Today is a very special day. My twin grandbabies, Max and Isaac celebrated their first birthday yesterday and today we are having a luau party with all the trimmings! I can hardly believe it’s been a year since their birth…
In the fall of 2011 my daughter, Samantha, was working for my cleaning company as Operations Manager. She had held several positions since starting the company with me in 2002 but this latest position was in hopes of me retiring and she and her husband, Tracy, taking over the company. Several conversations, much praying and many months of consideration had brought us all to the same choice of direction. I was excited to think God had blessed my company financially and I could leave that “legacy” to someone who had the same vision in many ways that I did and would carry on a family business with respect and integrity. Lorelai had started preschool, which we had not originally wanted to do, but she seemed to be enjoying it and adjusting very well. The original plan was for Samantha to stay home with her and home school as I had done with her, but the talk about taking over the family business had trumped that by the end of summer .
Then one day, Samantha came to work and knowing my daughter, I could see something was on her mind. We worked through the morning hours, and then I went into her office across the hall. “You seem to have something on your mind…wanna talk about it?” My daughter with a hesitant grin said “Wellll…I think I may be pregnant.” For a moment, my excitement overcame reality of what this meant to my future and theirs. I was going to be a GiGi again, and was overwhelmed with gratefulness. My kids had experienced a miscarriage earlier in the spring, before the business talks had even started, so this was an answer to prayer in so many ways. As Samantha talked on, I had a feeling begin to creep over me that I couldn’t quite put a name to. I was excited, but at the same time so disappointed and kind of like the wind had been knocked out of me. My company had just weathered the storm of a tremendous turnover of both customers and staffing and this move to retire and let my kids take over was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the turmoil’s aftermath. In the blink of an eye, on the heels of a few words, my whole future was changing in almost every area.
My daughter went to the doctor soon after and I accompanied her. Medicine is so advanced these days. When I went to find out whether I was carrying a baby over 30 years ago, it was just becoming vogue to know the gender. Nowadays you can find out a lot sooner, you have an ultrasound immediately, and you know so much more than whether you are pregnant or not. That day is vivid in my memory…
We sat and waited on the ultrasound tech to come in. A perky little girl entered the room and quickly she scooted the wand around Samantha’s tummy for several minutes as my daughter and I watched the screen. I was looking at it and saying to myself “Something doesn’t look right here.” Samantha never indicated she saw anything out of the ordinary, but I was seeing two big black spots. Now it had been a while since we had viewed Lorelai’s ultrasound like this but I didn’t remember hers looking this way. The tech said “Well, are you ready for an answer?” This whipped my attention back to the reason we were there and that was to find out if I was indeed going to be a grandmother again! Samantha nodded and we watched as the tech circled the black hole to the left and said “ This… is Baby A”, and circling the hole to the right she remarked “ And this…is Baby B”. Sam laughed a little, looked at me and back to the tech and said, pretty calmly I thought, “Really?” The tech nodded then said she’d be right back, she needed to get more supplies for the second ultrasound. When the door closed, Samantha and I both jerked our heads around to look at each other with big “O” shaped mouths. I cannot describe the giddiness and goofy giggling that went on between us for several minutes before the tech returned. Suddenly, my retirement, selling the company to my kids, the questions of when would I lose my operations manager and what was I going to do now seemed to fade into the background. Nothing mattered but the reality that I was going to be a grandmother again, Lorelai was going to be a big sister, Samantha and Tracy were going to be parents again, and God had blessed us with not one, but two babies to soothe the heartbreak and loss we had all experienced in the spring.
And now we are almost two years from that moment and I cannot imagine my life any differently than it is today. The babies are growing up well and strong and happy. Lorelai stayed in preschool through the birth last May and finished out her pre-K year but is now home and working the original plan of homeschooling. She is the ultimate Big Sister teaching the babies all the important things like how to pirouette, the proper way to wear a tiara and wings, and making them grin when she dances through their scattered toys all over the living room. Tracy has a great job that is allowing Samantha to stay home which is a blessing because child care would be so high for three children, especially since two are babies.
And me, well…I am doing pretty alright myself. I pushed through some hardships personally and professionally and am working in an estate business I not only make a living from, as was the case with the cleaning company, but I am also exploring new things and living a passion, something few people do in their lifetime.
More every day I realize that I often choose the Thing One in my life. I pick the easy thing, the thing causing the least issues, the thing that makes me money for the house note, or lets me buy shoes for the feet and food for the table. Because all the basics are pretty much taken care of, I never even think about pursuing the Thing Two in my life. I don’t think I am very different than most folks out there either. Most of the time we don’t even know Thing Two exists until Thing One starts to look a little shaky or not quite right. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Life Path Ultrasound? You could lie on a table, swirl a wand around and around and then the read out would show you the possibilities in your future…the Thing One and Thing Two. How many of us would choose a different thing if we only knew there was one?
I can say only in my own circumstances, I am fortunate enough to know there is more than one “thing” I can or should do. I can keep or sell my cleaning company, I can pursue the estate business full time, I can open a store or not, sell online or just hold estate sales for others. I have journalism and coaching experience so I can use one or the other or BOTH to forge my future. I can work for the dollar, or I can pursue my passions and make money doing it. I have choices, I can go left or right, up or down, stand still or start running with an idea…it is all up to me when and how. I don’t look at the ultrasound picture as just two black holes of uncertainty. I know both those holes hold LIFE, it’s just a matter of which I want…or better yet…maybe I will choose Thing One and Thing Two. I love my life, I love that I have choices…and I can tell you, through all of the past troubles and bumps in the road I’ve decided for sure at this stage of my journey, I don’t wanna miss a Thing.