Grandmother Love

by Rod Smith


Babies bring cataclysmic shifts to families. 

Hours after my son Thulani was born I knew I would choose a grandmother for him.

I called my friend Judy from the hospital very early in the morning of the baby’s first full day and informed her I had chosen to adopt a baby and that I would like her to be his grandmother.

Judy was an outspoken member of the church and whom I had gotten to know well through the death of her beloved husband. She would freely recount how I had deeply angered her when I asked her if she was ready to bid her beloved Dick goodbye as he approached death. 

Within days we buried him.

My “insensitive” question at the hospital was what she said she really needed to hear. Judy would usually then proceed to brag that she was the only “no vote” when the congregation made the decision to “import” me from South Africa.

“There’s no one here in the USA? We have to bring an African, really?”

Soon after my early morning call Judy marched into the hospital ward, sat, motioned for the baby, held him, embraced and welcomed him. 

“I’ll be Nana Judy,” she said, then shifted into action. Hand outstretched for my house keys she asked which bedroom would become the nursery.

Within hours it was.

Nana, propelled by an eight pound baby, could make things happen.

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