September 6th, 2013
My dearest Sarah,
You were born a week and a day ago, the happiest day of our lives. Your grandma Antonia, my mother who you are named for, died four days after your birth. It breaks my heart that you won’t get to know my mom, and that she won’t get to help raise you and watch you grow up the way we had dreamed of. She held you once, the morning after you were born. You can see in the photos from that moment how happy she was. I want to tell you about your grandma so that you know what an amazing and strong woman you are named for.
When I was small and mom and dad would go out – which wasn’t very often – mom would come and kiss me goodnight before leaving. She would smell like Chanel No. 5 and Glaxal Base hand cream, a smell I will always associate with her. She would put some extra kisses in a little cardboard box, my kiss box, in case I needed them later.
When I was older I remember putting on Paul Simon’s Graceland and dancing around while we cleaned the house. When I moved out for university, I would call home every day. Mom was always the person I wanted to call to talk about my problems, or even just to share the mundane little details of my day. She always used to have good advise when I wasn’t sure what to do – she would tell me “the wise woman would do “ this or that. She was my wise woman, and I don’t know how I’m going to manage without her.
Sarah, your grandma was so excited to meet you and celebrated every kick and flutter that she could feel when you were in my belly. She was the first person we called from the hospital after you were born and the first to know your name.
I will tell you stories of your grandma, about how she traveled to Mexico and how she learned to play the clarinet in a band and we would all go watch and wave at her concerts. And how she learned to drive the horse trailer and back it up even with people watching, just so she could take me to 4H. When we go hiking in the mountains, I will teach you her favorite flowers and about the time she almost ran into a bear. I hope that through these stories you will know how special your grandma was, even though you wont’ remember meeting her.
I was so lucky to have the best mom in the world. I don’t know what happens after someone dies. You will have to decide for yourself what you believe in when you are older. I only know that memories are precious because they are about something that we can’t get more of, and that your grandma will live on in our memories and stories, and in you, my little one.
I love you with all my heart, and hope that I can be as good of a mother as my mom was to me.