I have had the joy of being with our grandson for the past several weeks.
As I held him, and he held me by his tiny finger, I had moments of dega vu. Why did I feel like I had been there before?
The smile cinched it. I had been there. Little Gideon looked like Jennifer, our daughter, at that age. While I recognized him for the unique person he is, it truly felt as though the confines of time had been rolled back, and I was cuddling my baby again.
Even though we playfully refer to our daughter as “the baby” she will always be to us, in fact, she is a grown woman, independent, smart, and multitalented. Besides loving her, I admire her.
She has a certain confidence I lack. She is a problem solver. She is optimistic. She is never lost.
Even when she has taken detours in life, she was always on the way to something or some place better. When I doubted, she never did.
She is passionate. She believes strongly. She argues decisively. She expects much of herself and everyone else.
But I can no longer cuddle her. She is no longer dependent on me. She no longer smiles or laughs if I make funny faces or dance. In fact, she would probably be annoyed if I tried to elicit her approval by those methods.
We now share love in a different way. And no where has that been more evident than during the past few weeks.
When she learned her Dad was having open heart surgery, Jennifer did not hesitate. She flew from California with her husband and less than three month old baby and stayed with us for three weeks.
She anticipated a certain level of assisting with care for her Dad, but neither of us could have anticipated the intensive level of care I would require.
I had an autoimmune flair probably brought on by stress. It provoked all kinds of symptoms. I was not able to walk but for short distances.
Thyroiditis elevated my heart rate and brought on anxiety attacks. (And it did not help that there were plenty of things to be anxious about, even if one did not have thyroid problems!)
Jennifer bought and pushed me in a wheelchair, loading and unloading it multiple times, sometimes in the rain or from remote areas of the hospital parking lot.
She drove me on anxiety reducing rides, got gas for the car, got groceries, took both Jay and me to doctor’s appointments, picked up prescriptions, and too many other things to count.
She smoothed the waters at home when Jay had an untoward medication reaction, which caused him to become agitated … which made my anxiety issues worse.
Jennifer did all this in addition to working remotely at a local office and taking care of a new baby at all hours of the day and night.
I am truly amazed and so very thankful for Jennifer. She was Love in action, the kind of Love that goes far beyond a smile or a cuddle.
She saw us as we were, came without hesitation, and gave sacrificially. She said, “I’ve got you. We can do this.”
And I believe Jesus smiled and said, “Amen. As you have done it to these, you have done it unto Me.”