Monday, March 21, 2011
It is ironic that I can only show things to represent love; from the beginning of Julia's life, when she was a fetus, we did not want her to conflate material possessions with affection. Some things, though, represent devotion, like knitted booties and a bonnet, or the sweet little dog pillow my mom embroidered for her. Even more special, though, are everyday actions: the little things that define our love for others. My mother, for instance, was there when we received Julia's diagnosis, and she's never stopped just loving this little girl for who she is. One of the things we look forward to is mom singing to Julia again; I forgot how much she loves to sing, and what a beautiful voice she has. Julia really grew to love the singing and had started giving mom smiles. This, and speaking Hungarian, are such gifts that mom has shared, and will continue to share, with Julia.
I know my father would also have adored this child. Often, when I have to rock her little butt to get her to sleep, I think about how my dad used to do the same for me. I just hope--and believe--that he's looking down from heaven, and that he's justifiably proud of his little namesake (his name was Julius, and Julia is named after him).
And last week, my mother-in-law came to spend some time here and shower Julia with love. This woman, who I admire so much for her ability to multi-task and keep up communication with some many people on her cell phone, actually put the phone down and, even more surprisingly, just let it ring...because she was spending time with her granddaughter. It's such a little thing, but we were touched by her desire to devote her entire day to being with this little person. She would also give her little tours of our yard, which Julia really enjoyed. She actually arches her little face up toward the sun, sort-of like a cat, to catch the warmth. I know that when Julia gets older, Patty will teach her the names of all of those flowers, and I can just see the two of them doing yardwork together.
Julia hasn't seen her grandpa as often, but I'm counting on the special relationship they will also have. In fact, he told me he had a "secret nickname" that only Julia could call him! Ben tells me about growing up, playing with his dad; they would take cardboard boxes and pretend they were cars, or play with homemade swords and shields. As I get older, I realize that the gift of time is the most precious gift of all.
I can't end this post without mentioning Julia great-grandparents: she has two of them, which is two more than I had! Her great-grandfather has already visited her once, and he held her, literally, the entire time he was here. She's already received a beautiful necklace that was his wife's and has her initials (the same as Julia's) engraved in it...and she's received multiple letters, all of which are in her baby book, and even a Valentine's card. My grandmother is farther away, in Hungary, but she also asks after Julia all of the time and had a necklace made for her out of my grandfather's wedding ring. My grandfather unfortunately died just last June, too early to meet Julia, but this way, I feel his presence also in her life.
As the Psalm says, "My cup overfloweth." Julia has the best grandparents in the world, each with her/his own unique gift to give to her. And these gifts are, to be cliched, worth more than anything money can buy.