Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best Gifts of All

Gabby & Jesse
Photo by Alison Jobe

Without a doubt, the best gifts I have ever received are those of the births of each of my children and my grandchildren.  Each Christmas season, I am flooded with memories of the arrival of two of these son, Jesse, whose birthday is December 26 and his daughter, Gabrielle, born on December 21.  Each birth was memorable in their own way and each of them has abundantly filled my life with unending gifts of love, joy and laughter.

The year that Jesse was born, I worked on Christmas Eve and then walked home wearing a full length fur coat I had purchased at a thrift store.  I loved its thick soft fur, but with my pregnant belly, must have resembled a brown bear padding through the snow.  The evening was magical.  Big white flakes of snow floated through the sky and glistened in the beams of the street lights.  A pervading aura of peacefulness permeated the atmosphere. 

A few blocks from my home I suddenly felt like I was merging with the earth.  It was awesome and perplexing at the same time.  My doctor had insisted that I would not deliver Jesse until the second week in January, but in typical fashion, Jesse was exhibiting his persistent tendency to do things his own way and was beginning his entry into my life.  From the moment that he arrived on the day after Christmas, Jesse has continued this behavior.  He marches to his own drum and has absolutely no qualms about wearing that badge proudly.   He stands strong in who he is and remains firm in his convictions and ideals.

Aside from the fact that he had a fascination with bigger than life professional wrestling personalities when he was younger, I would have never anticipated that he would pursue doing Strong Man competitions.  From the time that he started his weight lifting pursuits, he has focused intently upon all of its aspects.  Every day, with rare exception, he trains in his garage gym for several hours. Over several years progression of time, he has acquired many trophies and has qualified to go to the national Strong Man competitions in Las Vegas more than once.

Jesse's loyalties run deep.  He likes to put on a tough act, but his true spirit is very kind, generous and loving.  Regardless of where he is, including Strong Man competitions, he has never failed to hug me and tell me he loves me. He adores his wife and his daughter and is devoted to both of them.  They have a deeply bonded family life and are content to spend time with each other experiencing down to earth moments of daily life.

Jesse would frequently sit and talk to me from the time he was very small.  When he had not yet started kindergarten, he often asked me profoundly serious questions about the Universe and about peoples behaviors.  Now he talks less about these things, but we watch movies together on television and I try not to talk and ask questions during this time because it drives him nuts.  We have had alot of fun together and he delights in playing harmless tricks on me.  One of the funniest things he ever did occurred when he was helping me at my home one afternoon.  I was in the process of baking cinnamon rolls and he suddenly began wrapping duct tape around me and rapidly taped up my entire torso.  We were both laughing so hard he had to hold me up to keep me from falling over.

Gabby is very much like both of her parents.  She too, is strong willed. I was present at her birth and cut her cord.  She wouldn't let me (or almost everyone except her mother) touch her for months after that and I swear it is because she resented me for separating her cord from her mother.  She is a beautiful girl with huge blue eyes and waist length blond hair.  Gabby loves animals, is very intelligent, loves to read and is a talented artist.  She loves fashion and has a trendy sense of style.  Even though she is beautiful and very feminine, Gabby is incredibly strong and enjoys working out with Jesse and her mother in his gym. 

Thank you Jesse and Gabby for gifting me with your presence in my life.  I am rich with the gifts of your love for me.