My beautiful sister Christie and her wonderful husband had another baby boy named Colton James. He graced our family with his presence yesterday morning, and he is wonderful! All 6lbs 12 oz of him. Now Jackson has a brother and we all know the trouble two boys can get into and I can't wait to witness it!
Look at that face! Love him...
I was able to spend the night at the hospital with Christie so Matt could go home and spend time with Jackson, so I had lots of snuggle time early this morning.
The day of Colton's birth will always be a day of special memories. One reason is his birth, but another reason is because we said goodbye to our grandfather this day as well. My grandfather Edmund Mack went home to meet his maker just eight hours after Colton was born. What a day filled with highs and lows.
Grampy had wanted to make it until Colton was born, and though mostly unresponsive, when my dad told him of the news, he seemed to understand. He made it.
It was fitting that he made it. This is a man who has always owned his own businesses providing a comfortable life for his wife Stella and five children. A man who went to mass every day with a list of family members, all of us in his wallet so he wouldn't forget anyone as he knelt before God asking protection and favor. A new baby, another name on the list. More names meant more pride. And he always loved a new baby. I'm sure he already loved Colton as he did all of us.
My grandfather tended their garden for years, always turning out the best, meatiest tomatoes. Weeds had no chance and he tended that garden every day until his legs couldn't so easily carry him.
My very earliest memory was being carried into their house and my grandfather was in the sunroom smoking a cigarette and reading the paper after supper. Both of which he enjoyed.
All the years we grew up we shared meals and sleepovers at their home. I always loved dipping my toast into his tea each morning. I never really drink tea, but tomorrow I'll make both in his honor.
Last night as we said goodbye, I was struck by a few things. First of all many of us were there. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandmother- always the nurturer, offering everyone iced tea as we came in.
As the funeral home came to take him away we said our last goodbyes, knowing he was already in glory. But watching my grandmother say goodbye is something I will never forget. Raw, real, pure, and true. She slept beside this man for over 72 years. Her whole life was devoted to him and their family. And now, both in their 90's, one left leaving the other for the first time.
I've always warned Dan that losing my grandparents would be as devestating as losing my parents. They played such an active role in my entire life and I would be lost without them.
But then I look at Colton and am reminded that God makes sure hope is always on the horizon. And while we say goodbye, we are often saying hello. And I know Colton's birthday is no mistake since He is the author of life and death anyway.
This life is the only one we get. Take a few lessons from Grampy. Spend time with God every day, the earlier the better. Never say goodbye, say so long. Be sure to enjoy this life, whether with a cigarette (you know what I mean) and the paper, or with toast dipped into hot tea for breakfast. Eat your tomatoes, and tend to your life so the fruit grows strong.
I love you Grampy and always will. Hug Bobby and Uncle Paul for us and "so long"...
And welcome Colton James! You have the BEST family!