The night we told my husband's family that we were going to have our first baby was awesome. I had made pop up cards for everyone and inside it simply said...Congratulations you are going to be a ....Grandma ,Grandpa Uncle...etc
I noticed that my Father-in-law had a happy but almost worried look on his face.
He is a worrier.
He started to talk about how this was going to change our worry-free lives forever.
As My belly grew so did his worries.
He worried that we weren't ready financially for a child.
He worried about us not having a house yet.
He worried that I may go back to work too soon
worry worry worry
There was something else too...I just couldn't put my finger on it. There was definitely something else.
Before we knew it I was in labor and my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world.
We had a good part of the day to ourselves before grandparents were allowed to visit.
Right before Grandparent's visiting hour, My Father-in-law stood right before the closed maternity ward doors anxiously waiting for them to open.
My Mom (who had just arrived there) witnessed (as the doors opened) my Father-in-law racing down the hall leaving everyone in the proverbial dust.
He raced to the nursery window and gazed at his baby grand daughter
In his thick Italian accent he said
" Oooo She isa so beautiful, She looka like-a doll."
About a year later during one of our one to one talks he admitted that when we told him we were expecting he suddenly felt that he was too "young" to be a grandpa...( people, the man was about 65) but I understood though, I knew what he meant. The news made him think of his own mortality. He suddenly went from being a Dad to Grandpa.
Then he said something that touched my heart
"You know, I didn't feel ready to be a Grandfather, but when I saw J. When I saw her...I just fell in love."
He's a toughie, and quite blunt with his opinions at times, but that hard shell melts away when he is with his Grand kids...he lives for them. When they were little he would make them ramen soup and they lovingly called it "Grandpa soup".
They called him "Pop pop" for the longest time and I was sad when then graduated to calling him "Grandpa". As babies they would steal his glasses from his pocket and in the summer they would over-water the flowers in his garden. He was the first one to introduce them to chocolate and then would complain that they were hyper! Three years ago he was blest with another Grandchild and he delights in her sweet voice and cute giggle.
This week he had a Heart attack. He has a long history of cardiac issues. It seems every year or year and a half he is in the hospital for one thing or another. This week, at hearing the news of their Grandfather's hospitalization ...my kids and I held hands and prayed.
We prayed for Grandpa's health
We prayed for Doctors to be blest to make right decisions
We prayed that God would allow Grandpa to stay with us.
God's answer was....
Tonight Grandpa told my Husband to let the kids know that he loves them
and they love you too Grandpa
Norman Rockwell "Grandpa and Children"