Three days after Daddy & I learned that your heart was beating inside me, when you were still a secret between us and the doctors, your great-grandma Oneta (who we call G.G.) saw a look pass between us in the car on the way home from dinner and announced, “You’re pregnant!” There was not a prouder or happier person on Earth at that moment than her. And she kept our delicious secret for a few more weeks until we felt safe in announcing.
By the time you joined us, G.G.’s body was starting to let her down. She was 91 years old and could hardly manage to sit up through meals. But on the day you were born, she sat in a hospital waiting room for eight hours to lay eyes on you—her second great-grandbaby, and first great-grandson. The pictures of her holding you on that day tell the story better than I ever could. You were hers as much as you were ours, and we were better than glad of it.
Your G.G. passed away this morning. She was 92 years old and very ill. But even at the very end, when she hardly had the strength to speak, she knew your face and lit up whenever you entered her room. She would watch you run around and wave and clap as though you were performing magic. The love she had for you was bigger than anything else in the room, and possibly in the world.
I’m sad to know that you won’t remember your G.G. But I am comforted by my certainty that her spirit will follow you through your travels, and that her love is in your blood. I hope you will honor her by spending your life the way that she spent hers; by holding your family close and loving them fiercely.