Today I am sad but excited.
I am excited because you are coming to visit Squirrel Hill for the second time. I am also sad because the reason that you are coming here is to pay tribute to your Great-Grandpa Ray. I have decided, however, that I am going to treat your visit home like a gift from him. He has allowed us all to be together for your first Thanksgiving, and that is a special thing!
You are now eight months old, and even though Poppa and I have met you two other times – when you were just a month and again this past summer when you were 5 months old – this time will be different because you have developed such a personality and we can interact so much more. You will be eating turkey and stuffing and crawling about the place. We hope that our Skype visits will help you to recognize us. It is hard to be a Gram when you live so far away. It will be nice to have the chance to spoil you a bit and perhaps even to give your Momma a break. We are very lucky to be having this visit, because we were not counting on seeing you until next summer.
Over your lifetime I am sure you will hear many things about your Great Grandpa Ray. He was the Grandpa extraordinaire; always quick with a song or a tune, I can hear him singing la la la la la to your Momma and your Aunts when they were little. He loved dogs and music and bubbles and children in general. He was sunshine personified, a happy and loving presence to all of his children and grandchildren. I believe that he was made to be Grandpa and we were so fortunate to have him as our very own. You met him last summer and although you will not remember it, meeting you was very special to him indeed. His face lit up every time he saw your pictures!
I just want to let you know how eager I am to be able to squeeze and cuddle you for the next several days. I can’t wait for you to explore this place on the hill – your family home. Your Poppa crawled around these floors when he was your age and it is pretty neat that he can watch you do the same in the place where his family has been all these years.
Thank you to your Great Grandpa for the many gifts he has given to us. I only hope that I can be half the Grandparent that he was!
See you soon!