Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Reflections from Mimi

on December 15, 2014

My mom is the kind of person who knows the life stories of many strangers.  Though I cannot tell you what it is about her that make her this way, when she talks to you, you just want to tell her everything on your heart.  She has a kind face and a gentle smile.  She is an excellent listener.

Later in her life, she studied social work and was trained to work in hospice care with the terminally ill.  In a crisis, she is the one you want to help you process through your feelings.  She’ll “social-work” the heck outta ya and you won’t even know what hit you.

By chance, she was the first person in the room after Tessa was born and for that, I am eternally grateful.  This is her side of the story.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The secret joy of Tessa hugs.  Those crunches that end with her cuddled into the crook of your neck that are extra special at 5:30 a.m.

The wonders of milestones met.  They don’t happen in the blink of an eye or suddenly.  We get to watch each painstaking step toward achievement.  Milestones that Tessa meets at her very own speed.

The strength of two dedicated, strong parents.  John and Maggie are two individuals, working as a team and meeting the needs of not one, but two special girls.

I have learned so much since Tessa was born.

mom 4

I have told everyone, any chance I get, that being a Grandparent is the BEST gig in the world.  When Ellie (our first grandchild) was born, I thought I’d met the most wonderful baby… ever!  When grandchild #2 came along, I secretly feared I wouldn’t love that child as much as Ellie.  Boy, was I wrong.  Tessa is #4.  And with her birth came an opportunity to learn a whole new meaning of love.

The moment I received the news that Maggie was in labor and headed to the hospital my heart was filled with excitement. As was pre-arranged, I would be available to meet her needs first by caring for Ellie, and then also to be moral support as John tends to get a little bored by labor.  So, when I got the text asking for re-enforcement and lunch (for John),  I settled Miss Ellie with her Papa and headed to the hospital.

mom 6

When I arrived, I phoned the nurses’ station to be allowed on to the floor.  My request was met with obvious hesitation.  I wondered what that was about.  I said, “She asked me to come.”  They let me in and told me which door to go to.  Then there were the huddled whispers that I didn’t understand… until I walked in the room and saw John holding the baby!  Oh, I thought, the baby is here! That was the reason for the looks.


Maggie (or John, I’m not absolutely sure) said, “The baby has Down Syndrome.”  Just like that, I knew our lives would be forever different.  I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with this young couple as they began to sort through their thoughts and feelings.  I did a lot of listening that day.  I listened as Maggie spoke of a fear of people “feeling sorry” for them.  I listened as John spoke of fears for the unknown future.  We talked about the shock of the news, which could have been broken with a little more finesse.  We talked about those fears and worries. We also talked about unexpected joy and strength that is granted just when it is needed.

mom 5

One truth in life is that NONE of us  has a guarantee to live the way we expect.  No parent can ever be sure that their child will grow up to be who or what that parent thinks they will or should be.  We do the best we can with what we have in front of us today.  We take each day by faith.  And we PRAY!!  We put our trust in Him that knows all.  And finally, we LOVE with all our hearts.

And, oh yes, I forgot to tell you the BEST part of that day.  It was the time I was able to spend holding my newest grandchild, Little Miss Tessa, with whom I fell in love at that very first touch.

mom 2

One year is almost upon us.  I continue to be thankful for the gift of Tessa in our lives.  She is AMAZING!  She is a sweet and funny girl!  I even see a bit of her Mommy’s sassy side from time to time.  John and Maggie have proven to be the perfect parents for this little girl.  That is what you said, Maggie, isn’t it?  “God gave this little girl to us.  Who are we to question??”  Ellie is clearly proud to be Tessa’s sister, as she tells any stranger.  I am excited to see what is in store for our sweet girl.  Happy Birthday Theresa Lynn Lay!

mom 1


6 responses to “Reflections from Mimi

  1. Oneinamillion says:

    Lovely. This made me tear up a bit. My mum was with me for Eva’s birth too and I so appreciated her support in those first few rocky hours.
    I love what you said about no parents being able to know who their child is going to be, and that none of us have a guarantee that we will live the way we expect. That’s been one of my biggest takeaways for sure.

  2. jenna says:

    Your mom writes beautifully, and this made me cry. What a blessing to have such a wonderful lady in your family!

  3. Michelle Richards says:

    This is beautiful and all of the things you say about your mom are true! Love that special princess and remember they are only little for a short time!

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