Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Perfect Present

This time of the year is a very busy time for many people.  Stores are crowded, music is playing and cash registers are ringing with the sounds of the season.  There is so much emphasis on finding just the right present for those we love.  Many items are considered until that one special present is selected.  This Christmas Season I have slowed down my hustling and bustling and remember that the most perfect present I have ever received was time with my Grandlove.  This picture was one of many times that I stopped what I was doing to cuddle with Stephen as he ate his meal.  He could cuddle and the world became so focused for me.  He would grab at me and close his beautiful eyes as he napped in my arms.  I knew that each time I held him it was one of the pre-determined times we had left. 

When he was born I listened in the hall and heard what I thought was odd for the early morning hours in the hospital, it sounded like a kitten.  That wasn't a kitten's soft cry, that was my brand new grandson announcing his arrival.  He was a wrinkly mess of love, even then.  Cuddling was our special time together throughout the years.  He slept the most soundly when he was in my arms.  Spoiled?  Naw, just good grandparenting.

Fast forward through many obstacles to a few weeks ago, Thanksgiving week.  He was approaching his angel wings and we all took turns holding, comforting him.  On December 1st, I said that I needed to hold him.  My son-in-law (Stephen's Nathan) gave over the rocking chair and his sweet boy.  Stephen's hospice volunteer and I cleared the living room of all distractions and the house settled down peacefully.  The hours passed with us talking about nonsense, eating cake and drinking tea, until a little after three there was a marked change in Stephen's breathing.  I said, "That's different," as he took a sweet, deep breath.  Susan ran to get Stephen's mom, dad and his Nathan up.  Stephen took two more sweet, deep breaths and then a soft smile was on his lips.  We all kissed him and told him how much we love him, but it was time to run with his friends and fly free of all his pain and suffering. (He had been looking at the angels all week and we knew that he would join them when he was ready.) 

I will never forget that moment that I watched him take his last breath and smile at the glorious angels who had come for him. 

That moment, that is my perfect present.  Can't buy it in the store, can't order it off the internet, can't duplicate it, 'cause it's imprinted on my heart forever.