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Monday, May 16, 2011

A Open Letter I wrote for Laura's Graduation

What changes your life ?

Deanna and I were in our mid thirties when the glorious news came that Beth, Philip’s wife was going to have a baby. Becoming Grand Parents in your thirties is hard to wrap your mind around. Being that my Grand Parents were late in life when I was born, I thought all Grand Parents were grayed, very wise about all things and above all, had a Grand Mother’s house. It was also a must that a Grand Mother wear an apron, the mention of that to Deanna did not go well.The last must have, all Grand Kids have a Grand Mother’s house. It has to be on a farm or a least look
“ Country “, wooden framed, with a barn to explore and such. When I spotted the home in Loudon while Deanna was in Chattanooga that day, it was a “Grand Mother’s House”. I signed the paper that day and bought it while she was gone.

Don’t misunderstand, we were thrilled. Deanna went into a “nesting” mode. She decorated a room for the new baby at our home. The rest of the house was transforming, with a Teddy Bear here, another childlike decor item there, until the whole house was just so for the arrival of this wonderful new gift God had chosen to bring into our lives. Then she started on Philip and Beth’s home. There had to be wallpaper borders, the crib in a certain position, plenty of the best Battenburg linens you could find. I could walk thru the house and move a pillow a half an inch and her watchful eye would know it.

September 28 finally arrived. We rushed to Chattanooga from Loudon, breaking I am sure several Speed Limits on the way, we simply could not be late. We waited and waited, and did I mention waited. Finally, Laura was born. I remember when we were allowed into the room after the birth, Deanna holding Laura for the first time. It is impossible for me to put into words what I saw then. Deanna was cradling the baby in her arms and she simply glowed. People that know us both rarely find us speechless, but this was it. I will never forget the look of absolute joy on Deanna’s face. A baby so perfect, created by the almighty, was nestled in her arms. When it came my time to hold her, I did not know about babies. In my mind they they were like a piece of fine china. I was a wreck, was I supporting her neck right, enough pressure on the bottom, is she upright so she can breathe, what am I going to do wrong that will injure this perfect child ? But, I did not break her and looked deep into her eyes knowing something that I had read was now true. An author, whose name I cannot recall once wrote,” When you meet your Grand Child at birth look deep into their eyes. You have just met the person who will be holding your hand and looking into your eyes with immeasurable Love when it is time for you to pass on.”

The years have passed and the Birthdays, Christmas Celebrations, and other family events have come and gone. We have witnessed Laura grow from a baby thru the adolescent years, the freckles, and seeming to grow and inch every time we looked at her. The years have passed too quickly. We have pictures scattered thru the house of Laura growing up but they are simply moments frozen in time. Our minds have to fill in the blanks. One of my cherished memories is that when we lived in Loudon, we were probably 100 yards from a Norfolk Southern main railway line that had been used since the Civil War. We had the Grandmother’s House required Porch Swing and Laura and I would spend countless hours watching the trains go by. She was small enough that “safety first” me would always keep a hand on her stomach, fearing she would fall out. Every, and I mean every train that came by received Laura’s greeting. “High Train” when it appeared and “Bye Train’ as the last car went by. When it was time to go in, way after dark, she did not want to go, still waiting for the next train to appear.

Laura gave us both a precious gift when she was very young that has endured the years and will last forever. Soon after learning to say her first words, Deanna became “Nana” and I was named “Papa” The names have endured over the years and were passed down to each Grand Child. We Thank Laura for this and will always cherish it. Every time I am called Papa, I think of Laura giving me such a wonderful name. Deanna and I wear these Badges of Honor proudly and will keep them forever, regardless how old the Grand Kids are, there will always be a Nana and Papa’s house to come home to.

Fast forward thru the years. While excelling in Formal education, Laura was studying with a purpose. She has been called by God to work as an Missionary. She has already traveled the world to countries that her Nana and Papa can only imagine. She has spread the Good News about Jesus Christ everywhere she has been. She has been a strong Christian Force in our lives and guided us toward the knowledge that we must find the Church we had been searching for. We both now go to Sawyer’s Missionary Baptist Church and we know it was God Almighty working thru Laura that opened our eyes that the Power of Prayer is multiplied 100 fold when praying and worshiping with our Church members. Thank You Laura, Papa finally listened.

I have a video that was taken in Columbia, South Carolina.Mark was graduating from Basic Training in the Army and we drove down to see him graduate. Laura was still a toddler, maybe 3. I had the video camera out, filming everybody getting ready. Laura was all dollied up by Nana, with a beautiful Bow in her hair. She was laying across the bed on her stomach, still sleepy after all the work she had been thru. I was filming and she slowly raised her head, looked straight into the camera and simply said with a smile, “ I am sleepy Papa “ and her head went straight down back into the pillow. To this day, I still see this sleepy headed Doll-Baby.

The years have passed and now we celebrate the Graduation of Laura from Tennessee Temple University. The toddler fishing for moles, taking kittens out of the Garage as fast as we could put them back is all grown up.

We will not lose our cherished memories, any of them. We proudly face the future, a New Chapter in Laura’s life. What memories and moments wait us there, only God knows. I know with God directing her life, she will be wonderful. The future is a mystery yet to be unfolded and your Nana and Papa will be with you all the way thru this great journey.


May 15, 2011


Nonni48 said...

What a beautiful tribute,to you and your lovely family.It would be a pleasure to see how your family flourishes,but your other blogs are so political.,I'm afraid I won't be able to follow on.You see,I also have MS,late onset, am married to a great guy(retired military,(,Viet Nam Vet)who also has an extreme case of Rheumatoid Arthritis,and type 2 diabetes9Agent Orange)
have 2 sons,Wonderful young men in their late 30's(both with type 1 diabetes),the oldest born with no fingers on his left hand,(Agent Orange,thank you)I also have 2 glorious grandsons,and like you,a couple of humans trapped in dog bodies. I am so very blessed !I thank God daily.We're white ,Southern Floida and Georgia Crackers.We believe in carrying our guns,protecting our own and helping those who aren't ours,but do need our help.As you see, my family and I are not much different than you, except we differ in in our political parties.I hope for the day when we all can connect and support each other through the positive instead of all the hate and negative.I wish you and all your loved ones well.

Mitch Thurmer said...

Nonni, I am sorry that my rants can be a little extreme. I used to not be this way, In face before I got sick, I really did not give a hoot about politics and such. It was all about me and where I was going, up the Corp Ladder Fast.

Now, after all these years it is like the Bible Passage, At first I lokked thru a glss darkly, but now all is clear.

I support your situation, just like ours. Also, I appreciate your courtesy, despite our Politcl differences. We are all in this mess together..I Pray it works out for ALL of Us..

With Best Prayers andRegards, Mitch.

Please follow if you can, I am going to write more and will try my best to be ob good behavior. If you go way back in the posts and explore my history, it will helpe explain my Brain Workings...Ha