I had the great pleasure of playing Grandma this weekend to Vera Snead, while she and Michelle stayed with us. With Michelle's foot in a cast and her hands needed to manage the crutches, I had plenty of opportunities to hold, feed, change, and play with Vera. And what a sweet, fun little girl she is! She didn't seem to have any reluctance to go to any of us and just snuggled right in. She laughed and smiled, played and talked up a storm. Her favorite word "puppy" was heard lots as she watched the Balbuena's two Maltese "puppies" on the porch. She also liked watching Max, the parrot, and Madison, the cat, though I must say that Madison is not very fond of babies....too unpredictable for him! Coty, who loves babies, got in lots of Vera time, holding her whenever he had the chance. He's going to be a great grandpa! The boys, of course, loved Vera too, and were willing stand-in uncles for the weekend, eliciting plenty of smiles from Vera as they played peek-a-boo and "Where's Vera?"
Sunday night our living room floor was strewn with clothes, packaged food items, baby toys, contact solution, and other items that Michelle was packing for her return to East Asia. She managed to squeeze almost everything into the three pieces of luggage and at the airport, they only weighed in a pound or two heavy. Amazing!
Coty and I got gate passes to accompany Michelle through the airport and got to meet her younger brother, Stephen, whose layover on his way back to New Orleans, coordinated with Michelle's departure. Vera certainly has an adoring uncle.
The gate attendant allowed me to carry Vera onto the plane for Michelle - another sweet pleasure. When Coty and I left the gate, returned to the car and headed home, my eyes welled up with tears. I was missing them already! I was also feeling the weight of the privilege of knowing Matt, Michelle and Vera and having a small part in holding the ropes for them here at home. Having Michelle and Vera stay with us this weekend reminded me once again of the preciousness of our dear ones who have left home and family for the sake of the Name. Part of my heart goes with them to their faraway home.
I was also feeling for Vera's biological grandparents, three of whom I got to see this weekend. If I feel so emotional at Michelle and Vera's leaving, how much more must they feel. And then I thought about how I will feel someday, if the Lord wills and in His timing, when I perhaps, put one of my own grandchildren on a plane for a faraway place. Given our world traveling children already, I anticipate that happening someday. Oh Coty, you'll have to have a big box of tissues ready!