Life encircles us in its arms
Friday August 13th 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I watched the warm glow that came over her as she said it: “Elaine would be so pleased.”

Indeed she would.  And we both knew we both felt Elaine knew as well as we did.

Jean and I were talking Tuesday evening when I told her the news.

It was while I was in Washington DC for my 20th high school reunion that my friend Conway, my uncle’s friend too from WWII, had another heart attack, this time at the swim therapy pool where, on a normal day, he and I would have been chatting together as we exercised.

Someone called his wife Elaine.  The lifeguard did CPR.

Jean was their neighbor and old friend whose children had grown up with their children; she was home when she was struck with the sudden, intense feeling, Elaine needs me!

This was in ’97. There were no cellphones.

She got in her car and drove, first towards the pool, and then no, and turned the car towards Stanford Hospital. All on the strength of that feeling only.

And so it was that Elaine was coming out the door of the hospital at the very moment Jean was coming in to look for her. Conway’s flattened-out vital signs had kicked in briefly when his wife showed up–just long enough for her to feel he was trying to tell her goodbye.

The two women threw their arms around each other. Their children and grandchildren and all who love them will forever be grateful for that moment.

After his death, Elaine packed up and left the house they’d lived in for so long and moved to southern California to be closer to her sons; she passed away not long after.

One of her sons sent his daughter off to BYU, not many years later…

…Where she started going out with this tall kid from, it turned out, the town where her parents had grown up.

And when he mentioned her name to us (we assumed, rightly, that the very fact that he did meant that they were becoming seriously interested in each other) I said to him, not quite daring to think it might be so, Ask her if…

He called today with such a twinkle in his voice.  I’d been so sure it was going to be a girl.   Heh.  Ultrasound says it’s a boy, Mom.

Better go get out that superwash merino in blue after all.  And yes, this is an announcement: our first grandchild is coming. He will be the first grandson on both sides. He should arrive soon after the first of the year, and to tell you we are excited does not even begin to touch the unfathomable degree of love we feel for this new little person on the way.

Conway and Elaine must be so pleased.

32 Comments so far
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Congratulations on the new grandson! What a touching story. I believe we should never ignore hunches or “feelings” about things. They are powerful.

Comment by Mary 08.13.10 @ 11:29 pm

What a moving announcement. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of blue knitting in the coming months.

Comment by LynnM 08.14.10 @ 12:35 am

Congratulations! Elaine and Conway are indeed pleased, I’m sure. Nothing beats knitting for a grandchild!

Comment by Pegi 08.14.10 @ 4:17 am


Comment by suburbancorrespondent 08.14.10 @ 4:45 am

Congratulations! Wonderful news. Bring on the baby knitting!

Comment by ccr in MA 08.14.10 @ 5:37 am

Oh Alison! I’m so happy for you! You finally get to be a grandma!!! God’s blessings on all of you!

Comment by Jody 08.14.10 @ 5:41 am

oh I know how you feel!! (little Asher Jay being on his way to us — the two of them being special little spirits saved for this time — one for you and one for me — so excited!!!

Comment by Bev 08.14.10 @ 6:18 am

Oh YAY! Life is good, isn’t it?!

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 08.14.10 @ 6:54 am

So, now you are going to get your reward for not killing your kids! I see lots of bright, primary colors in the next few months.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 08.14.10 @ 7:08 am

What a great way to announce the upcoming birth! This is a kid that will we swathed in handknits…

Comment by Sandra 08.14.10 @ 7:13 am

Wow, congratulations! Just think of all the knitting!

Comment by Michelle 08.14.10 @ 7:50 am

What a lovely story of the knitting (!) together of two families.

Congratulations, Gran!

Comment by Lene 08.14.10 @ 9:11 am

Congratulations! Nothing will ever match the moment when I looked into my newborn grandson’s eyes. A bond was forged that is absolutely indescribable. I am so happy for you.

Comment by Julie 08.14.10 @ 9:28 am

And two families were knitted together. Congratulations, Grandma!

Comment by Don Meyer 08.14.10 @ 9:47 am

Hearty congratulations, old friend! I’m sure this will be the best-dressed young man in knitdom.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 08.14.10 @ 11:05 am

Terrific news! Congrats to all!

And I’ve heard that ultrasounds CAN be wrong….

But someday maybe little Conway will have a sister.

Comment by Margo Lynn 08.14.10 @ 11:14 am

How exciting! I’ll bet you knit a few less shawls this next several months…perhaps booties and hats and sweaters and toys will become more appealing?

Comment by Ruth 08.14.10 @ 11:36 am

Congratulations Grandma! 😉

Comment by Serena 08.14.10 @ 1:44 pm

Dang it, you made my kitten all wet. Of course, she was the unwise one to sit on my lap as I read this post and wept through it. It’s a novel in one blog post – death, love, birth.

Congratulations on the impending arrival!

Comment by twinsetellen 08.14.10 @ 1:48 pm

Oh, yippee, joy, and yahoo all around. Blessings to the soon-to-be new parents and the new grandparents, too! Boy, girl, who cares, just healthy baby! Thank you for sharing the awesome news.

Comment by DebbieR 08.14.10 @ 2:17 pm

I am so excited for you. What wonderful news!!! You will always cherish the first time you see that little bundle from heaven!! Blessings to all of you.

Comment by Joansie 08.14.10 @ 2:55 pm

congratulations! There are so few perfect things in this world, but a grandchild, especially a first grandchild, is one of them. Besides the knitting, I’ve seen some really cute smocked sailor suits for boys . . .

Comment by LauraN 08.14.10 @ 3:55 pm

You can’t even begin to fathom how much love you’re going feel for your grandson. It’s different than the love for your children…but it’s wonderful nontheless. Congratulations! And get out those needles & blue yarn.

Comment by PghCathy 08.14.10 @ 4:35 pm

Well congratulations!

Comment by afton 08.15.10 @ 6:20 am

Lovely story. Will you be the one to tell it to you grandson one day?

Congrats to all!!

Comment by Channon 08.15.10 @ 9:59 am

Congratulations! Now for all those wonderful baby projects.
PS… I just noticed that you commented on my shawl at Puyallupknittingguild’s blog. Thank you! Coming from you, shawl lady, that is a compliment indeed! (I’ve used my quota of !!’s today.)

Comment by Joan 08.15.10 @ 12:12 pm

Congratulations! I know just how excited you are because my husband’s first grandaughter is due to arrive in mid November. Congratulations!

Comment by debra 08.15.10 @ 12:15 pm

What lovely, lovely news!
I am so glad for you!!!!

Comment by Diana Troldahl 08.15.10 @ 12:20 pm

i was so happy to check in tonight and read the glorious news, congratulations to all!!

Comment by grace 08.15.10 @ 7:36 pm

Oh, Alison, congratulations! How exciting! What a lucky kid that wee boy will be, to have such a warm and loving family. Big hugs all around!

Comment by AnnieBee 08.16.10 @ 6:11 am

Congratulations! Your story gave me goosebumps. g

Comment by gMarie 08.17.10 @ 9:58 am

Loving hugs to you and your family!

Best wishes to the new mother for a healthy and safe pregnancy! 🙂

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 08.18.10 @ 6:49 am

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