Last Thursday night, Chris and I left after work and drove to Atlanta to be there for the birth of my first nephew. We left our own kids in the very capable hands of my friend, Sarah, and her husband, Scott. Their adventures with our two kids are worthy of a blog post themselves, so I’ll have to work on that. But in a nutshell, they were well taken care of and happy in our own home, relaxing and playing after a really heavy week.
Chris and I got to Atlanta about 15 minutes after the birth, which meant that we got to go back with my mom and John Michael’s mom. Let me tell you how wonderful it was to hold my sister’s baby for the first time. I couldn’t believe how awesome it felt to hold him and know that Ginny and John Michael had made this sweet little baby. It made my heart swell.
And, apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. We all just walked around for two days just glowing with happiness, which, considering the circumstances of the previous week, was pretty miraculous.
My favorite part of the weekend was the Birth Day Party. When both of my babies were born, my parents threw them themed Birth Day Parties.
For their baby’s Birth Day party, Ginny and John Michael wanted a luau theme. And it was awesome! My mom got us all hats and leis and we even had a champagne toast to my dad. Such a happy way to bring a new baby into the world!
Ginny and John Michael named their baby, Tillman, after my dad. I love hearing people say his name right now. My dad’s friends always called him by his last name, Tillman. Even my mom would call him Tillman from time to time. So hearing that name used again really hit a sweet spot in my heart.
The weekend was just what we all needed. Some real, true, big happiness to remind us that life will go on, and that my dad’s legacy will continue through each of us. It was amazing to me how big my heart could stretch. Seeing Tillman didn’t lessen any of the sadness of my dad’s passing, but the sadness didn’t lessen any of the happiness from Tillman’s birth. Somehow, my heart just stretched to fit all those emotions in at one time.
It was a wonderful, majestic feeling, but it was really exhausting, too. I came home Saturday afternoon and pretty much slept all day on Sunday. And then today, I was up early to start my first day of school today.
No rest for the weary. Or the mourning, either, apparently.
I’ll blog soon about how I’m doing, but to be honest with you, I’m just too damn tired right now. I am beyond excited for my sister, I am as sad and heavy-hearted as I’ve ever been in my life, I’m ready to take on a new school year, and at the same time, all I want to do is take a nap. Sometimes it feels like I’m bipolar. I go from one extreme to the next. And for someone who really likes to live in middle ground, swinging between emotions like that is draining.
But when my mind gets going and I start to feel the weight of my dad’s loss sitting heavy on my chest, I think about the fact that my sweet, strong sister and mom are doing this while taking care of a newborn right now, and that pushes me to move ahead. Those girls are pretty inspirational.