I think of you often but especially today on your birthday. You would have been 74. I’ll never forget your 64th birthday when you met 1 day old Euan for the first time. I was a mess from a traumatic birth and I didn’t want anyone to visit the hospital. I could barely walk or pick him up and he screamed every time I tried to feed him. It wasn’t the picture of Motherhood I’d imagined in all those months visualising a peaceful birth and serene nursing. I reluctantly said ”OK” when you asked to visit (‘for a birthday cuddle’) even though I wanted to say ‘no’ and wait until we got home.
It wasn’t you; I didn’t want anyone to see me feeling the way I did. I’m glad I did let you come (it took a week to get home) and that I have that first meeting with Euan photographed to share with him now. He wasn’t your first grandson but he was my first child, your only daughter’s rainbow baby. You knew what we’d been through to have Euan and had shared our joys and the heartbreaks along the way.
You had a special bond with Euan right from the start. When he was 2 weeks old you came over and insisted George and I eat dinner together uninterrupted. In the kitchen I kept clock watching wondering how long I should take, if Euan would wake up, if you were bored! When I came back to the bedroom you were sat in the chair gazing at him asleep in your arms. ”You were quick” you said. ”Are you sure you’ve had enough to eat? Did you have pudding? Take as much time as you want, we’re fine here”. I didn’t understand then what I came to know later. I hadn’t yet experienced that completely free, in the moment joy, where time stands still as you hold a baby you love. My experience as a Mum thus far was shaped by post traumatic stress, not feeling safe to sleep and pain from a coccyx fracture. I appreciate now, the instant love you had for each new grandchild and wanting to breath in every moment with Euan knowing you would be handing him back to me.
We saw you regularly as baby Euan grew and changed. When I went back to work part time Nana and Grandad Tuesdays became a thing. How lucky Euan was to have you both to himself. You had so much more energy than me Mum and took him to places I avoided (like soft play and pubs with enormous ice cream sundaes). We miss you Mum. Every day. Not just on special occasions like your birthday. Euan remembers time spent with you so vividly. Luca remembers you from photos. So we will keep sharing the stories. Love never ends.
You can read others stories about Mum here