My brother Donnie became a Grandpa today. The image of the baby girl's teensy face traveled thousands of miles straight to her new Grandpa's heart within minutes of her first breath, thanks to cell phones and digital technology.
In a few weeks he'll get to see and touch the real thing. He'll get to breathe in that new baby smell, feel her warmth. Her life. Life that was passed down generation after generation into him - life that joined with his wife to create his son - life that has melded with another to create this new one.
She is unique, yet she is a part of all that have come before her, including the Grandma whose name she carries... a Grandma who won't be able to hold her, kiss her, change her diaper, but one whose smile I know is lighting up heaven right now. Haila.
Loss. Life. Heartache. Joy. Sorrow. Celebration.
It's a continuous cycle, but the key thing - the promise we've been given - is it is a cycle. Life. Death. Life.
I don't think the kind of heartbreak, sorrow and loss my brother and his family felt a few years ago ever completely heals, but I do believe if anything can speed the healing, it's this new life; today, little Haila's birthday, there's only room in our hearts for joy and celebration.
"A baby is God's way of saying the world should go on."