Last year at this time, I was taking our then 3-year-old, Everett, to the hospital to visit my 96-year-old grandmother on a daily basis. She had cancer and was admitted when she could no longer stay on her own. I would pack Everett snacks and coloring books and we'd spend a few hours sitting in the chairs in her room, whispering and visiting with other family who stopped in.
My grandmother was in and out of consciousness but she'd wake every once and awhile and see us and smile. It was the most congenial I've ever seen her. As I've written before, she wasn't the nicest grandmother. In all fairness she lived a rough life, but she never sugar coated anything. You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth, but you could bet it was something...prickly (fond holiday memories? Nope, none here!)
When things took a turn for the worse, I brought both kids to say good-bye. We didn't make a big production of it, just a gentle hand squeeze and soft good-bye. As we stood there, she opened her eyes and said, "Would it really be so terrible to have another?" It might seem obvious since I was standing there with the boys that she meant another child, but at the time I didn't understand what she was referring to.
"Another what?" I asked.
"Another one," she said, looking at Everett and Junior.
I shrugged. Having another baby was the furthest thing from my mind.
She died two days later.
Now, a year later, as I'm dragging my tired ass out of bed at 3 a.m. to tend to Cam, I hear her question again and again. And I hear my answer when I snuggle up to his delicious babyness, feel the warmth from his head under my chin. No. It's not terrible at all, in fact it's quite wonderful.
It is the best thing she left me.