If you haven't noticed, I'm a planner. So, as you might expect, my hospital bag was filled to the brim with everything we might need for our newborn's arrival. Like most parents, I had a blanket, a first outfit, and even a cute little hat for my baby's head. It was all packed and ready to go.
In the chaos that was Adeline's birth, my bag didn't make it to the hospital. So when she was born we were a mom and dad with no clothing for our baby. No blanket to snuggle her...
The nurse said that she'd bring us an outfit. I'm thinking to myself, "How sad that the only clothes my baby will wear are those from the hospital. I'll never hold her in her clothes."
When the nurse handed me a beautiful pink-and-purple dress, a hat, and a blanket, I was amazed at how perfect they were. Purple is my favorite color, and we didn't have anything pink because we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl. I also noticed they were all hand-made, knitted stitch by stitch. As I held it up to look at, I found pinned to the dress a tag that read, "Made with love by the Ladies of the First United Methodist Church of Lockhart, Texas."
I instantly fell apart. That sweet little dress was made by ladies at the church where my Nana and Pa were parishioners for over twenty years. What are the chances we'd receive a dress for my daughter made in a church where my grandparents prayed for so many years, a church thirty-eight miles from where we gave birth? I don't know how, on that particular day, this little dress found its way into my room, but I am forever grateful.
You see my grandmother (Nana) passed away over ten years ago and will be remembered as a giver. Nana was the person who took care of everyone else. When my parents were going through a divorce, she held me; when I got my wisdom teeth out, she took care of me; when I was sick, she nursed me back to health. And only a few days before she passed, I was taking care of her. She was sitting in her chair in the living room and looked at me with the most intense eyes and said, "You are so beautiful." I'll never forget how Nana made me feel. Loved, safe.
And on that day, in that hospital room that little dress was like a message from Nana: "I've got her." She needed us (my immediate family) to know that even though she couldn't stop what had happened she could hold Adeline in her arms and make sure she was loved and safe. She could do that for me when I could not.
Weeks later, I was talking to my brother about the experience and he said one of his first reactions to Adeline's passing was anger with Nana. He wondered why she couldn't keep her safe. He was amazed when he got to the hospital and heard about the clothes. He knew too. It was totally Nana doing her thing, protecting us when we were sick, sad, or scared. Her love was there.
I hold a special place in my heart for that lady.
She was one of the sweetest, most loving people I've ever meet. She gave with her whole heart, and she was there for me so many times, even at this time when it hurt the most. Thank you to all the Nanas out there for holding your grandkids tight when they are scared, and especially to my Nana for her love and influence on my life. Love you Nana.
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