TODAY’S FORECAST: Grateful with a touch of achy
I am the very proud aunt of five nieces and a nephew. From oldest to youngest they are Ashley, Amber, Abigail (Abby), Elisa, Elena and Bryce. Ashley is 18 and attending her first year of college, while Bryce is just 16 months, so you can see we’ve got quite an age range. They’ve all gifted my life in so many ways and each brings his or her unique qualities to our family that make it complete. These kiddos have created moments in my life that I would not have otherwise had, and I love them all very much.
I am certain to write about all these precious kids in my blog at one point or another; today, however, I want to tell you a story about our newest member, Bryce Jay. Bryce was born in May of 2011. At the time, Bob’s grandpa was losing his life’s battle in the hospital and Bob’s oldest brother was undergoing a difficult divorce. I had been sick for quite a while then, and it was such a joy to have the anticipated arrival of my nephew to keep me focused on something positive. Our Jake was especially excited when he found out that he would have a “boy” cousin to play with. I knew right then, that no matter the age gap between them, Jake and Bryce would always have a special bond. It was confirmed when Jake lent Bryce his coveted “Baby Lion” and “blankie” who he shares with no one. When it comes to Bryce, Jake’s favorite phrase to this day is, “He’s so cute.”
The first time I held him in the hospital, Bryce took my breath away. He was a reminder to me of all things right and good. He was the new life created when the loss of Bob’s grandpa was weighing so heavily on our hearts. He was a fast favorite with all the kids, who couldn’t wait to hold him and make sure he knew who they were. For me, Bryce was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise contaminated world. The saying “When God closes one door He opens another” came to fruition in his very being. Today, he is an active toddler, curious about his surroundings and lots of fun. He has had some health struggles this past year, but continues to smile and be a joy to all around him. For me, he came like a starry night, breaking through the clouds of life to shine on us all.
I looked up Bryce’s name yesterday to see what it meant. It means “speckled or spotted”, which in this case is quite appropriate. He “speckled” our world with hope, love and peace at a time when it seemed none other existed. He “spotted” our lives with his giggles and his infectious smile and continues to do so to this day. Next month we will all get to spend some special time with Bryce as we begin to gather for the holidays. I know I’m not the only one looking forward to it. Bryce Jay, Aunt Jen loves you and so does God. Grow in His love and thank you for coming when you did.