Transience: Marking the Big Moments in Life

This night five years ago, I was in labour denial. Twinging cramps, uneasy feelings and a day before due date were not sign enough for me. I had a whole day left I thought. Baby is not ready yet.

My astute husband made us a supper of pork, peas and pasta (all things beginning with P surely have protein) in the readying for my endurance test to come. I ate, blissfully thinking I had a night at home before me.

Monsters Inc (I went through a major kids’ movie phase in the last trimester) on the screen, two dogs stretched across me, a Toffee Crisp awaiting, I was going nowhere. Until I was told to get going.

You know how waters break on TV? I was told that was all bosh really. The prenatal classes put us straight on that and then it happened to me! Broken waters. Like on the telly.

I never ate the Toffee Crisp. Ten hours later we had seven pounds twelve ounces of joy. Our Gigi.

Life changes with a baby. She has been life changing in many ways. We will never be the same. We are evolved. We are a family.

Tomorrow our darling girl is five years old. Five years has passed. She has had five years to become this little lady that we cherish.

She sings all the time. Her favourites include Shotgun, Hold My Girl and what she calls The Friendship Song which is actually Wannabe and wow, does it sound inappropriate sang by a five year old. We hair is curly, curly in the way of Shirley Temple and impossible to brush. She is super tall. Way above average and nearly the height of my petite sister who is in her mid twenties. She asks questions. All the time. She sometimes muddles her words but always tries the new vocabulary she learns. She has a go at speaking Irish regularly. Her second name is Florence as a tribute to her great grandmother Florence. I adore this old fashioned, strong and beautiful name as I loved that woman and love Gigi. Granny Florence passed away on Easter Saturday last at the age of 99. Gigi would have met her many times and has a special place for her in her little heart. We have been sad and joyful, all in this one holiday, very much as life intended, nostalgia and memory-making all occurring together. Through our sadness, life makes sense when we see what Granny left behind her. Not many little girls can say they were at their great grandmother’s 99th birthday party. Gigi and Betsy can.

Gigi brings a constant joy. Watching her play with her little sister is akin to what witnessing actual magic must be. The sound of them making each other laugh is more beautiful than any symphony.

Tomorrow we will eat cake. Sing. Party. Last Saturday we cried. Drank tea. Prayed. It is all part of our life. A life that has been all the greater for knowing Granny and for having Gigi.

Gigi has been a miracle child. As I recently felt ready to talk about in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: My CDH baby. CDH Awareness Day 19th April, Gigi survived and thrived against odds reminding us that we may not ever win the fiduciary life raffle but we have won the luck battle.

Happy birthday to our beautiful, kind, fiery, fun loving Gigi. Tonight I finish the task I started five years ago- keeping a five year record called The Happiness Project. I was interested to note that a post I wrote about this entitled My Short Term Forgettery was being read by someone in the world today. As I refer to in the post, it wasn’t always easy to write in the diary but now it is full, I feel more than a little sad. This is a passing sorrow as joy must and will win the day. The day will be Gigi’s and we will celebrate in loud, colourful and sugary style as only we Papers can.


28 thoughts on “Transience: Marking the Big Moments in Life

  1. Wow, happy birthday Gigi! And well done you for completing the happiness project. I bought a baby journal about 8 years ago now.. I have write very little in it.. I regret that now but it is now to late to start filling it in.. lovely happy post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday Gigi! Florence sounds amazing too! You are surrounded by wonderful ladies Orla.

    P.s. I guess you were happy to find that toffee crisp once you made it home with Gigi 5years ago. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely record that book will be Orla! I kept notes with my three and presented them their story when they about 16, it was very special and this still love reading them despite being all grown up now! I agree 99 is a grand age but it’s still sad losing someone so special. All the best for the big day for your daughter!

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  4. How wonderful–a 5 year journey marked by such a special journal I’m sure Gigi will treasure forever! Well done. And I’m sorry about your Granny. Lovely that your girls could know her tho. Sadness and sweetness do always seem to chase each other’s tails, don’t they!

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  5. So many feelings in one week, Orla. This week I too celebrated my baby’s birthday (22) and the anniversary of the loss of his father 5 years ago. I love that you have kept a journal this whole time! I usually spend some time going through old pictures of my son to remember the years, you have some lovely words to read I’m sure. I didn’t know Gretchen had a mother’s journaling book, I will have to find it to share with a few moms I know. Enjoy Gigi’s birthday to the fullest, time will fly by!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The journaling book is lovely as it has nice sayings in there.
      It is funny how celebrations and reminisces of times both pain and fun often tie. I don’t think I wrote amazing words- but there is definitely a line or two for every day which must mean something!
      Thank you for good wishes for Gigi- I think she is 2 inches taller already🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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