Monday, May 10, 2010

More than what I was looking for

When I married Patric almost 12 years ago, I didn't just marry him, I married his family. A family who had no kids around, had only boys, and was living in the past (his state high school championship in '85 was relived in every conversation.). This was completely opposite of my family--ok, except for the high school glory days part. I only had sisters and my 2 youngest sisters were still in school and my older sister already had a baby. So we were breaking molds left and right in his family almost as soon as the ring was on my finger.

My mother-in-law, having reared two boys, and both of them having waited to start their own families, was very protective of her baby. I often felt like I was not good enough for their son, but this was mostly my insecurities (I promise!). I was extremely smitten with Patric and blissfully in love, but terribly insecure so I did not deal well with his family conversations which included the names of ex-girlfriends.

This all changed when we had little Emma Jeanne. Our firstborn, who took both her grandmothers' names and won everyone's hearts. Patric's mom had waited painfully long for a grandchild and to have a little girl in the family was icing on the cake. She hopped on a plane and visited us (not easy for someone scared of heights) just a couple weeks after Emma was born and spent several days with us. It was my first time spending real quality time with my mother-in-law and it changed our relationship forever. Shortly after returning home, she wrote us letters which I still have and cherish to this day. I was looking for these letters recently because Emma turned 10 and I intended to commemorate our mother/daughter-in-law relationship by sharing the words she had written to me so many years before.

I found the letters today and never expected to find what I did. The letter literally took my breath away when I read it this time. I had read it several times over the years, but this time it meant something different. I showed Patric and neither of us remembered the names we had chosen for the baby in the boy/girl scenario. I just remembered she was either Emma or Madison and it was really a toss up. I had completely forgotten about the boys' names.

It brought tears to my eyes to read this. Sobs, actually. But it made me feel so incredibly warm inside, too. That Emma could have been our little Chase and how much joy she has brought us....and then how much joy Chase has brought us. My MIL also wrote a letter to Emma at that time and in this letter, my MIL tells Emma:
"You do know, however, at this early age, the "feeling" of love as you are touched and talked to by people who love you more than anything else in this world! You've brought so much happiness already just by coming into this big ole' world!"
This warmed my heart, too. Because I knew that Chase, too, could feel just how much we loved him when he was born. Babies really do just know. He knew so much love while we were in the all of us...near and far.

It is amazing, this life of ours. How things change, but really stay the same. I can look at not only Reese and see this little baby boy of ours, but now I can look at Emma, and think so many of the same things. And what is funny is that we really thought just as Karly & Reese look so much alike, that Emma & Chase were bound to as well. You are with us, little man, in so many different shapes and sizes. You are all around us. All the time.


  1. I agree with Mary... Definitely goosebumps. That is such a sweet letter! Chase is absolutely with you and is so loved. xx

  2. Yea Goosebumps, for sure. Love it.

  3. I second the goosebumps. Such a beautiful post.

  4. Such a lovely letter! I'm glad she wrote it and that you have it to always read.