Today, as I was worrying about Henry, I felt my grandmother's absence more than usual. My grandmother Ruth Schosser, my Nanny, was one of the few people I've ever really, truly loved. She died three years ago this past May.
She never met sweet Henry. After years of saying we weren't going to have kids, we decided to start trying right around the time Nanny was diagnosed with cancer. I am glad that I told her about our decision before she got her bad news. She was so happy about it. She always loved having a houseful of children running around. It's supremely unfair that we're all starting to have children and she isn't around to enjoy them.
Nanny was a nurse and she would have known exactly what's been going on with Henry. I kept having this vague, unformed notion today that if I just called her house, she would answer. And while I napped with Henry today, I dreamt that I could see her from a distance standing on her porch. I hurried to meet her, unable to believe how lucky I was that she was back, only to have her disappear right as I reached the house.
During her last few weeks, I quit my job and went home to be with her. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was such a beautiful, shattering time. And it allowed me to receive a final gift from her, a gift that I didn't even know she had given at the time. But when I got pregnant with Henry and worried about the great unknown of labor, I found that I knew deep down I would have the strength to bring him safely into this world, because I had been strong enough to be present and ease her passing. So in a sense, at least, she was there for the birth of my son, just as she would have liked to have been.