As I sat on the edge of the bed talking to her she said, “You could raise those kids by yourself.”
“No way,” I said, “And besides, it’s not going to happen.”
Neither of us said another word about it. Not that day or ever again.
I couldn’t accept the possibility that she would die and I would raise the children alone and she needed to reassure herself with the probability that when she died I could raise the children alone.
Today is what I would consider one of the happiest days of my life. A momentous occasion happened today.
We all have those special days in life, those happiest of days in life that are defined by a memorable, momentous occasion such as when you graduate from high school or college, you get engaged, you get married, you get that dream job, a child is born, a child is adopted…
That’s today. My adoption of Kaleb and Kenzie was finalized. We officially became a family today.
So, why am I telling you this sad story on this happiest of days of my life? Well, there’s actually two reasons.
First, today is the fulfillment, the culmination of a project she started. She accepted the assignment for us when I was hesitant, when I said we couldn’t do it. She never questioned, she just assumed responsibility for the children and I just followed along. I believed it was the right thing because she knew it was!
And the second reason is the memory of that conversation about my ability to raise the kids alone, those doleful but somehow prescient words that passed between us on that particular day, have had a lasting effect on me. I recall that conversation frequently.
You see, she who knew me best because she knew me at my worst, believed that I could raise these kids alone. And, if she believed it knowing what she knew about me, then I could certainly do it!
Sure, today is bittersweet. There’s some sense of incompleteness, promises unfulfilled, goals never achieved. But, it’s what she would have wanted. And, it’s definitely what I want for the children.
So, it’s altogether a happy day, the happiest of days, maybe even the happiest day of my life or at least the rest of my life. My family was born again today.
I’m still a granddad, but now I’m a dad…again.
So, if you see tears well up in my eyes when I tell you about this day; if my voice seems to crack as I recount this occasion; don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not overcome with grief or sorrow.
It’s pure joy that is overwhelming me! It’s awe that God would allow me to have these two beautiful children who are so full of life make my life so full!
Ok, it’s beautiful, but I didn’t expect to cry with you when I read this!!! Wow! I miss my Buddy! Ok. Breath deep! :). I am SO glad we were able to be there!! The best part was when Kaleb looked up with his famous grin and said, “now my name is STEVEN KALEB MILLS!”
I am so happy for you! I am also very very impressed! I have a long story about gaining grandkids too. I will tell you sometime. 🙂
I would love to hear your story sometime, Melissa…
I appreciate you and Chris coming to our “birth” even though it was in a courtroom rather than a hospital room, it meant and lot to me and the kids…love you guys!!
We HAD to! You’re our ‘son’ and those are our ‘grands’! Love ya, and SO happy for you ALL!
Pingback: A Boy Named Sue | Poppy's New Adventure