To My Unborn Grandchild,
Yesterday, I saw my very first picture of you! December 8, 2012. It was a cool and cloudy day as we walked through the crowded parking lot toward the big lights behind the West Gate at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. We were heading into the 113th Army-Navy game when your Mommy stopped to show me a picture on her phone. It was a picture of you inside her tummy. My heart immediately overflowed and I felt like the sun had come out and flooded us in warmth. I smiled and I cried.
Love always makes me smile.
I already love you more than I can even express in words. I don’t believe they have even made the words yet to tell you how much I love you. I don’t know your name. I don’t know your birthday. I don’t even know if you are a boy or a girl. But I do know I love you more every time I think about you. And I am not alone. You are already a part of a whole family who loves you. I am sure Grandma Leigh, Grandma Peg, and Grandpa Bill love you as much as I do; and Aunt Caity, who dubbed you ‘Baby McB’, loves you. And your Aunt Nicole and Uncle Mike love you as well. We are ready to welcome you into the world; we have already welcomed you into our family.
Love always makes us all smile.
I remember the day your Daddy was born. March 22, 1985. I cut the umbilical cord, and held him right after he was born. I smiled and I cried on that day too. He didn’t come with instructions for me, and I didn’t come with instructions for him. All we had to go on was love. I learned from Grandma Leigh that love is all we need; and it is love, we always need.
I remember the day I first met your Mommy. December 21, 2010. Talk about LOVE! It was amazing for me to see how much love your Mommy and Daddy have for each other. I told some friends I thought your Daddy was “smitten”; a couple of days later your Mommy bought a book titled “Smitten”. It is a story about a single sock that meets a single mitten, and how they became best friends. I hope I get to read that book with you!
I can’t tell you much about my own Grandfathers; I never got to know them. This is why I write my stories; I write them for you. I write them for you, and any siblings or cousins you may have. I want to give you the chance to know about my life through my eyes and my heart. If you want to know, I want you to know I can be silly, and sad, and confused. I want you to know why my favorite colors are Navy Blue and Gold, and I that I tear up when I sing The Star Spangled Banner. I want you to know about the cardinal and the rainbow and Kanji symbols on my arms. I want you to see the Gaelic word for ‘Grandpa’ I got above my ankle when I learned you would be joining us; and I want to hear how you say it! I want you to know about my friends. Here is a picture that was taken at yesterday’s game a few minutes before your Mommy showed me the picture of you.
I met Noreen Leahy and Paul Mucciarone on July 6, 1977. It was our first day of Plebe Summer at the Naval Academy, and we have been friends for over 35 years. They were at Grandma Leigh’s and my wedding, and came to my surprise 50th Birthday Party. I hope you get to meet them and see why they are so special to me. They are only two of so many friends that have blessed my life. Perhaps most importantly, in every story you read, I hope you find some nugget of gratitude I have for a very, very blessed life. You are already one of those nuggets.
Love always makes me grateful.
Why am I so excited about you joining our family? I am excited because of everything I am going to learn from you. I am excited to see where your little feet will take you. I am excited to see how your handprints will change the world. I am excited to see this amazing world through your eyes. And what you hear when the birds are singing, and what you feel when raindrops fall on your skin and the sea breeze brushes your face. I hope to hear you giggle, or laugh out loud like your Daddy. I want to hear how love can make a cloudy, cool day into a warm ray of sunshine. You will teach me more about me, and more about love, than I can even imagine right now. I know that. I am so excited to be on this journey with you. I am pretty sure your whole family is excited.
Love always teaches.
Even though you haven’t been born yet, your hand prints are all over my heart. Each day I find myself thinking about you, and I smile. And, yes, sometimes I get teary-eyed with joy. I can’t wait to meet you!
Love always, Daideo
P.S. Navy won 17-13!