My Little One

Fourteen years ago today my baby girl was born. It seems like just yesterday that she was a newborn baby. The fear I had as a new mother is still vivid in my mind. I remember going into the hospital that morning preparing to be induced since my little one was stubborn and nine days late. I knew it was time for her to make her presence but how scary the unknown was. 16 hours later my precious gem was born. Little did I know, within an hour, I would be fighting for my own life. The true presence of God came to me that night. As the time progressed since I gave birth, my condition began to worsen. I was bleeding more than normal and I knew something did not seem right. I lay in the hospital bed praying to God for him to  save me and not take me away from my baby. For him to give me the opportunity to be Grace’s momma. I did not want to leave her without a mother. I prayed the Hail Mary nonstop. It’s simple……. That night I learned the power of prayer. I became a true believer of prayer and I believe that God was with me that night listening to my prayers. I also believe someone else was with us that night…. Grace’s paternal grandmother, Maria Piedad. The sweater in the picture was made by her and here is its story…

Specially Handmade by PiedadThe sun has just gone down as we pulled into the driveway of my father- in- law’s house. When we got out of the car, we could hear the loud jubilant voices echoing through the windows of the house and the laughter passing through the trees. We were greeted at the door by a sea of people who stopped for a hug and kiss. Am infectious smile traveled from one person to the next.
The happy house was still their mother’s , even though she was no longer here. The stereo still played the same Latin music; the painting of the matador still hung over the couch and the untouched comfy chair where she knitted was still in its original spot.
“Tap, Tap, Tap” went the long knitting needles as they hit each other going up and down. Methodically , the needles went in the loop of yarn and out, over and over again. Her tiny arthritic hands struggled to finish one sequence of color at a time. Her patience and love intertwined with determination gave her the motivation to continue.
I could hear the tapping of the needles when Ruthie quieted the lively conversation and began to speak. ” I brought you all here tonight because there is a gift I need to give John and Bridget. “
In her hands was a beautifully wrapped box. ” This is a special gift for the baby from Mom. Shortly before she died, she gave it to me to keep, with specific instructions to give to you before your first child was to be born.”
As Ruthie handed us the box, the room suddenly became very still . John began to unwrap it, but his hands fumbled with the tape and paper. I reached over to help him and together we unwrapped the gift. The instant we opened the box, a sweet smell traveled through the room. It was as if the room had changed at that moment. I could hear her laughter, see her smile and feel her warm embrace. I felt like she was sitting next to us as we picked up the tiny hand knit yellow, blue,and pink sweater. For a few long moments we sat together in silence touching the beautiful sweater. The yellow, blue, and pink yarn was tightly knit in rows going across. As we held it, we could feel the softness of it and imagine the effort put into making it. It was clasped in the middle with a thin white satin ribbon that had carefully been laced through a tiny hole at the neckline. Inside the sweater, the label read Specially handmade by Piedad.
John’s strong hands, the same hands that held his mother when she was sick, gently held up the tiny sweater. With tears rolling down his face, he said, “We must be having a girl!”
To our joy and the joy of those around us, Grace Piedad was born three months later with her Abuelita’s eyes and lovable personality.

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