On October 26, a sweet cherub joined the family. She is our fifth grandbaby and third grandgirl. Her name is Anna Bea. She is an itty bitty girl, weighing in at 6 pounds 12 ounces and only 18.5 inches long, but healthy as can be. In fact, her mama said she was wailing even before they lifted her from the womb in surgery. (I’m sure that’s why her Apgar scores were so high!) By all accounts so far, she is an easy baby. If these early days are any indication, she is destined to sweetness.
Anna Beatrice was welcomed home by big brother Henry James, who is quite proud to call her sister. If I am holding her as they are getting ready to go out somewhere, he is quick to tell me, “Don’t keep her, GiGi.” He likes to hold her himself and is generally quite sweet with her. Of course, he is also two year old boy who doesn’t fully appreciate the potential impact of a digger or a dump truck, so we keep a close watch.
Anna Beatrice is named for my mom’s only and elder sister. My Aunt Bea is beloved by the entire family and a blessing to anyone who knows her. However, it wasn’t until she and my uncle moved to back to our area, early in their retirement and in my early 30s, that I truly got to know them. They lived with us for three months as they were purchasing a home and settling into the North Country, which says a lot about their fortitude. For nearly two decades thereafter, they lived just a few miles away. I am so thankful for that time we had with them.
It was a wonderful but chaotic season in our lives, raising three young children on a shoestring budget and some big dreams. On numerous occasions when I was strapped for childcare, trying to complete my education or establish my career, Aunt Bea stepped into the gap. I don’t know how I (we) would have done it without her and my uncle’s ready assistance.
The Hubs and I will never forget our first cruise, which originated in Aruba in 1992. We left our chids, ages 6, 7 and 9, behind with Aunt Bea and Uncle Chuck. It was no small task but the chids were in great hands as we enjoyed our first real vacation and celebrated our 10th anniversary. As a grandparent now, I have even greater appreciation for what we asked of them then. Typical for a young-ish parent, I didn’t think a whole lot about it at the time. I am amazed they were willing and so generous!
When Anna was born, Aunt Bea and Uncle Chuck were celebrating their birthdays together in Aruba. Talk about full circle! (We also celebrated earlier this fall in Florida.) It was pure joy to send good news of Anna’s arrival almost to the equator on my aunt’s 80th birthday. It blessed me immensely to announce the wee lass who bears my aunt’s name. Somehow, I just know Anna Bea will grown into the kind of woman who will make both her GiGi and her Great-Great-Aunt Bea proud. I can’t wait for them to meet!
~ René Morley