Search results for 'nanny'

My Nanny

18 May

I have written on this site, since it’s inception, about my Nanny.

My Nanny was my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was incredibly special to me, and I lost her when I was 13 years old after a furious 6 month battle with cancer.

She is why I have a thing for feathers and lucky pennies.

She taught me about art.

We used to go to museums and at the very end of our visit she would have me pick out the postcard of my very favorite piece of the day.

We used to sit on the big rocks by the pond by her house, next to waving cattails and resting geese, and would sketch our feelings with charcoal.

I would sleep over at her house and she would bring me breakfast in bed with her finest china plates and bowls and crystal glasses for my fresh squeezed juice.

My Nanny taught me about scones and Almondina cookies and Ikura sushi and champagne grapes.

She taught me about The Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods.

I struggled a lot with my Nanny’s death. She was so young. We had so much more to see, and hear and taste and do and sketch together.

But what I struggle with the most is that she did not live to see me as an adult.

I think about how much she would love my husband; how she would appreciate his gentle way, his artistic abilities, his passion for food and his tenderness. She would have made him her fried chicken and mashed potatoes and would have smiled so contently as he licked his plate clean.

That makes me sad.

I wish my Nanny could see me as a grown woman. As a wife, as a mother. I wish she could see how I pack lunch for my husband and daughter every day, just like she did. How I cook dinner every night. How I eat biscotti and sing lullabies and teach.

But that sadness does not compare to how I feel about how she missed meeting my children.

She would love my children.

And not just because they would be her great-grandchildren, but she would love them for who they are.

My daughter: She would love my girl for her spirit, her feisty personality; how she is so gifted in the arts, both fine and performing; how she enamors strangers with her cuteness and spunk; She would laugh at how, like me, she never stops talking.

My son: She would love my boy for his sweetness; for his reddish hair; for his rolls of pudge and warm, coy smile and the twinkle in his eye; she would love how he eats with great gusto and would love cooking for him.

I do believe in angels. I believe that our loved ones, while maybe not watching every moment of our lives like a movie being projected in a theater, are around us, and weave in and out of our lives and consciousness throughout the years and the milestones and the moments.

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old.

If she were here, we would celebrate her with a cake from the Ultimate Bake Shoppe. We would put on music and I would tell my daughter to say, “Just a little bit of dah-ncing” in my Nanny’s way. We would give her handmade cards and maybe a pretty handkerchief or picture frame with photos of the kids.

We would snuggle up to her softness. We would say, “I love you.”

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old and I miss her very much.

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

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“I am thankful for magical days.”

27 Nov

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

In my life, it has also been marked with special moments and memories.

I remember Thanksgivings as a child, of course; helping to stir the mashed potatoes and the little mouse characters that my Nanny would set out on the table each year.

And then, as I got older, it was coming home from college to be with my family.

I remember being 21 and sharing my first Thanksgiving with my husband (who was then my boyfriend) as we both silently acknowledged this thing–this thing that meant that we were already on the road to being each others’ family.

Thanksgiving when I was 24, my husband called me into the other room at my Aunt’s house and said, “I want to have a baby.”

I will never forget that moment. I type the words with tears in my eyes.

The very next Thanksgiving day we were lazy, staying in bed to watch the parades on TV and my husband felt my growing baby, inside my belly, kick for the very first time. I was 19 weeks pregnant with our daughter.

And as we grew and grew, Thanksgiving became a tradition that we shared with our little girl. It was that day, 4 years ago, that she had her first bagel. It was blueberry. Tiny flurries fell from the sky, and we held her up to the window of our little former house to show her the first glimpse of snow.

Four years ago on Thanksgiving I also quoted my dear childhood babysitter, now a beautiful mother, as her words touched me:

“We don’t give thanks because we are happy. We are happy because we give thanks.”

And then there were other Thanksgivings. And some were lovely. And others…not so much.

But today, how could I spend the morning by being anything but supremely thankful?

My son woke me up at 6, as I heard him from his room. As I carried him downstairs for his morning milk, I noticed the softness of his skin. I am falling more in love with him each day.

Fifteen minutes later I heard small footsteps coming down the stairs, and before I saw her, I heard her voice:

“Wow! Look at the snow!”

Magic. My daughter still brings me magic.

In fact, in school, when they were asked to decorate a feather (!!!) with what they were thankful for,

she said “I am thankful for magical days.”

And right now it isn’t quite light out. My kids are sharing an apple and playing together with Mr. Potato Head, and Lola is sleeping, curled up beside me,

I am not going to begin to list the things for which I am thankful; not yet, anyway. I am still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

But I can say that I am thankful that this morning, when I heard my son cry, my husband, still 90% asleep, pulled the covers up around my shoulders so that they would be covered and warm. I am thankful that I am that loved.

And for these two. I am happy because I am giving thanks.

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Oh Captain, My Captain

12 Aug

I still remember the day in the fall of 2011.

YOU haven’t seen Dead Poet’s Society? YOU? It’s like made for you!” My friend said to me as we watched our girls toddle around my living room.

“It’s all about poetry and literature and living deliberately. You must see it.”

You see, I was an English Literature major and teacher and am a ferocious advocate for standing up for the causes in which I believe.

And so that fall I watched the movie, and I cried. I was so moved that I cried.

This morning, I cried once more.

I am crying as I type and tears are wetting the keys of my laptop. I cry for myself, I cry for the world and I cry for the Captain.

Robin Williams, the almost superhuman actor who, as President Obama said, “was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between….was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.”

took his own life yesterday after a fierce battle with severe depression.

Robin Williams, a supreme talent and a good soul and an icon felt that life was too hard to go on living. He saw the dark door in the distance and decided to walk towards it and when he opened the door, he could not stop.

I am so sad. I am so sorry.

Back in this winter I wrote about my own Postpartum Depression, but I also recently wrote about more acute mental health struggles. The sadness that I feel regularly and the things that are hard.

I can empathize with Mr. Williams.

People ask me quite often “What could you possibly be worried about?”

And I understand where they are coming from. I am not a famous actor, I am not rich, nor do I have notoriety or that kind of talent,

but I have a loving family and two beautiful children and a nice house in the neighborhood where I always wanted to live and a job that I love.

But depression has nothing to do with what you have or don’t have; Or, I should say, the only thing that it has to do with having or not having is the presence or lack of certain chemicals in the brain. Before this past winter I had never experienced depression. I could understand it on an intellectual level, but certainly not a personal one. And had I not gone through the Postpartum and the resulting PTSD, I probably would have been so confused by Robin Williams’ death.

He was so amazing and gifted and beloved. He was always with a smile.

But just because someone is smiling, just because someone has things that you value as being great, it does not mean that they are not facing an internal battle.

Robin Williams lost this battle.

This breaks my heart.

My social media feeds are flooded with messages of kind words about this actor–this man–and I don’t wish to add a meaningless note to be lost in the sea of tears being shed for him this morning.

My wish is this:

I wish that people would understand,

and if you can’t understand then at least take my word for it. I have never lied to you before.

Mental illness is just as serious and real and debilitating and life threatening as cancer or Parkinsons, or the recently-made-popular (via ice bucket challenge) ALS. And I do not say those things glibly because my family members have died from those medical diseases or are currently struggling from them today.

So I ask you, as your friend, as a writer that you don’t know but like to lurk at online, as a family member,

please take the time to look a little more closely at the people around you.

Look to see if their smile has changed. Take notice if they are cancelling plans and spending the day in bed. Count the times you see them cry.

And if you notice something,

help.

There are always ways to help.

Take them on a walk.

Sit by their side.

Hold their hand.

Tell them they are not alone.

I went on ABC earlier this year in order to raise awareness about postpartum depression and women contacted me, strangers, saying that my story inspired them to seek treatment.

If I can continue to help, nothing would bring me more peace in this entire earth.

I can point you in the right direction. I have resources. I can be on the other end of the telephone line.

You are not alone.

So we can weep together for Robin Williams and the roles that we will miss out on him playing and the life that was cut so painfully short.

But we can also honor his memory.

We can live deliberately, as my friend said, back on that cold, fall day.

We can stand up.

We can fight.

We can win.

A Birth Story-My Sequel: Part 3

1 Feb

photo (30)When we left off, I was being wheeled into the OR in the afternoon for a surprise C-Section, 4 days early, at 38.5 weeks and scared as hell.

I am a very superstitious person and look for signs all around me. During the scary, unknown part of my first unexpected C-Section with my daughter, I was feeling helpless and hopeless and the doctor said “The baby is about to come out” and my Nanny’s favorite song, Desperado, began to play in the OR radio. That was a good sign and even though my daughter had been in distress, her chord around her neck twice, she was OK. Because my angel had told me so.

So for my second go-round, I had my husband in my lucky socks, and was looking for similar signs. First, I liked the date. I am a numbers person and like that 2 is my mom’s lucky number, 4 is my sister’s and added together, 6 is my dad’s. That seemed to me like a good sign.

The second sign was my med student, Anna, who stood by my side the entire time, was named Anna. Anna is a very symbolic name for me, as it represents the name of my other angel, my Superman, for whom my daughter was named. Then I met my new anesthesiologist. His name was William. That was the name of my husband’s late grandfather. I felt like this was another sign, that our angels had gathered together to watch over my surgery and this birth.

The final sign was that William’s last name was Shepherd. Dr. Shepherd. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy. That had to mean something.

But despite these comforts, I was still scared to the point of shaking uncontrollably. And dear, sweet Anna, Doctor Anna, hugged me and held me, and told me I was in good hands, and she even hugged me, as I had to curl my spine over in order to receive my epidural. After having explained my aversion to my previous spinal, Dr. Shepherd decided to give me an epidural instead of the one shot spinal, and it was a much slower onset, which I preferred greatly. They also gave me pain medicine and some anxiety meds through my IV, something that he equated to a glass of wine (as I did not want to feel too out of it, but definitely needed to take the edge off).

At this point my OBGYN came in to “Get the party started” and because an epidural works differently than a spinal, I could feel so much for. So much so that I heard them say, “Time to insert the catheter” and I shouted, over the blue screen that they had put up between my face and surgical site, “I can still feel my vagina!”

The next part is somewhat of a blur; they opened me up, my husband was allowed back in with me, my blood pressure kept dropping, I kept feeling scared, I literally felt myself lift off the table as they yanked the baby out,

I kept hearing them talking about things like seeing a hand and adhesions and blood and I loved it and hated it all at once

and then,

all of a sudden,

a cry.

I had a son.

And I looked at the clock. My daughter was born at 2:22 am, a hard time to beat in my book (for my lucky number is 11, so 22 is double 11. I know that I’m weird, by the way.)

My son was born at 4:11pm. 4/11 is my birthday. Could not have gotten better.

And speaking of numbers, he came out weighing 7 lbs 12 oz. The exact same weight as my daughter.

What is more interesting is that he was 7lbs 12 oz at 38.5 weeks, while she was full term at 40; so apparently my uterus hands out an eviction notice at just that size. They were only a half inch a part, him being 21.5 inches to her 21. I make solid babies, it seems.

And, because I had asked for it beforehand, they brought him to me, and I saw that he had fair hair and a cleft in his chin (like many of the men in my family) and I swear when our faces touched he smiled.

And then the world disappeared. I know this sounds like one of those hokey, cliche things, but everything else melted away as my husband, son and I cuddled up, as the doctors were still working to sew me up, and we sang to him. We held him and sang a song that my PopPop made up for us years ago.

Mommy loves the baby, 

Daddy loves the baby, 

Everybody loves the little boy. 

I remember wanting to be out of the OR, and holding him in my arms, and eventually we got there and he latched on immediately as I held him and nursed him and sent a text to my friend saying “I have a son.”

My pregnancy with my son was not nearly as magical or enchanting as that with my daughter, but I must say, the birth and the time right thereafter was extraordinarily special.

But there was one milestone left to happen; we needed my daughter to meet her brother. She had been having a great time at her best friend’s house, so much so that she peed her pants in all the excitement. So I am proud to say that my daughter met her baby brother for the first time wearing her boyfriend’s Cars underpants and cargos.

And at around 6 o’clock that evening, my little girl, who suddenly seemed so big, walked into the recovery room and over to her brother and said, “Hi baby. I love you. Don’t cry. Maybe I can carry him?”

And then there were four.

I will never, in all my life, forget the feeling of wholeness that that moment provided for me. All of my fears about not being able to love a second child, or a boy, washed away. I was, instead, swathed in rich, deep feelings of love and gratitude.

So that’s how it all went down. It was not easy, but it was beautiful.

And I am never doing it ever, ever again.

So instead of saying The End to this story, I will say something far more appropriate:

The beginning…

A Birth Story-My Sequel: Part 2

31 Jan

Perhaps I should back up a bit. As I mentioned, the doctor told me that because of the nature of my contractions,

the difference I was feeling (despite having already been through FOUR false alarms),

I should come in to Labor and Delivery to be checked out. You should know this about me: I am a positive person, I am constantly accusing my husband of being a big ol’ naysayer. But in this case, I was miss “this is ridiculous, why am I going in again, I am going to be pissed to be sent home again, blah da de bla bla”. And remember. I had “Hot Cocoa” on my nails and they were 2/3 chipped off. And, while typically I don’t care about dirty hair, I did a hasty wash, threw on some eyeliner and blush, and called my mom, while in a towel.

“The doctor wants me to come in.” I said sheepishly.

And for the first time, her voice was different. “I think this is it.” She said.

We didn’t tell my husband.

We called my mama bestie to have her “On call” in case we needed her to pick up my daughter from school, and off we went.

Just in case, I wore my lucky underwear and purple socks, but I was still skeptic city.

Upon our arrival at the hospital I was greeted as an old friend; everyone there knew me. The residents and I were on a first name basis. It was embarrassing. But I had to admit, the pain I was feeling was different. And the monitor showed the same. I was having strong contractions every three minutes, regularly.

But, alas, as it has always happened when it comes to me and my labors, my cervix was not opening. Not at all. Not even one centimeter.

So I waited in the bed, for hours, contracting to the point of agony, when I started to cry.

I cried from the pain.

I cried from the uncertainty.

And, most of all, I cried because I hadn’t said a proper goodbye to my daughter.

I had had fantasies of how we’d spend our last night together as a tripod; A special dinner, and then maybe I’d sleep with her that night, since it would be our last time being just us. 

As a side note, late in my pregnancy my kid discovered a PBS kids show called Peg and Cat. The theme goes like this:

It is a show that encourages counting and early math. But the lyrics go

“We are two, na na na na na, Me Plus You, na na na na na…”

and every time I would hear this I would think,

“It’s me plus you, girl. It’s us. What the hell are we going to do with a fourth? And a BOY!?” I still get a lump in my throat when I hear that song.

Anyway, back to the hospital.

I was contracting and thinking and perseverating and all of a sudden, I started to cry.

I cried to my mom, really from the pain. “I can’t go another weekend like this.” I said. And I consider myself to be strong. Emotionally, I may be a basketcase, but pain-wise, I am pretty darn tough. But I just knew, much like the first time around, that it was time for this baby to come out.

At about this time my OBGYN showed up. He confirmed what the residents had said, that my cervix was still closed, but added that it had softened a lot, and said that my contractions were really strong and regular on the monitor, inevitably putting stress on my uterus.

“We’re having a birthday party today.” he said.

And then I cried some more.

Out of relief, out of fear, and out of, pardon my french again, the “What the fuck?!” feeling of having planned everything, every last detail, and having it all turned upside down by a sideways (literally) baby.

And I still hadn’t called my husband!

At that point the doctor offered me an epidural for the pain, but I declined. If i couldn’t experience a natural birth, my dream, I’d at least experience natural labor. And that I did. I am no masochist, but it made me feel like I could, at least, have some control over my body.

And so we called my mama friend. She would watch my daughter, and host a playdate with her son, whom my girl refers to as her “prince charming”. And then we called my husband. He was in a big meeting. He was told to rush out. He asked for permission to go home and change out of his suit. He was told no, there was no time.

I was forced to take off my all of my clothes, including my lucky socks. And so when my husband arrived, handsome and dapper in his suit, I had him put on my lucky socks, in their neon purple glory, under his gray slacks and ultimately under his full scrub attire.

The next bit was a blur; I met with anesthesiologists, got an IV, met my labor nurse…it was really happening. And my nurse, Katherine, held my hand and told me I’d be OK, as I told her how scared I was to go into surgery. How unprepared I felt. How my three and a half year old needed me.  I am very superstitious and her name starting with a K, the same as my Nanny, comforted me. It was a sign, like the signs I had experienced during my first birth. My angels were there. And there were more of them to come.

But then Katherine told me it was time. So my hair was placed in a net and I was placed in a wheelchair and I hugged my mom and husband tightly. It was time. I couldn’t stop shaking. It was time.

Time to meet my son…

(Stay tuned for more…and it involves some more signs from angels and maybe even a little spontaneous singing in the OR)

A Date Night

18 Feb

Tonight, my man and I went on a date.

A real, honest to goodness date.

We traded our ripped jeans and converse sneaks, time constraints and rushed conversations

for a dim, cozy seat in a corner booth. And heels. High heels.

We went to this place.

We sat upstairs at the bar, and together we read every item on the menu, taking in each ingredient and each moment.

Now, ordinarily I’d post my dinner shots over there (up there, to the right. You got it, now?) in my Family Dinner spot. But this dinner deserves more. This dinner was something special.

We started with the Toro Tartare.

(Yes, I was the loon taking pictures of my food (not the only one, might I add) and yes, I was embarrassed, but hey. I did it for you. Don’t ever say I don’t love you.)

Let me just say, this was one of the best bites of food I’ve eaten. This dish was serious. It came with instructions.

Take your little spoon, add some coarse wasabi, take a scoop of the Toro with a bit of caviar, and then slide it into the Mirin and Dashi broth, and eat it all at once.

Ridiculously delicious.

And it came with these little Japanese pitted berries to eat afterwards as a palate cleanser.

And let me just tell you,

the snozberries tasted like snozberries. Magic.

  Next came the chef’s selection of sushi. A surprise! One of my favorite surprises ever.

Each bite was better than the last.

And I treated myself to one of these bad boys.

Ikura is not only my favorite piece of sushi, but it also has a special place in my heart.

And not because they look like Nemo.

Ikura was my very first taste of sushi.

I was in fourth grade, down the shore with my Nanny and Poppy. We walked the Ocean City boardwalk, and they decided to cool off with a sushi lunch. Although the idea of boardwalk sushi on a hot, summer day is somewhat repulsive, I fell in love with the delicacy that day, and will never, ever forget it.

Oh, so yeah, this Ikura tonight was badass. Almost as good as the one from the dirty boardwalk stand. Almost.

Next, we shared the duck. Oh, the duck. While I forget the actual description, I can tell you that it was an incredible duck breast, with a side of duck confit fried rice, topped with a duck egg. And let me tell you, when we broke into that duck egg and all of the gooey yoke spread through the rich, savory rice, it felt, to me, how I imagine kids feel on Christmas morning. Pure bliss.

Full and happy, we scanned the dessert menu, only to find the perfect love child between the two of our palates: A tres leches cake (husband’s favorite) made with green tea, red beans and a honey butter ice cream (all me).

Yes, please.

And it was perfect.

But, the truth is, although our dinner was sensationally delicious, it didn’t really matter.

We were on a date. We talked about ourselves. We caught up. We kissed between bites. I had no one to feed but myself. And my husband.

I was able to give my husband advice on some projects he is working on. He was able to give me a hard time for over-sharing to our waitress.

It was lovely. It was delicious.

And while we love our little girl oh so much,

we knew she was in good hands.

She was busy dancing with Bubbie to her favorite song;

Having her nails painted hot pink by her Zeydie;

And having her Great-Aunt help her tuck Abby Cadabby into her new crib.

And by the time we came to pick her up, still on high from the wonder of our meal,

it was a bit late, and time to get her home, into the bath, jammies and bed.

But, as we were getting ready to head out, my baby’s Uncles showed up at the back door,

smiling ear to ear.

They decided to stop by on their way out on the town, just to give us all quick hellos and big hugs.

And somehow, those quick hellos turned into an hour of talking and laughing,

as we all ended up crowding into my parents’ bedroom, half of us snuggled up in their bed,

trying on clothing, howling at how silly we looked, reminiscing, taking pictures, telling stories and laughing at our inside jokes.

And it was delicious.

***

So, we got home late.

Way past all of our bedtimes.

But, a night out with the one I love,

followed by a night in with the ones we adore,

that is sweet, irreplaceable time

and the honey butter icing

on the green tea tres leches cake.

Somethings (and #febphotoaday/16)

16 Feb

16. Something New

On May 31, 2008,

as the saxophone played,

I held onto my dad’s arm

and walked, down a peony-lined runner, towards my forever.

I had something old,

a headpiece made of champagne and ivory seed pearls,

worn by my Nanny on her wedding day;

I had something borrowed,

the tiny, gold wedding band, that had been on my Mommom‘s own finger when she and my Poppop said their vows;

I had something blue,

a bracelet in honor of my Superhero;

and then I had Fancy shoes. Fancy new shoes.

And while they’ve now been worn,

and have scuffed soles

and loose threads,

and so many dance steps trailing behind them as distant memories,

they will always be my

something new.

I just want to say,

15 Jan

that I feel very grateful that I have a partner

who not only takes care of our family every day,

but who also takes extra special care of me when I’m sick.

A partner who

surprised me with the special Amish Egg Custard that my Nanny used to deliver to me when I was little,

and the certain type of chicken soup that my Mommom would let me have, after she’d pick me up early from school when I was sick,

and who knows that after I take a spoonful of red cough medicine,

or suck on a minty lozenge,

I will sneeze

two times.

So thank you, love

for taking care of me

in sickness

and in health

and in sneezing fits

and in everything in between.

Oh,

15 Feb

and in case you thought that my Nanny missed out on all of the fun

on what she once told me was her very favorite holiday….

She most certainly did not.

Pennies from heaven

23 Jan

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for feathers.

They mean something to me;

they serve as signs from the Universe and they remind me that my lost loved ones are near.

They are a part of my deeply superstitious nature,

and I believe in their power.

But, feathers are not the only symbols that have a deep, profound place in my being.

There are, in fact, many signs that I keep an eye out for,

to let me know that my angels are watching,

or that strength is near

or that everything is going to be OK.

So, while I’m on the lookout for feathers,

my eyes are also peeled for pennies.

My Nanny also had a thing for pennies.

When she’d find a heads up penny on the ground, she would call them “Pennies from heaven”.

I wrote about this in my college Thesis,

entitled, “Just a Little Bit of Dancing: A Cubist Family Portrait Through Writing.”,

which was a collage of love and life and loss in my dad’s family.

My Nanny’s love of pennies was something that many family members would mention when interviewing them for my Thesis works.

It was something that I held on to.

I grew to love pennies,

and to check them out, whenever I would spot them.

In the weeks leading up to my finding out that I was pregnant, I saw scores of feathers;

They were everywhere I’d look. I knew that they meant something.

But, just in case I needed a little extra proof, my Nanny left me one extra clue,

not only to let me know that yes, I was expecting,

but that she would be there for me,

and with me,

every step of the way.

The night before I was to receive my pregnancy test results,

I was jumping out of my skin. I could focus on nothing else, especially not the graduate work that I had to complete. But, I had to do some reading for a “Vernacular writing” seminar, and had not yet been able to find the book I needed, so I put all of my energy into the quest to find it.

Finally, I was able to track it down at my local library, but only in large print. Fine.

That would do.

I perused the large print book shelves until I found the title that I needed, and when I grabbed the book, I noticed that there was a slight space between some of the pages.

I folded it open to find that there was something stuck in page 36.

A penny.

Heads up.

From the year my husband was born.

Nanny was telling me that she was with me. That it would all be OK.

And it was.

Nanny came around throughout my pregnancy, leaving feathers to let me know that all was well.

One, most powerful instance came when she visited both me and my dad.

In trying to find something to wear, I reached into the back of my closet and found a sweater that she had bought for me before she passed away, nearly 12 years earlier. She allowed me to pick it out from the Adult GAP, which was, of course, a really big deal at the time. And, because it was something I needed to grow into,

it still fit.

I wore that sweater on a date night with my husband.

He brought me, on a whim, to a neighborhood sushi restaurant.

He didn’t realize that it was the sushi restaurant I had always gone to with my Nanny and Poppy. It was our special place. They were the people with whom I tried Ikura and green tea ice cream, and it was just our thing.

So sitting there, in that back room,

at the same table that I had shared with my Nanny,

in the sweater that she had bought for me over a decade earlier,

I felt her.

I felt her presence.

I felt her excitement.

I felt her love.

I was anxious to tell my dad, and called him first thing the next morning.

My mom picked up the phone, so I began to tell her the story, unable to contain my emotions.

As I was saying the words, “Nanny is around.”, my dad picked up the phone, interrupting us,

saying the exact same thing.

“Bex, Nanny came into my dream last night.”

And he went on to tell me that she was in the dream, at the hospital when the baby was born, and that he saw her holding my child,

a little girl,

with blue eyes.

I cried.

She was, most certainly, around.

At that time, I said, “Well, I believe it. But, let’s wait and see how my baby turns out to be. We will see if Nan was right, after all.”

5 months later,

my baby was born,

during a scary, unplanned C-Section

as my Nanny’s favorite song filled the room,

having come on the radio,

just in time for her to wail along.

She is a girl.

She has blue eyes.

Nanny was right.

She always was.

And so, this week, when I started to see pennies around, I didn’t have to question whether or not it was my Nanny.

I just knew.

So, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me when my father picked up the phone in the morning,

to tell me that Nanny had visited his dream once more, and that he got to watch her playing with my daughter.

Nor did it come as a surprise to him when I told him that I had been feeling her around.

That I had been seeing feathers.

And pennies.

One of my students even brought in a book for me to read, about a grandparent and grandchild, and their love for lucky pennies.

Okay, Nan.

I get it.

Hi.

But, no sign was as powerful as the one she sent me last night,

as I saw my daughter crawl over to an object on the floor and begin to play with it.

I ran to grab the small trinket from her hands,

before it found it’s way to her mouth,

and had to gasp when I saw what it was.

A lucky penny.

Held heads up.

From the year that I was born.

A penny from heaven.

***

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for my angels.

They mean the world to me.

I depend on them for strength and I believe that they watch over my daughter,

as she plays each day

and as she sleeps each night.

And no matter what you believe,

I know, in my bones,

that there is a reason why these signs appear for me;

they keep my loved ones alive,

and let me know that they are not missing anything about this most special time in our lives.

And for this, I am not only blessed,

but I am also

lucky.

what we have here, my friends, is a little case of sibling rivalry…

1 Oct

Exhibit A:

That would be Lola, in the baby’s Nap Nanny.

In the background, you will see a sliver of Lola’s bed, peaking out from the corner.

Apparently, a dog bed was not good enough for our little furry Princess.

Apparently, someone’s a little jealous.

Apparently, I’ve got my work cut out for me.