Sunday, May 13, 2012

My mother's gift ... to us

Dear Mom,

Three years ago you wrote a letter reflecting on what my children (and Ted and I) mean to you. Dad gave me a copy of it just before the babies were dedicated, but I was too preoccupied and sleep-deprived to appreciate the significance of what I was reading, to properly thank you for such a special gift—or to even remember where I put it. But yesterday I found it. And I love it. And I am publishing it here because I want everyone to know how blessed I am to call you my mother!

Love always,

What the Fab Four and Their Parents Mean to Me

I remember the moment I knew I was going to be a grandmother

It filled me with pride, joy, and anticipation of something greater than I could fathom

Little did I know that a few days later I'd learn that it would be not a grandchild but the Fab Four that we would be expecting

Our first glimpse of the Fab Four (6 weeks gestation)

I saw the many emotions that were going through your mind and body—concern, fear of the unknown, excitement, and a myriad of other emotions

Times were fun and exciting, planning was furious and sometimes scary, but excitement never ended as we puts lots of love into the simple but beautiful nursery awaiting the arrival of the Fab Four

Nursery ready for four babies!

Then the difficult days came when mama had to lay everything aside and concentrate only on bringing four precious, healthy bundles of joy into the world—whatever the sacrifice

None of us knew the sacrifice, pain, anxiety, and dedication that this process would require from both Suzy and Ted during those difficult months

My mom and me 
(6 weeks before the babies were born
and days before my mom's double mastectomy)

But then the day came when the doctors knew it was time to bring these precious lives into their new world—on the eve of Christ's birthday—how special

Again their mommy gave her all and with great sacrifice and pride delivered four healthy, adorable bundles of joy into our lives

I'll never forget the excitement in the hallway of the hospital when we heard the lullaby four times in a row and knew the babies were here

I can remember the moment the T and R families came together in the recovery room to see Suzy after the delivery and with pride she and Ted told us the names of their precious babies

First picture together (1 week old)

Isaac Nehiel - Isaac meaning laughter in Hebrew and Nehiel, also a Hebrew name, after his grandfather

Lucia Celeste - Lucia meaning light and Celeste meaning heavenly—how appropriate to this precious little girl—Heavenly Light. Celeste also means light blue in Spanish and is the color of the Uruguayan flag (of great importance to Suzy as that is where she lived most of her growing up years)

Jude Wesley - Jude of course comes directly from a Beatles song (no surprise here) and Wesley a beautiful T family name

Dahlia Solis - Dahlia being one of the flowers we always grew in our front yard in Uruguay and Solis the name of the beach where we took regular family vacations when living in Uruguay—what memories

Again a miracle happened—all the babies were in the NICU just barely over two weeks—unheard of for premature babies—especially quads—again all this thanks to God's protection and the sacrifice of mommy and daddy

Homecoming Day (2 weeks old)

Although the cycle never ends—changing, feeding, bathing, napping, playing, and starting all over again, the precious moments have been many

The pride I feel having a beautiful daughter that gave her all for these four precious little ones

The pride I feel having a son-in-law that loves my daughter and cares for their little family with dedication

The first time I held the Fab Four was the beginning of a new life for me—God's blessing and love radiated through them to me with a healing power nothing else could give

The pleasure of holding each one, feeling their soft breathing, feeling their delicate little bodies against mine was breathtaking and healing

Abuelita Joanna holding the Fab Four for the first time
(5 weeks old)

The connection that would come between me and the babies when I would change them, feed them, bathe them, make their bottles, hold them, comfort them, talk to them, or discover a glimpse of their personalities cannot be described—only felt

The glorious feeling I get when I see them progressing into little people, watching them discover their new world, that first smile, that first laugh, that first time I felt like they knew I was someone who loves them unconditionally will only grow as they and I grow together

Are there difficult times? Absolutely

Being far away and not being able to have more moments to cherish with them and their parents

Longing to put my arms around each one of them and around their beautiful parents each day

Learning I can't stop and shop in the baby section of every store

Days when I would like to be there so Suzy and Ted could get some extra sleep or a homemade meal—oh how I would love to give it to them often

But we are all blessed!

The Fab Four just before their due date (6 weeks old)

Four beautiful, healthy babies

Two loving, healthy parents—I am so proud of them both—what exemplary parents they are

A God who cares for each of us even when we are far apart

The privilege of being only a phone call away when we need each other

To God I give each one:

Isaac Nehiel - the joy of my heart
Lucia Celeste - the light of my life
Jude Wesley - my kindred spirit
Dahlia Solis - my precious flower
Suzanna Raquel - also a precious flower in Hebrew (lily or rose) - I am so proud to be your Mother
Theodore Wesley - I am so proud you are the father of the Fab Four and the husband of my lovely daughter

At the babies' dedication (6 months old)

My love for each of you cannot be measured

May God bless and protect all of us as we grow together in the love and knowledge of Christ is my prayer

Your loving Abuelita, Madre, y Suegra


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