The smells of blueberry muffins baking in the oven and fresh chocolate-raspberry coffee are pulling me awake. My twelve pound, white miniature schnauzer is sleeping soundly on the back of the couch.
I know all this will change within a matter of minutes. My 5-day old grandson, a clone of his daddy, will soon set off the nurture alarms in the three women in the house; mommy and two nanas will start their day. Mommy is tired and thankful for her mom’s presence, knowing that even more than 1600 miles could not keep her from being at her side to help her adjust to her new role. Just five days into motherhood she has no idea how quickly time will pass. If she could see into her mother’s heart and mind she would feel the emotion and see all the precious memories replayed with each swaddling session. She will know that all soon enough but for now, she aches for just a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.
The other nana will rock her son’s son and wrap his tiny fingers around one of hers. Her grandson is nearly a carbon copy of her son she rocked this way just over 28 years ago. Her son has no idea what his mother sees when she looks at that little face.
I am Grampa now. They take pictures of me awkwardly holding my new little buddy. They laugh at how quickly I give him up when he starts to cry. They have no idea all the emotion I am holding back.
Yesterday, as I held him, we had a chat about football and Florida Gators. His little eyes stayed on me while I told him the difference between alligators and crocodiles. I told him that the difference is simply that alligators will “see you later” and crocodiles will “see you in awhile.” My family smiled because I am already joking with my little guy. My daughter said one of his first lessons will be to learn not to listen to Grampa.
My youngest son Jake and his wife Laura came by and I could not get past the huge smile that stayed on her face while she held little Calvin. My daughter and her husband Jake stopped in later and Shara cuddled him on top of her own baby bump that is my granddaughter, Emma. Watching her hold Calvin took me back to my beautiful wife holding Josh when he was a newborn. I moved off that scene pretty quickly.
I am living on the edge of an emotional “uh oh” right now. Smells, sounds, scenes push me to “uh oh, I’m going to cry and look like an idiot” in an instant. Is it this bad for everyone?
I think it’s because I know I am in overtime. I know that these days are bonus days and the result of the gift of the transplant that saved my life. I know that, apart from the Grace and love of my God, I would not be here to hold this little Batboy and tell him I am Batman. I know that I would not be here to meet little Emma in just a couple of months.
I’m at the edge of “uh oh” a lot in my life but it is understandably intensified now. Just about the time I get used to holding it together, Emma will show up and trigger it again. My transplant survivor friends with more survivor status years than me tell me that it will never change. I will be on the verge of “uh oh” at each birth, each milestone, each singing of happy birthday and every holiday for the rest of my life.
Other than the risk of embarrassment, I guess living at the edge of “uh oh” thankfulness is a good place to live.
Every day is a bonus day.
Uh oh … Calvin just woke up.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
On May 7, 2012 Scott’s son, Josh, gave him nearly 60% of his liver in the transplant surgery that saved his life. To register as an organ donor, visit www.donatelife.net