So secret and possibly unutterable, that I am struggling with even beginning this post! Maybe all I can do is tell a couple of stories in my own language and hope a particle of understanding distills somewhere.
When Desmond was born one very early Monday morning before dawn, I was already sleeping fitfully, knowing that the whole process had been well underway for several hours by then. Call it a startle-stir, that strange sensation that woke me moments before my son-in-law sent the announcement via text message. Of course, I didn't have far to go to retrieve my phone as it was on my pillow at the time.
I was feeling a little disappointed that I was so far away, but also relieved that I could at least try to hide from the anxiety behind sleep; whereas if I had been there watching my very courageous little girl laboring without pharmaceutical intervention and not being able to take any of the pain away from her, not to mention chewing on the idea of the unmentionable risks, and well, you know why a mother would be anxious about her child giving birth under any circumstances.
So yes, the swelling, welling emotions in those first moments are probably quite universal, but something happened to me that I did not expect. I immediately starting loving everyone in the whole wide world! I imagined what this baby looked like (before they could get around to texting pictures) and I actually felt palpable feelings of LOVe lovE Love--just love...for everyone. My mind said to me, "You love everyone! This is a gift that came with Desmond."
I can be cynical. I questioned even that feeling I was feeling in my own feelings. I decided to test it out and while Katy and Jon and Desmond were finding the beginning of their way on a new planet, I was experimenting with the age-old earthly conundrum of "what is love?" I plumbed the dark recesses of my mind, no light task for you know those caverns are many and can be quite abysmal, for names and images of people I might have a difficult time not having hard feelings towards, and there were absolutely no hard feelings, no lingering animosity, no rememberance of what it felt like to even be angry at someone. AND, I felt no guilt or remorse at my own selfish history of harboring any of those feelings. Check and mate, right?
Naturally, that was but a passing phenomenom, even though that blessedly sweet and serene babe is still my grandson and still blessedly sweet and serene. Sure was great while it lasted, though.
I didn't even feel that magnanimity when my own daughter was born. To be sure, I felt that intensity of love, but it was all for her, the rest of the world be what and where and who they had to be, quite uninterrupted by my existence and my purpose of being and my love trained on that "new" life in my arms.
I know, can remember, a bit of what Katy is experiencing as she and Jon and their son try to navigate the nuances of inhabiting the new lovely, loving Planet Desmond...trying to keep vertical and balanced as the surface undergoes upheavals of tectonic activity and impact cratering and even erosions of sorts.
Katy sent me the picture of Desmond below, explaining that he will often just "be" there gazing at her for several minutes at a time with this look on his face. He hasn't learned the words, yet, or even that people have tried to create words for experiencing a feeling. This feeling. But I absolutely know what this look feels like in my very marrow.