By Lorry Myers
When my youngest daughter and her husband knew they were going to have a baby, they waited until February to announce it. They threw my husband an unexpected birthday party and then gave him a tiny onesie with the August due date printed on the front.
It was a really, really great party.
Mariah and Tanner were married only a few months when Tanner was diagnosed with cancer. That first year, it was the best of times and the worst of times, and the most frightening days of their young lives. Tanner is tough though, and he fought back because he knew had something to fight for.
That first year of marriage was not what this young couple expected.
The scans and screens continued into their second year. Tanner’s hair came back and so did the dimples in his smile. The couple moved out of their little apartment, rented a house and finally were able to unpack their wedding gifts.
That second year, prayers were answered.
After the baby announcement, after all the screaming and crying and kissing and hugging, I reflected on the look of pure joy on Tanner’s face when the room erupted in celebration.
For Tanner, this was a holiday.
When I first met my future son-in-law, I quickly learned that Tanner is a holiday fanatic. Matching PJ’s at Christmas, clever costumes on Halloween and Bunny cakes at Easter, this guy wants it all.
Now, this guy was going to be a dad.
I wanted to get this cancer-fighting-new-father a special baby gift, something that would say how much he has brought to our family. Tanner’s love of my daughter and their fight for his life has touched so many others. Surely there was something that would say how much our family has to celebrate.
Something that would remind Tanner that the second twelve months would be different than the first.
After finding out my grandbaby was a girl, I concocted the perfect gift for Tanner. I would collect a year of little girl costumes that celebrated all her 1st holidays.
Every single one of them.
On the memorable day my first granddaughter, Via, was born, after all the hugging and kissing and things settled down, I placed a decorated box in front of Tanner. Before he opened the lid, he read my note.
“This is what your next 12 months will look like.”
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.