My story starts with me mopping the kitchen floor and as I mopped I thought to myself, ‘I have never been more happy than I am right now.’ Mopping the floor is usually a chore I dread. In fact, I dislike doing any kind of housework, but, right there in that moment, I was almost in a state of euphoria. You see, a week ago I became a Grandmother. It is amazing how 7 pounds 3 ounces can change your life so much and all the blessings that can be revealed in one little bundle.

The official due date for the baby’s birth given to us by the doctor was November 14th. The months passed as we all watched my daughter-in-law Jess’s belly grow bigger and bigger and as she grew, the more uncomfortable she became. Truth be told, Jess had a rough pregnancy and even developed gestational diabetes. She had to alter everything she ate, which I should explain is a very big deal because Jess is an extremely picky eater. So, out went the mashed potatoes and the fried chicken, and gone was her favorite food- pizza. She wasn’t left with much food she liked, yet, she did whatever it took to ensure her and the baby would be fine. Jess was amazing and took it like a trooper, but, I am sure those nine months of pregnancy seemed like an eternity.

Then, on one of her visits to the doctor, he told her that because of the diabetes he did not want her to go past her due date, so he made them pick a day to induce. I asked that, if given the choice, they not pick November 9th because I had a big event to attend. Taking that information into consideration, they chose November 10th as their big day.

My event went well and my husband and I got home around midnight. We laid down to sleep about 2 am only to be woken an hour later. “Jess has gone into labor and we are on our way to the hospital!” exclaimed our son Tony. Although the doctor was going to induce labor in a few hours, our grandson had his own plans on when and how he would be born.

This reminded me of Tony when choosing what branch of the military to join. I asked him, and in fact begged him, not to join the Marines. Tony, however, had his own plans on what branch he would join. So, just like his Daddy, our grandson was entering his life on his terms.

But wait! There is more. Our grandson not only beat the doctor to the punch, he chose to be born on the Marine Corps Birthday. My son, who chose the Marine Corps, had a son who chose to be born on the Marine Corps birthday. I don’t know what the odds of that happening are, but, it has to be slim. So, how is that for a life is mysterious?

This, however, is not where the story or the mysteries end. My daughter-in-law ended up having a C-section and, just like everything else, she handled it like a champ. She even put up with dozens of Marines and family members parading in and out of her room to celebrate the birth of their son.

Illustration of dog standing up mopping floor wearing flower garland on head by artist Luba Sharapan
Illustration by Luba Sharapan

Finally given a clean bill of health the new parents were sent home where they would enjoy peace and quiet and get used to the routine of being a family. A couple of days passed, and my son asked me if I wanted to visit and if I could make them dinner, an offer I gladly accepted.

This brings me back to the beginning of my story and mopping. Spaghetti and meatballs on the stove top for my son and pizza in the oven for my daughter-in-law, I went about helping around the house.

Jess sat feeding the baby and my son sat by her as they watched the Hallmark Channel’s holiday movie of the week. It was a warm and comforting sight. One that reminded me of my own mother helping me after the birth of my children. Missing my parents, I thought of all they did for me. I remembered feeling bad for my mom having to clean my house after my C-section, but, what I didn’t know is how good she must have felt helping me.

Mop in hand and tears in my eyes, I looked at the new family and thought this is the best it gets. I am the happiest I have ever been. Right then, while mopping their floor, I realized this is what life is all about. I have never felt more blessed and thankful than knowing that life has come full circle.

Blessings to everyone on this day and remember, life is beautiful and messy and, if you are very fortunate, you will be handed a mop to help clean it up. After all, life is mysterious.

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