love. Feel it. Be it. Carry it. Hold it with outstretched hands across the Rockies, the interior valleys up and over the Coastal Range to their home by the sea.
I must hold out Love. Hold onto Love. Be Love.
When I think of my granddaughter’s arrival, I want to wish away Covid, wish away self-isolation, wearing masks, constant washing of hands, avoiding physical contact with others, avoiding groups and Zoom calls in lieu of person-to-person gatherings.
I want to wish it all away.
When I think of my granddaughter’s imminent arrival, I want the world to be different. To be less scary. Less one enormous danger zone.
I want what used to be.
I can’t. I can’t wish away Covid and I can’t have what used to be.
I must breathe into what is and remember the Love. The Love that is always present. Always here.
In Love, my heart beats freely. In Love, fear doesn’t stand a chance.
I may not be there to hold her in the first few days of her life on earth. I may not be able to be physically there to help my daughter and her family during their first days as a family of 4.
And my heart aches. I feel the sense of loss. Of sadness. Of wishing that times were different.
And I remember to breathe.
The ache eases. It is less pressing, less frightening.
And that’s when it comes to me. The realization that not thinking about my granddaughter gives the virus more power than it deserves.
Yes. This tiny, invisible to the naked eye microbe has changed the entire world.
Yes. It has caused massive suffering, death, economic hardship, mental anguish and a host of other dire things.
But I will not let it steal my joy. I will not let it take away from me the gift of family. Of being present to the anticipation of new life. Of rejoicing in an infant’s arrival on this earth.
I will not give this virus that power.
I awoke this morning thinking about the arrival of my granddaughter and feeling somewhat sad about these circumstances that will inevitably still be in place when she is born.
And now, as always happens when I write it out. I feel more hopeful. More centered. More ready to start creating different pathways to experiencing the excitement and beauty of this time of waiting and her imminent birth.
If you have any ideas on how to adjust ‘what used to be’ to create a loving way in the here and now of being present within her imminent arrival, I would be so grateful for all ideas.
It’s time I let go of ‘not thinking’ and became engaged in actively thinking about ways to celebrate her arrival and her life.
And for our Zoom-in family dinner tonight, I decided to create family bunnies to be at the table with us.
Doing this gave/gives me great joy.
And I breathe.
The last photo is the alcohol ink on yupo paper that became the bunny for Alexis.