Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

An ache in my heart

The excitement of our first grandchild on the day of his birth was indescribable.  We actually rushed to the hospital and for those of you that know the husband “rush” is not in his vocabulary.  This was especially meaningful since we were watching a John Wayne western “Big Jake”.  Within three days our world had collapsed, and I had seen the husband, all six-foot two inches of stoic farm and ranch ancestry, actually on his knees.  Jacob Allen was born a Down’s child.  For all our initial anguish, within a few months Jake had rebuilt our faith in the world and humanity, and as we approach his seventeenth birthday (which I find so hard to believe) I thank God for giving us such a gift to change us into the kind of person that Jake came into this world already being.

Jake never just hugged; he hugged and patted your back at the same time.  Jake never watched musical programs; he acted them out in their entirety.  His rendition of the munchkins singing “We welcome you to the lollipop guild ” is one well worth seeing, followed by his run behind the couch when the wicked witch suddenly appears.  It brings the Wizard of Oz to a whole new level of entertainment.  The sureness in which he rolls down his back window and begins telling the speaker at McDonalds what he wants starts as we drive in, and he can make any TV, VCR, DVD, etc. work better than any of us (especially those of us that are older).

There is no matching the amount of love that he gives, and the day he left to move to Wisconsin was perhaps the saddest day of my life.  I have never missed anyone so much and the ache in my heart never leaves knowing we can never make up the time we have lost.

The unique thing about this is it’s not just me.  The husband, the uncle, the aunts, the great-grandmother, and the great-great grandmother (who lived her remaining years without him) have all said the same at various times.  My mom (the great-grandmother) tells when she was flying home from visiting and Jake saw her with her suitcase, how he cried when she left to get on the plane and how she cried as well.  She still feels deeply about that.

There is no way to change the fact that kids grow up and sometimes move far away and do just fine, but I long for the days when families stayed within a few miles of each other and were there to help, love, disagree, agree, laugh, celebrate and just generally be a family.  I guess I’m just getting sentimental as I and they get older.

Happy Birthday Jake.  You will never know the time and space that your love covers and the healing powers that it has.


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