I may be the sort of person who likes to plan for the future, but that doesn’t mean things always turn out quite the way I had planned. My Spring calendar had been filled with activities that all ended up being cancelled, and I was also supposed to help host a small baby shower for my daughter-in-law who was due in late June with our first granddaughter. Unfortunately, we had to reschedule it twice due to the shelter-at-home restrictions being extended much longer than we had anticipated.
Finally, we decided that the wisest thing to do was simply schedule a “drive-by shower.” We would decorate the front porch, have the mother-to-be sit there in a comfy chair, and people could drop off their gifts at the curb and then watch while she opened them. We even ordered individually-wrapped, decorated cookies from a local bakery to give out as favors. It seemed like an excellent plan for following the restrictions on gatherings and still managing to have a meaningful shower for the mom-to-be.
But like so many things this Spring, the shower didn’t go exactly as planned. We still had it, complete with balloons and cookies. But my daughter-in-law couldn’t attend, because she was in the hospital with her newborn baby girl. Our granddaughter surprised us all by making her entrance into this world six weeks early.
Both mother and daughter are doing well, and we couldn’t be more thrilled at this addition to our family. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard that the baby was going to come so early, I was very worried and found it difficult to think of anything else. I wanted my granddaughter to be okay, and I wanted my son and daughter-in-law to be spared from the anxiety that comes with an early birth. I can’t tell you the relief we felt when we learned the baby had arrived safely and that our daughter-in-law was doing well.
Sometimes I think I’ll scream if I hear one more television commercial using the words “we are living in uncertain times”…..seriously, is there a single person on this earth who doesn’t know that? But as tired as I am of hearing it, it’s the truth. We are living in uncertain times, and like all challenging situations, it brings out both the best and the worst in people.
Last weekend, our family dealt with a very personal “uncertain time,” and I’m happy to say that we saw only the best of everyone. I saw my son and daughter-in-law face a scary situation with courage and strength, and know that they received excellent medical care in a time when hospitals are truly hurting. Friends and family continually reached out to us with reassuring messages and prayers. The stories of so many other babies born prematurely who turned out just fine were particularly comforting, because it gave us so much hope. So many people offered us “their best” and that helped us more than I can ever say.
So as these “uncertain times” that we live in stretch on, I hope I’ll remember what I’ve learned in these past few days. Which is just how important it is to offer a sympathetic ear, or to offer a word of hope and encouragement as we all struggle to cope and find our way forward. It may seem like a small thing to do, but trust me, sometimes it can make all the difference in the world.