We love Halloween and making Halloween arts and crafts in our home. This year so far, we have made cauldrons, witches’ shoes, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, mummies, and pumpkin patches, but no ghosts. Ghost crafts have always been a tricky one for me. Ghosts should be transparent, shouldn’t they? But, it seems like they never are. That’s what makes the wax paper so great in these wax paper ghosts, even with a little paint they still keep some of their transparency and look adorably haunting.
It has often been said that children can see the angels among us. Our daughter has been surrounded by two very special angels her whole life. Sadly my mother and my husband’s father passed before ever getting the opportunity to meet their first grandchild. That did not stop us from introducing Mai to them at an early age. She wakes to their faces every morning. Their photos guard over her while she sleeps. She recognizes their pictures.
It has been many years since I lost my mother. My husband’s loss is fresher. The start of every football season sends my husband into a tailspin of emotions. Football was something that he shared with his father. I can remember the exchange of phone calls after plays. Sometimes they were screams of victory, other times they were filled with obscenities and anger about bad plays, poor calls and a plethora of other football related things that I know nothing about. Those calls are something that he misses.
My husband is in a football pool at a local Legion hall, one that his father had frequented in life. Every week he goes to play his picks for that week. Recently, he needed to take Mai with him. They went into the hall, made their choices and headed right back out the door. As they were leaving, Mai pointed behind them. “Look, it’s Grandpa Mike.” My husband stopped. “Where? Where do you see him?” “Right there.” she said, pointing back at the empty doorway again. There would be no reason for our daughter to make the connection between that building and her grandfather, but she did.
Last night as we were relaxing before bed, Mai began talking about her grandfather again. She was telling us a story about Grandpa Mike. I asked her “Do you talk to Grandpa Mike?” “Yes” she replied. “What does grandpa say to you when you talk to him?” “He says I am growing bigger & bigger.” My husband & I fell silent and looked at one another. We didn’t need to speak. We both already knew what the other was thinking. I didn’t ask another question. I just reflected on our little girl’s answer.
All this time I have felt so much sorrow that she never got the chance to meet her grandparents, but it seems as if they have been with her all along.
Do you believe in angels? I do!
I have been thinking about my mother a lot this week. Nothing makes you love & appreciate your mother more, than becoming a mother yourself. It is a crazy thing. I can remember every smart comment & every eye roll that I ever directed toward my mother. Now looking back, I wish I could take all of those back, because I finally get it. I know why you wanted me to put that puffy coat over my princess costume when we were trick or treating. I understand why you wouldn’t let me eat Lucky Charms. I get all these things now because I have become you.
I wish I could tell you those things. I wish I could ask for your advice. I wish that you had gotten a chance to meet your beautiful grand daughter, but you are gone.
My mother battled breast cancer, not once but twice. When my mother was diagnosed the second time, it was shocking. Even more shocking was when we found out that she was already in stage 4. Six weeks after her diagnosis she was admitted in the ICU. I didn’t leave her bed side for a week. I slept at the hospital in the waiting rooms & had the nurses page me when she woke, so that she was never by herself.
My grandfather died of cancer when I was just a little girl. I never met him, but heard my mother speak of him often. I wanted my mother to know that she was not alone. I didn’t want her to be afraid. I tried to ease her fears by telling her that grandpa was watching over her & that he would protect her. I drew this picture one morning while I was sitting by her bed. Later that day, my grandfather & her were reunited. She became the angel that she always was.
Fast forward six years to the birth of my daughter. From the moment I found out I was having a little girl, there was only one name that she could ever possibly be. Mai, of course was named after her grandmother.
When she was born, we surrounded Mai with pictures of my mother & my father-in-law, who we also lost a year before her birth. We wanted their presences to be with her always. In her nursery a picture of both her grandmother & grandfather are proudly mounted on the wall, looking over her as she sleeps.
One day when she was only 7 months old, something happened. I was in the bedroom & my husband was in the living room with the baby. He called out to me. “You need to get in here”, he said. What I saw brought a tear to my eye. This is what I saw…
My husband was holding our daughter & she was laughing,squealing & kicking her little feet. Mai was reaching past my husband and grabbing at my mother’s picture. It was as if she knew.
She has had such a recognition of her since she was an infant. Grandma must come to visit often.
Now when she sees her, she will point and say “Gam Ma”. “Yes baby, that is your grandma & Oh my god, she would have loved you.”
“Correction, she does love you.”
Up next… Toddler Emotions