The gods do not care much for human plans, one of life's lessons is to understand that plans are hopes, not always realities. The hospital my daughter Emma planned to go to for the birth of her first child was overwhelmed with emergency cases and premature births over the weekend, there were no beds or doctors or mid-wives around, rooms were not available, staff was scrambling.
Emma had to wait. And wait. And she is still waiting.
It took a day for things to settle and she went into labor sometime late Saturday afternoon. That's about all I feel comfortable saying – this is her life, not mine.
Paula, Emma's mother, stayed in touch with me and is standing by to help out.
I hope that Emma is comfortable and that things move quickly and safely for her and her daughter. I do feel a bit helpless, even disoriented, but there is nothing for me to do, not from this distance. I am also excited for Emma for all of us.
Emma and Jay are strong and dedicated to one another, and Paula and Emma are close and trusting of one another. The doctors and midwife are experienced and competent.
She is in good hands, surrounded by love and support.
I'm glad I've been writing about this and touched and fascinated by the discussion the posts have generated.
Very helpful for me to read through them. One caught my eye, it was written by Ronna Fiori and posted on my Facebook Page. I was struggling with some of the many heartwarming posts telling me this would be something that would instantly transform my life into almost unfathomable joy and love.
I am happy so many grandparents have found that, that scenario didn't quite feel like me. That may be because I am anticipating it, not living it. And I tend to overthink some things, and underthink others.
Ronna offered a perspective that rang true to me and my circumstances:
"It may take huge amounts of strength and tenacity and forbearance for you to maintain a position in your grandchild's life. Geography and history can be big obstacles to overcome (speaking from my own experience). I wish you all the best."
That is a tempered but authentic analysis.
I think it will take huge amounts of strength and tenacity and patience for me to establish a loving position in my granddaughter's life, I think Riona is correct. We are all different, our circumstances are different. Emma and I live hours apart and live very different lives, both of them full and sometimes overwhelming.
I don't take any of this for granted, or assume all the obstacles will be washed away in a torrent of unconditional love. That has never been my experience in life. It will take a lot of work.
And my granddaughter will have as much to say about it as I do, and so she should. I think the good news is that I am strong and tenacious, I asked Maria to marry me every day for more than a year, and neither of us was yet officially divorced.
I left a note on her car windshield, it said "I'll wait, no obligations."
She says she ate it.
So I'll keep the phone handy and send good vibes down to New York City.