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A new life..

A picture appears on my phone.

A newborn child; a few weeks early, but perfect just the same. A human being entering this world for the very first time.

We know not who he will become; what he will do or accomplish.

We know not the people he will touch, be inspired by or dislike.

We know not the books he will treasure nor the sports he will play.

But what we know for sure is that he belongs; that he is loved deeply.

Another picture appears on my phone; a young, wise woman I love, loving her son.

She knows nothing about how this life with him will unfold; who she will become as she watches him becoming.

She is open and tender as she holds this perfect creature.

He is open and needy, allowing her love and nurturing with ease.

There is nothing new about this picture; mother and child, beginning life entwined.

What is new is this particular child; this bundle of possibility, citizen of a world gone mad but who, in the moment, brings needed joy to our family.

We know not what the world will look like when he grows up; whether war will be raging, or whether there will be peace.

But what we know for sure is that this beautiful young woman, my niece, has been transformed and will have more depth in her life than she did a day ago. She will cry more, feel more, worry more, laugh more, appreciate more and hope more than she can even imagine.

A new picture arrives on my phone; a woman I have known since I was brought home from the hospital and presented to her as “her baby”.

The picture is of my sister, reborn as a grandmother to a little boy, with whom she will grow, learn and be awed by, whose heart will expand exponentially as she experiences life anew, through his eyes.

There is a glow about her, a relaxed state I’ve rarely seen, a calm, purposeful look on her face as she meets him for the first time; a new beginning; new possibilities; new life.

We know not how funny or serious he will be; whether he will love music or the great outdoors; or who he will love.

But we know that my sister and her daughter are in new territory; a newfound understanding born in an instant between mother and daughter; shared knowing of what it means to be a mother; unknowable until this moment in time; never to be unknown now.

What we know is that joy is spreading in our family unit, hit so hard, so unjustly by disaster and loss and that there are now glimmers of what will become new configurations in our tribe.

A beautiful light in what has been dark; the circle of life alive and well.

A new picture appears. Not on my phone, but in my mind, of my handsome parents sitting side by side, one of them holding their great grandson, kvelling, the room radiant with transcendent love; I can almost feel their presence. And then in walks my brother, for whom this baby is named, and he cracks a joke, makes a slightly sarcastic remark, pretending to be cool when truly he too would have been overjoyed to welcome the first of the next generation.

Another imagined picture appears; now of all of us, still here, and those who are gone, arms around one another, smiling knowingly into the camera, holding the secrets of family love which will outlast us all.

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