Are you pregnant, or is that a mouse in your pocket?*

A heavy fog greeted us this Christmas morning, but nothing can dampen the mood. Ten negative COVID tests brought a group of us together to celebrate Christmas Eve. Not the whole family, but all the grandchildren, which made this Grandma’s heart sing.

My son and his wife were delayed by work, so we let the little ones open gifts while waiting. They arrived just in time for dinner, and then more gifts were exchanged.

“Here you go, Ma,” my son said, handing me a square gift. I unwrapped to find a nondescript Amazon box. Inside was a picture frame and I joked about this being a picture perfect Christmas, as one of our daughters had also given us a photo frame full of memories, but the laughter was short-lived.

The image stole my breath away. I gasped, then choked, then sobbed.

“My gift didn’t get this reaction,” daughter laughed, so I turned the photo. She too started to cry. Soon the whole room was swept up in the emotion.

A sonogram of a fetus. Our next grandchild!

Best Christmas present ever!

(*An expression often used by my children’s father.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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