Our family patriarch died of cancer on November 3, 2009. Within six months God had increased our ranks by bringing three new grandchildren to us. Nate and I have five grandbabies altogether, and I believe he knows more about each of them than I have yet learned.
A few years ago, when I was in my early sixties, I’d complained to more than a few friends that I was getting old without any grandchildren. Everyone I knew seemed to be “ahead of me” having the time of their lives with their little ones. Nate encouraged me by saying, “Don’t worry. When they come, it’ll probably be in a litter.” To my great joy, that’s what happened.
Skylar Grace – This sparkly little ball of fire was born in July of 2008, a miracle of God who came to be after doctors insisted a child would be impossible. She banished tears and brought laughter, and calls me Grandma Midgee. Because she’s been an early talker, we now converse over the phone like two regular people rather than an adult to a baby. In September she’s coming from Florida to visit, and I can’t wait!
Nicholas Carl – This little guy, born in January of 2009, already has dual citizenship in both the United States and the United Kingdom. His father took a British bride, and we are all wondering if Nicholas will have an accent like his daddy or his mummy. He arrived with a compliant personality and has been going with the flow ever since, giving his parents no trouble and learning life’s lessons with optimism and a smile.
Micah Nathan – Round as a butterball, Micah came to us three months after Nate died, in February of this year. He bears his grandfather’s name and will hear stories of who this man was, knowing him at least in this way. Watching a lively older sister is Micah’s favorite pastime, although mealtime runs a close second. I was hoping for at least one redhead, and Micah’s head-fuzz is hinting toward that end.
Evelyn Sarah – This little one, the female half of a double surprise blessing, arrived four months ago. The petite one of the pair, she makes few demands and finds security in the presence of her twin brother. They still sleep in the same crib, and when one wakes during the night, the other wakes, too, sharing meal time with mummy as a threesome.
Thomas Nathan – Since the name Thomas means twin, this little guy is aptly named. The fact that he’s a second baby-Nathan is double-joy to me and I hope one day to him. Thomas arrived weighing a pound more than Evelyn and has kept the weight-lead since then, growing tall well ahead of his petite sister. Several of us will be visiting the twins and Nicholas in October, refreshing relationships that span an ocean.
In Scripture, Job experienced losses in every life category including ten family deaths in one day. Ravaged with grief, he turned toward God and said, “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.” In our case, although our losses were not as catastrophic as Job’s, we say the same thing, only in reverse: “The Lord has taken away (Nate’s life), and the Lord has given us what we have (three new lives).”
Five little ones in 21 months? Now, that’s a litter! Job’s bottom line is ours, too: “Praise the name of the Lord!”
“ ‘The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!’ In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.” (Job 1:21b-22)