Today, you are officially 8 months old, and I find myself wondering where on earth those 8 months went! Wasn't it just last week that we brought home a squeaky, floppy newborn? We had no idea what was in store for us. You are right on the verge of so many milestones. Your first tooth seems to be very close to making an appearance, and you seem to be about to start crawling at any moment. You are getting better at using your hands every day, and keep growing stronger and stronger all around.
We had a bit of sad news today. Your Great-Grandma Lillian (Daddy's Daddy's Mom) passed away this morning. Neither you nor I had the pleasure of meeting her, but I was honored to get a phone call from her on Mother's day and tell her all about you, her first great-grandchild. She was elated to know that you were in the world, and hoped to meet you.
I have a mixed up ball of emotions in reaction to her passing. I'm saddened by the loss to our family, and regret that we didn't make a trip to visit her so that she could meet you. We didn't realize what a short window of opportunity we had. While I didn't get to meet her in person, I am, and will forever be connected to her, through you. You exist, in part because she existed. I have no doubt that as you grow, your family will recognize characteristics in you that came from her. You are a continuation of the family she began with your Great Grandpa Herman, a link in a family chain that shall live on, unbroken.
One day, I will be faced with the responsibility of helping you to understand the concept of death, of loved ones moving on from this life. Today is not that day, but it will come. I only hope that I will have the grace and presence of mind to do so in a way that leaves you all at once thoughtful, nostalgic, and optimistic about the circle of life, and the interconnectedness of us all. I'm hugging you a bit tighter today, dear one, as I look deep within you for pieces of your father's beloved grandmother, a woman who will live on through you.