Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
And welcome SPRING! Your arrival has been waited for with bated breath. As has the birth of the newest member of my family! My favorite nephew (my sister’s son) and his wife had their sweet baby girl last Thursday night, at 11:58 PM. I was there at the hospital with my sisters and my brother-in-law until 2:15 AM. We could not leave until we got to meet our new family member and see her adoring parents after waiting so long.
So many happy memories flooded back to me while waiting for sweet Izzie to make her appearance. My 3 wonderful children were all born at this same hospital. I remember those 3 happiest days of my life as if they happened yesterday. My oldest was born in May of 1985, just as the season finale of Dallas was being shown on the TV in our labor room. The nurses kept me there until the show ended at 10 PM, telling me not to push, and as the show was ending, I heard a heart monitor flatline, and sat up questioning “Is that my baby?” To which the nurses replied, “No honey (southern for whatever your name is), that was Bobby Ewing. He just died and we are heading to delivery.” Back in the day you did not labor and deliver in the same room – heaven forbid! So we headed to the delivery room and my beautiful daughter was born 14 minutes later. Also back in the day, the technology was nothing like it is today and we had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl. Had names for both and a generic nursery of stenciled teddy bears. Also had the now forbidden bumper pads (made by my mom), blankets, and stuffed animals in the crib. And yet, miracle of miracles, all of my children survived!
Once they moved us out of delivery to yet another room, recovery, (before our final destination), they opened the big doors of the unit and there stood all of my sweet family, waiting to meet my daughter. Just the best, warmest, and most loving feeling!
“A baby is something you carry inside for 9 months, in your arms for 3 years, and in your heart until the day you die.” Mary Mason
Second child appeared mid-morning in November of 1987. My dear aunt, Mom’s sister, came to our house early that morning and took my oldest (2 ½ years old) to the sitter’s so we could make the 2 minute drive to the hospital. Credit to the wonderful nurses, I asked them after being in labor for about 2 hours, how much longer they thought it might be, and when they told me 30 minutes, I did the math on how many contractions I would have to endure and decided I could make another delivery without an epidural. Right on time, thirty minutes later, my younger daughter said “hello world, here I am!” And once again, when those big doors opened, there was my loving family.
“I believe in love at first sight…because I’m a mom.”
Not to be left out, and wanting to be unique, my adorable son arrived a week early, in the middle of the night – 4:13 AM, in June of 1991. With his birth, I gave in to an epidural and the anesthesiologist became my best friend for several hours. And as before, my faithful family was there, bleary-eyed, when they opened the big doors before the crack of dawn!
“There’s this boy who stole my heart. He calls me Mom (Momma).”
Jump to 2019, and the birth of my precious great-niece. My sisters, brother-in-law, and I had to check in with a policeman manning the desk before even entering the waiting room, showing our driver’s license and getting a printed nametag complete with our picture and personal information to wear while in the waiting room. Once the baby was born and my nephew texted pictures (thank heavens for smart phones today!), we waited for them to have their bonding time, and then were allowed up to the labor/birthing/delivery room (yes all in one room), but first had to register on that floor and get yet another bright yellow nametag. THEN we finally got to meet the newest member of our family, sweet Isabelle Love Craycroft. (Named after my grandmother Isabelle.) She is beautiful y’all and just as special as her big brother Jack.
“The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.”
Needless to say, we did not get back to my sister’s until about 2:30 AM. Friday morning, I wanted to see my Mom, and of course Baby Izzie again before heading home, so after a few hours of sleep, I got up and headed to Mom’s. Still finding myself in an emotional state of mind with the new baby in our family, I detoured into my old neighborhood where I loved living, before moving to Charlottesville. Drove ever so slowly by my old house like a stalker, noticing changes over the past 22 years. Gosh my family had so much fun in that house, so many good memories. My next door neighbors have since moved, as have several of my old neighborhood friends. If I was still living in that house, I could walk to see my Mom every day. I made a U-turn and slowly drove back, stopping this time right in front of my old house while waiting on a dog walker to get by. Wait! I know that dog walker! We were both so surprised to see each other! We’ve known each other since childhood – went to the same church all of our lives, and still do (never game up my membership). When we found ourselves in the same neighborhood back in 1992, she invited me to be a member of the “Walkers,” a fun group of moms who met at 8:30 each night after getting our kids to bed, and walked our neighborhood and talked and talked and talked. I treasured those walks and talks and missed those friends and times together when I moved to Charlottesville. It was wonderful catching up with this “old” friend. Just wish I had had more time.
“The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way.”
Time to head to Mom’s and tell her she is a great-grandmother once again. So thankful she knew who I was right away. We facetimed with my sister, the grandmother, so she could deliver the good news. Of course she is a GREAT grandmother, one of the best (instead of a great-grandmother) she says… but whose baby is it again? And did anyone tell her mother that the new baby is named after her? She’ll get a real kick out of that! We assured her that Grandma Isabelle knows…
Time for lunch and a visit with Jack at my sister’s – had special presents for him. Then headed to the hospital for a last snuggle with Izzie and give her the special lovey, before making the trip home. Hated to leave them all, but I needed to get home. Thing I love about all of my car rides? Time for prayers for and phone calls with family and friends, and a perfect time to think and reminisce about my life. And time to be so very thankful for where I find myself now.
I am now able to look back at all of my memories with an understanding of how good those times were, and yet, I am so thankful for all the memories I am making now. I know the memories I am making these days would never have happened if my life had not taken that drastic turn 3 years ago. I’ve always had a good relationship with my kids and my sisters, but now, those relationships are so much stronger. Same with my girlfriends. So becoming SOLO ended up being a blessing in disguise – and what a disguise it was at the time!
“Happy times come and go, but the memories stay forever.”
So take time to reminisce about your life – both the happy times and the sad times. These events have made us who we are and shaped our lives. And take time to make new, special memories with those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS Spring Equinox (today, March 20th) means equal hours of day and night… so mathematically speaking, that means 12 hours of daylight y’all! And the days will just get longer and longer!
3 thoughts on ““Reminiscing…” Little River Band 1978”
You are a very special person Leslie, you’re write so wonderfully on the memories of your life. You have a great family and like you your mother is still living and so is my dad 93 years young. I make memories with him my sisters and my brother in New Jersey and of course cousins. I to go solo. Thank you for sharing your memories classmate of 76.
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Love this post Leslie. And a big welcome to little Izzie! Jack will be a lovely big brother and certainly willing to teach her as she grows. Miss Betty looks great and hopefully we will see you soon.
Beautiful and life-affirming post. I’m also solo, soon to be 59 lol. But I’ve been at it for nearly 30 years now 🙂 I enjoy your blog