one of the big reasons we wanted to move back to san diego when we first found out we were pregnant, and living in chicago, was that our family was here. i grew up really detached from my extended family, always moving around, and always longed for relationships with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. i never got that for myself, but seeing how beautiful it was in trevor’s family, we were determined to make it happen for keaton. so we shifted our priorities and our location … and found ourselves back in sunny san diego.
scenes like this, hanging with trevor’s extended family, are common, easy, and incredibly natural. i love that trevor has gotten that throughout his life, and that keaton will experience the same.
recently, my maternal grandmother, came back into my mother’s life when she was getting very sick and needed financial and emotional support. (it’s a long story, but she has never been a part of our lives really, didn’t know my name when i saw her when i was 10 years old. she showed no interest in our family, and due to a lot of extenuating issues and drama, we just never really saw her growing up). my mom moved her san diego a couple months after we moved back to san diego. i saw her a couple times when i was pregnant- mostly because i knew it was the loving thing to do, but because my grandma refuses to leave the home she is living in, it’s been almost impossible to bring a young baby there due to the constant bouts of pneumonia and other issues she has undergone since he was born. we have given her a lot of pictures, but had yet to visit.
there was a piece of me that thought, why does she get to have this relationship with keaton when she didn’t want it with me? eventually after a lot of prayer i knew what i needed to do. i needed to get keaton over there and to allow her the joy of knowing this little man. putting my own issues aside and allowing this awesome meeting to occur, we finally did it on tuesday. she had been feeling a lot better for the past two consecutive weeks, so i felt comfortable bringing him over. we rolled my grandma’s chair outside, away from the potential yuckiness he might catch inside, and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in a shady area of a beautiful courtyard. it made her day. probably her week. most likely her month. she was so proud to see keaton in person after so many pictures, and just absolutely loved him. it brought her such joy to see him, and we spent two hours oohing and aahing over each little movement and noise. i enjoyed seeing her so full of joy, and i just couldn’t help but remember how much more God knows about us than we do.
He tells us to forgive quickly and love on another, this is the tangible outcome of that forgiveness and love. a 92 year old woman making baby noises and giggling like a little girl over the sweetness of a baby boy.
it really shone a light on my own issues, how nasty my heart can be in response to hurt. how long it takes me to forgive. how yucky and how broken i am. but how big God is. and how faithful He is. this was a beautiful moment of redemption for my grandmother, and for me. it’s amazing how babies can bring family’s together. i pray that her health continues to improve so that we are able to spend more time with her, and bring her truly authentic joy in her often joyless days.