Thursday, August 8, 2013

In the margin

I waited patiently while everyone else had their chance to hold Brody. I smiled and laughed along with them, in a room filled with love for this new life and each other. I tried to block the words out of my mind and just be in the moment, but those words, thoughtless and cruel, kept popping up to stab my heart a little deeper. I took photos of this happy family, and tried to look ahead, to think of the future and what it holds for this healthy, beautiful baby, and for us. But there was a cloud in my mind and a voice in my head, saying words that hurt me to the core of my being, words that targeted me, that could only have targeted me.

Blood relatives first.

When we learned that a grand-baby was on the way, my excitement and joy overflowed. Never having held a baby of my own, I looked forward to the sweetness of this baby, our involvement in his life, watching him grow. Greg would be Grandpa, and I {step} Grandma. We waited those 2 awful nights for Brody to arrive while his young parents endured a long labor and delivery. We had the phone by the pillow, worrying and waiting.

Blood relatives first.

Can it be possible that anyone would think that because this baby is not of my 'blood' that he means any less to me than if he were? Am I regarded as such an outsider, so not-family that I must be last to hold this precious life?  Will I not love this boy beyond all reason as I would my own "blood" grandson? Those words, hopefully not meant to hurt me, did so, regardless. Hurt me deeply. And so, after everyone else had their chance, I held Brody in my arms. Tears rolled and dropped to his blanket, tears of joy but more of sadness. Because I realized that as much as I want to be, I will never be anyone's Grandma, not really. I will always be left on the margins, disregarded and dismissed.

How could a day that started so happy end with such sadness, sorrow that has lingered, that I can not shake? I will cook meals for Eric and Jen and send them along with Greg when he goes while I am working. I will do my best to try to let this slight roll off, and be who I am, blood or no, a loving presence in this baby's life. I will love Brody for who he is, with all of my heart and soul, no less than his 'blood' relatives.

But it seems my place has been set, and it is not at the family table.