“We are only loaned people in our lives. We cannot live other’s lives; we are only here to guide them”. – Sue Nutter
In my forties, I never saw myself as a middle-aged woman – I looked after myself. I ran around teetering on my high heels, feeling I was a real Sexy Rexy.
I was never one of those women that suffered empty nesting syndrome either. Well, not until our 20-year-old moggie passed away. He did not want to leave us and I guess you could say he was the last child to leave. He left us all with a tremendous loss, having travelled with us through so many memorable moments in our lives.
My husband, Paul, and I have been so lucky with our offspring; we never really had any huge challenges when they were growing up. We were a tight knit bunch as we had immigrated to our chosen country. Therefore, extended family was virtually nil.
Very early on, our children, Nikki and Lee, chose their lifelong partners. Therefore, our family grew by two, our son-in-law Mike, and daughter-in-law Mel, were part of our family in their teens. Paul and I were lucky to see them all with different challenges moving from adolescence into adulthood. We look back now and say, “how wonderful!”, even though some of the time it felt like we were pulling our bottom lips over the top of our head.
When they all left home, taking the title of “nana” was very low on my list. I was still sexy after all! A ten-year gap would do it!
Our beautiful daughter and son-in-law eventually yearned for their first-born, but sadly nothing happened. After a few years, they gave up, throwing themselves into careers and as so often happens, fate stepped in and the universe moved in mysterious ways. On a beautiful morning in Paris, a phone call from Nikki and Mike changed our lives forever.
The first scan took our breath away. Our baby was expecting her own baby, and it was surreal. By the next scan, we found out, we were expecting a granddaughter. Nikki and Mike were literally on ‘Cloud Nine’, we all were. We knew from that moment that her given name was Harmony’lee.
She did not hang around either! She was ready and eager to meet her parents. I was hoping to be at the birth but the independence of that little soul showed up straight away – she was going to do things on her terms. She even caught the nurses off guard, and as Paul and I, Lee and Mel, flew into the room, Harmony’lee was already on her mother’s chest. Nikki and Mike standing there in total awe of this tiny parcel they had created.
In that moment, the jolt in my chest was so powerful; I cannot begin to describe it. The lioness in my bones started strolling around that room, guarding my family, watching as a parent but connecting in spirit to our grandchild. I will never forget watching this amazing transition before my eyes as our daughter and son-in-law connected in a sacred bond with their little girl. It was what I can only describe as the “next level”.
Nikki has turned out to be such a beautiful earth mother and Mike who shows his daughter how to block (boxing term) and then sits with her having cups of tea with the fairies makes me smile.
Harmony’lee is an old soul! She has definitely been here before. I see all our family and extended families in her. She is such a strong-minded, vibrant child who commands respect and deserves it. She has taught me so much in her two short years.
It is an amazing love, I feel so honoured to be part of her life and I melt when she shouts, “Nana” or “Pop”, and her laughter refreshes our soul like an instant shot of happiness.
It is one of the best jobs we have ever had (other than being a mum and dad). She reminds us so much of her mum at that age, but she is also her own person. Like parents, we are investing 110% into it. It is a huge gift: I cannot begin to describe it, you will be gobsmacked at the amount of love you find. Such a rewarding job. It is like a second chance you get to make up for the mistakes you made with your own children.
I want to be the best nana to our precious pie; I want to inspire her, and for her to know beyond any doubt, that in life or death I will be always be there for her, no matter what. She is an extension of our daughter- a love so pure, deep and magical, she is our Harmony’lee.
HOWEVER, still! months down the line, I have the occasional HOLY F*CK moments when I think, “I’m a grandmother?” Yep, reluctantly, Sexi Rexy has finally hung up her high heels for orthotics!
“Love her but leave her wild.” ― Atticus