This last visit was wonderful, as always. With the oldest, I think the best times are when she gets up and slips across the hall to my room. "Time to get up, Ama," she says in a singsong voice as she opens the door. She climbs on to my bed. Sometimes we will watch a video on my phone. Sometimes we read a story. Sometimes we just talk. It doesn't matter, really, because it is just the two of us and it is a special time. She loves her grandma, and I love her. As usual, I brought home another drawing of two people, a big person and a little person, both of us with big smiles, because "we are happy togevver". She made me a butterfly magnet so that I can stick the picture to my refrigerator.
It am home, and it is there and it makes me smile every time I look at it.
The baby has grown so much. I could feel the difference in her weight as soon as she was handed to me. She is very alert, and I discovered that when she is irritable, she can be soothed by simply moving a black on cream patterned curtain in the sun light. She quiets immediately, her little eyes move back and forth tracking the movement in a fascinated way. She has begun to make small sounds of contentment. Best of all, she smiles now. I had my moments with her, as well, holding her as she slept while her mom took advantage of the extra set of arms to have her shower. I held her and listened to her little baby sounds and remembered other special moments with other babies now grown. I could watch her all day.
I tell you true, my grandma heart runneth over.
There is a trip I make when I go there. Just a short one and I go alone. It used to be unbearably sad and I cried. I don't any more. I still feel sad. I still wish that things could have been different, but they weren't. He would have made a wonderful big brother, I bet.
I drove to the cemetery and parked the car and walked to the stone, beautifully carved, with a teddy bear and his name. The date of his birth, and one day later, the date of his death, and the quote from Winnie the Pooh. "if ever there comes a tomorrow when we're not together, remember that I will always be with you."
In a way, it is true. 6 years later, he is with me still.
I have a habit. When I am there, I push a penny into the ground. I'm not sure why, really. It just seems right. 'A penny for your thoughts' and all of that. I knelt and pushed my penny into the earth, and stayed there a moment, thinking back. I never met him, but his short life changed a family.
When I finally stood, I was amazed that the evening sky was a brilliant, brilliant red. I've never seen anything quite like it. It seemed like the very air around me glowed red. It was magnificent, just breathtaking, and I stood there marveling at it as it slowly faded. It took several minutes, but I did not walk back to the car until the show was done.
Later, I would hear that the brilliant red skies we were seeing were due to the atmospheric disturbances spawned by Hurricane Ian. Indeed, the next night, the sky was once again filled with that unearthly red glow.
I drove across the state for some special times with my grandchildren, but for the first time, I felt like I had gotten my special moment with Keegan too.