“Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.” ~ Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Driving into the beachside parking lot where Elias was waiting, my senses amplified like the mid-air firing of a rocket booster. Only a few times in my life do I remember this happening. Usually, these episodes happened just before an athletic event when I was warming up for a race.
I heard the crunching and felt the grit of the gravel under Clementine’s tires; My temples and jaw tingled like I’d just taken a bite of a sour lime sorbet; Everything looked too bright and too focused. It was a hyper present moment. I wasn’t appreciating it. I could have done without the side effects, thank you very much.
The “why’s” of it don’t matter. I was about to see the flesh of my flesh. Blood of my blood… And I couldn’t stop the tears. I did, eventually. I dowsed them. Wiped them. Took a big swig of cold water, parked, got out and walked to Amy. I probably hugged her too hard. I then slid in the backseat next to Elias. Poor little guy… Sooooo not used to this woman’s big energy.
I didn’t want to scare him, so I tried not to be overly… anything. Still, I couldn’t help but touch his hand. His blonde hair. I leaned over and gently kissed his fingers where they held onto his car seat. He didn’t look at me at first, and then just fleeting, curious glances. I tried not to talk too much. I let Amy take the lead, gently guiding conversation.
On a different plane, I started to hear a gentle murmuring, and started to relax. Yes, I’m one of those grandmother’s who will admit that I am a “Hearer.” I hear things most others don’t. There are people who “see” things – nuances, spirits, glimpses of other worlds and times. They are the “Seers.” While I do sometimes, mainly, I am a Hearer. This is interesting since my physical hearing is waning. Maybe that makes hearing the ethereal easier for me. I don’t know the answer to that. And I digress, which will undoubtedly keep happening.
Amy had planned for us to visit the local aquarium, botanical gardens and finally, the beach. The weather was cold, overcast and rainy and I could tell she was stressed and wanted the day to go well. I wanted her to know that anything we did would be fine with me, as long as I could be close to Elias. So, we went first to the aquarium…
Mainly, I watched Elias from a distance during the first part of the day, primarily because he moved fast, and I had a hard time keeping up with him. Second, because I transform into a little girl, or… the little girl in me emerges when I am in an aquarium, especially standing in front of floating jelly fish, sea turtles, sea horses and, for the first time ever… face to face with a manatee.
It was in the aquarium that Elias decided to claim me. He turned toward me, held out his hand and beckoned me from across the aquarium room. “Come ON!…” Before then, I was just a tag along, a stranger. When he called to me… my heart swelled. I still gave him space, but I stayed closer, watching his eyes, his gaze, his 3-year-old finger pointing into the touch tank.
Back in the car, I sat with Elias quietly while Amy and her boyfriend took a breather and a short walk. I wondered if Elias was going to drift off for a nap. His head leaned back in his seat, he was gazing up into the sky. I listened to his breathing. And realized that there is a Love much different than what we have for our own children. And it’s a much different strain than we have for our lovers. I was feeling the lovely nuances of it. I felt it deeply then – the thunderous, juicy Love we have for a grandchild. I leaned my own head back on the seat and closed my eyes. And then I heard it – Elias’ sweet sigh. He leaned forward, put his hands on his knees and turned to me… “Oh gamma Dell, I miss you, too…”
It’s important to say at this point that I have only seen Elias four times since his birth. And each of those times he never acknowledged me. This moment is something I will treasure forever.
This blog post was difficult for me to write, I admit. I have shared a very little bit of our day together. But, I have shared the parts that tell the important part of the story. And this is it… I fell in Love with my grandson even deeper. And I am so very thankful to Amy for helping it happen.