David's father is visiting us from Arizona for the week. He does not get to see his grandchildren often. I like watching him, sitting quietly, just looking at them. I can't fathom looking at my children's children. But like the memory of having my ears pierced on my tenth birthday...a memory from almost 30 years ago...it seems like yesterday, and I still twist my studs, like winding a watch, as directed so many years ago, because the memory is so fresh. Yet it isn't.
I was looking through an old photo album, made by my husband's grandmother. I never met her. She died many years ago. It is so strange to see her face. A stranger to me, but there is the face of my husband, and my own girls, staring back at me. Divinely linked with a person I never even had the chance to thank.
Looking through the photos, there are soldiers drinking beer together. A moment in time, most of the men, gone, I am sure. Grandpa Joe is gone now. We lost him in the Fall. It seems lonely to me thinking that he is no longer here. Not a phone call away. His wool hat hangs on a wall, in my house, now. It still smells like him.
I watched a woman on the news last night, from Japan. She was frantic. She lost her little girl. The water rushing at them was so powerful, she lost grip of her hand, and they were separated. She is praying that her daughter is alive somewhere. She will never be able to stop looking, I thought all night. I couldn't stop thinking about her eyes. The sadness in her eyes, was too much to bare.
Sometimes, I get so scared being a parent. I feel like we are aboard a ship, and we have lost our navigation. We are heading into the unknown. But we have to smile, and tell the girls to enjoy the boat ride, and the warm sun on our faces, so they won't be afraid. I want to enjoy it. But the uncertainty of it all. It gets in the way.
At the end of the photo album, past the old postcards from London, sent home from the war to David's grandmother, from Grandpa Joe, are a few love notes. One of them says this.
"Whatever life may have in store,
Through skies be gray or blue...
My heart could ask for nothing more
Than sharing it with you."