Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Hello and A Goodbye

Sometimes I can't help but be consumed with trying to figure out how the world works and why things happen the way they do. I am one of those people who believe that everything happens for a reason and I am continually amazed by how those things happen sometimes. Let me explain.

Yesterday was a very significant day for two reasons; there was a birth and a death. My sister Angie called me yesterday evening to let me know that my brother-in-law Derek's grandfather had passed away sometime that morning. Mike was a wonderful man. He was one of those people that you could just sit with for hours talking about nothing in particular. He was a really genuine, sweet man who will be missed terribly.

Several hours after Mike passed on, my friend Amanda gave birth to a brand new little boy named Mario. He is healthy, and perfect, and Mom seems to be doing great. He has a full head of dark hair and gorgeous little baby features. I am so excited for Amanda and her family and I can't wait to see the little guy in person.

One soul comes in and another goes out. One family is broken by a loss; another is rejuvenated by an addition. It's hard to really wrap my mind around, and I have been trying to ever since I got Angie's call. One minute I am overwhelmed by feelings of sympathy and sadness for Mike and his family, and the next I am thrilled and excited for Amanda and her family. It's been a lot to take in.

I would be lying if I said that this didn't take me right back to a year ago when a very similar situation affected my family, only the loss and addition was all our own. You see, on May 30th of last year, after being in the hospital for a few days, my grandmother Mary, "Gum Gum," passed away. It was something that we knew was coming, but had no idea it was coming so soon. She went into the hospital Monday evening and was gone Friday night.

At the time that she went into the hospital, I was very pregnant with Elyse. I had been having contractions off and on for some time and the weekend before I was in the hospital with contractions that wouldn't stop. Since I was still only thirty-six weeks along, the doctors thought that it was best to try and stop the contractions so that I could hang on to her for a little while longer. Once the contractions stopped, they advised me to limit my activities and try to rest as much as possible.

That Monday Gum Gum went into the hospital. Because I was supposed to be taking it easy, I didn't go in right away to visit. As the days passed, she was getting good reports and it sounded like she would be released soon. Because everything seemed to be going so well, I never did go in to see her, I didn't get to say good-bye, and I didn't get to tell her that I loved her.

It was a Saturday morning when my Mom came to my house to tell me what had happened. I was so shocked that I couldn't even cry about it for hours after I got the news. She wasn't supposed to be gone. She was getting better and was supposed to be coming home. She had a new great-grandchild that she still needed to meet.

That Sunday morning at 3:45 AM I was practically thrown off of the couch with an incredibly intense contraction. It was much different than the ones that I had been experiencing for so many weeks before and I knew that this was it. Mike and I went to the hospital and at 7:10 PM Elyse Rose was born. One soul came in and another went out.

I pray that Mike's family will find some peace in this incredibly difficult time. I hope that they can be comforted by their memories of him and find strength in the family that he left behind.

I pray that Mario will always be as healthy as he is now and I hope that Amanda and her family can revel in the happiness of the new life that they have created.


Leslie said...

My grandmother died the day after Julia was born. It's so bittersweet. And I feel like Diane Court in Say Anything. "I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things. ... I just wish I could work out some schedule."