First things first

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The waiting room was crowded with people in various states of excitement and distress. Anticipation rose to a fevered pitch as minutes turned to hours. Still, the tick, tick, tick of the wall clock standing to attention in the corner droned in our ears.

“I never imagined it would be this way. Glen R. should be here, front and center, waiting for our son to become a father. He should be cracking corny jokes while trying to hide his own emotions. Robby’s Dad should be here with me,” I thought. It isn’t fair clamored to take root in my head, but I dutifully pushed it away.

In my mind’s eye I saw his handsome face soften, his brown eyes filling with unshed tears at the wondrous sight of new life. I saw the look of pride as he held his grandson, and briefly I just wanted to cry. I wanted to weep until my ragged breath came in gulps and my shoulders sagged. Instead, I quietly waited as a half smile played on my lips but didn’t quite make it to my eyes.

When Gauge finally entered the world and I first caught a glimpse of that beautiful wrinkled little face, I knew my life would never again be quite the same.

My son, Robby, and his precious wife, Cherrie, have been careful to teach Gauge about his grandpa in heaven. Because of this, perhaps, he has an understanding of spiritual things that most little children his age do not, but it seems very natural to him.

The other day Gauge told me that his other grandpa lives in heaven, and he’ll get to meet him one day. “I can’t wait,” he said with a big grin.

I am thankful to God that I have been blessed to marry another wonderful man. The bond of love Gauge and Mike share runs strong and true; better buddies can rarely be found.

A wave of love rushed over my heart on the September evening of Gauge’s birth that has deepened with every passing year. From the cuddle phase of infancy, through those terrific twos, and now into his fourth year I have loved every minute of being “Gigi.”

This was not the name I chose. Nana had been my name since my grandson in Tennessee was born, but this title was already bestowed on someone from the other side of the family. So, Gigi it was.

Now, I can’t imagine Gauge calling me anything else. Every time he whispers or squeals my name, I think it’s perfect. Funny how that worked out when I was disappointed at first.

I treasure every moment with this little fellow.

Time does indeed wait for no one, and childhood quickly vanishes. In a blink an adolescent stands where our little one once stood, and I often wonder when I think of my own grown children how it all happened so quickly.

Thank You, Father, for Your precious gift of family. Help me to prioritize properly this year. Bless me with the wisdom and knowledge I need to put first things first.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at