|This was the little baby born at the time of this recollection|
Earlier this morning, my grandson and I went to visit our neighbor two doors over, and to bring them a present as a thank you for helping of us out of a tight bind several weeks ago. This is not the first time these steadfast, kind people have performed this gesture for me. Now it includes my grandchild as well.
Thirty years ago, when we moved here, these neighbors had one son left at home out their six children. The eldest son had already passed away from muscular dystrophy at age eighteen, the four daughters that were born next were out in the world, this remaining son, also with muscular dystrophy, was the last in the nest.
Andy, who cheerfully rode past our house in his wheelchair with a tall flag waving was hard to miss. My young children would always run out to greet Andy as he passed the house, and he would always stop and greet them with a smile. He was part of their life, and they were part of his, until he wasn't.
My other neighbor, Mrs. B called one day to share the news of Andy passing away, she thought I would want to know. I did. I was pregnant my third child, second girl, their loss seemed to hit me hard. Making me aware of how hard it must be for Andy's parents.
So, we baked some brownies, picked some flowers, then together my three year old son, two year old daughter, I went over to somehow let her know how much we were feeling Andy's loss. As we handed over the brownies and flowers, my son said "my mom said you might be sad, but you don't look too sad to me". My embarrassment was acute, but Andy's mom laughed, being a old had with small children after bearing six of them, said, "I am sad, but happy to see you."
It wasn't too much longer before my daughter was born, and one day, Andy's mom walked over to our home bringing a gift for our newborn, with a shy request of could she hold our baby? As I placed the baby in her arms, my other two children requested my presence. (I wish I could say the their request was made tactfully, but this is simply not the case.) Andy's mother said, you go on ahead, I'll sit here with the baby, not a problem. I'm not sure who was helping whom at this point, but nothing was said.
When she left to go home, she said to me, this little one helps to heal my heart. The truth of the matter Andy's mother has been helping to heal my heart for these last thirty years too.