This month my youngest grandson will have his first birthday party. It's hard to believe he is a year old already, and it makes me think of the day he was born. It was all the special things days like that are to be, but there is a particular kind of special I want to talk about with you. Sharing talents, gifts, knowledge, and love.
Everyone has something they do that makes people feel special, that makes people feel loved. It might be the gift of saying the right words or a talent for doing or making something special for someone special. I am essentially a do-er, so for me, my offerings are often a reflection of my time and energy.
When my oldest grandson was born, I crocheted a blanket for him so that he would be wrapped warmly physically, but also symbolically in love. I also crocheted an extra blanket, took it to the hospital with me on the day he was born, and gave that blanket away to a total stranger and her baby boy.
It was an amazing experience. It began when I asked the nurses whether there was another boy born that day, one I might give the blanket. They thought it was a very nice way to celebrate my happiness at being a new gramma, and they thought about it for a bit. One of them suggested a new mom who had lost her own mother a couple of years prior and had mentioned that she missed her mother on days like these. She took me to the mom's room, briefly explained why I was there and asked if I could come in and talk with her. The whole conversation took only a few minutes, but was very powerful.
I explained that I needed to share my joy in being a gramma, and that I was sorry to hear her own mother had passed. I said that I felt sure her mother was watching from wherever she was, and that she had a hand in the circumstances that brought us together. I gave her the blanket and explained it was a symbol of a gramma's love. As you can imagine, we were both teary eyed by then, but it is a moment I will never forget. She said it made her feel like her mother was there, and aware of what was happening in their lives.
When my second grandson was born, I was determined to share the 'gramma love' again. This time I made a pink blanket for a girl. When I spoke with the nurses, again they loved the idea, but they were sad to tell me that no girls had been born that day or were even in the nursery at the moment. Just as I was asking them to give it to the next girl born there, one of the nurses had an idea. She remembered that over in the NICU there was a baby girl who had been there for about a week or so. She was really struggling and her prognosis was not good. As you can imagine, her parents were struggling as well.
The nurse told me that the girl was not expected to survive, but that if it was ok with me, she would love to sterilize the blanket and bring the blanket over (I was not allowed over there of course!). It would cheer up her space for the time she was there, surround her with 'gramma love' and if the time came for her parents to have to say goodbye, they could at least wrap her in something beautiful when they held her for the last time. Yes, teary eyed again! I gave her the blanket and asked her to pass along my hopes to her parents as well.
I never got to know what happened with that little girl, but I know that I used my talents to share myself that day... in a way that may have been important for a total stranger.
What gifts will you share today? Do you save them for only the people you love, or do you share them with everyone? Food for thought.