24 years ago on December 7 at about this very moment, I was in labor, riding in a car with John and Georgie as we crossed the Harbor Bridge, listening to U-2 and B.B. King sing “When Loves Comes to Town” on the radio. By the time I called our mom to tell her we had a healthy 7 lb, 8 ounce little boy, she was watching As the World Turns.
Family and friends had packed the labor and delivery room, the phone rang with well wishes. Georgie was ecstatic, running from my room to the nursery window and back to my room. At 13 years old, a new brother was incredibly exciting.
One of his first visitors was his niece, Nina, who was 4 months his senior. Mary Helen was 5 months pregnant when we discovered Jack was coming. She and I had carried on daily conversations about pregnancy and new babies so it was no surprise that she and Nina would be at the hospital ASAP.
A friend posted something on FB that women who lose husbands are widows, children who lose parents are orphans, but there’s no word for a parent who has lost a child. Love lost parents have no words to describe their condition. Just as there is nothing adequate to describe the loss, there is no words that can describe the joy of having a baby.
Bob’s daughter, Chelsea, says that she couldn’t love her new baby more. I want to tell her that it’s a growing exercise, that the love deepens and widens as her baby grows. Troubles increase it maybe more than the easy times. It’s the easy and happy times that carry you through the troubles when you look at your 17 year old and can still see that precious 7 year old.
Nina is taking off work today so Mary Helen, Savanna, and I can join her for lunch at U & I. I plan to eat enchiladas, Jack’s very favorite meal. U & I and enchiladas are a Russo standard for birthdays.