I just got off the phone with my Grandma Neltner and it was one of the world's greatest phone conversations. That lady loves to talk and when she's talking about her life, I love to listen! I called her to let her know that we're still waiting on a baby; Mom told me she asks about us every day, so I thought I should get in touch with her. We spent an hour on the phone talking about all of her birth experiences, especially about the day my mother was born - April 1st! She told me that Grandpa wasn't allowed in the delivery room, so he brought along some baseball magazines to read while she held on to the iron bars on the bed, which she was certain she would bend by the end of the labor and delivery! My, how things have changed. She also said that when Grandpa called Grandma's sister to tell her about Mom's arrival, she didn't believe him because Mom wasn't due for another four days. She thought it was a very funny April Fool's joke!
I won't go into too many details here, but after telling me this story, Grandma and I talked for a long time about my Grandpa. He was killed in a car accident when my Grandma was pregnant with her sixth child, my Aunt Lori. Some of the stories she told me are ones I've heard before and some of them were brand new to me. I'll be writing them all down somewhere else, but let's just say that I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to lose your husband before giving birth and while trying to take care of five other kids. After I hung up the phone, I just sat on the couch and sobbed while I thought about how I would cope if anything ever happened to Sylvain. The fact that my Grandma survived and managed to raise six wonderful kids is so astounding to me. She is the strongest, most amazing person I know. I am SO glad I was able to talk to her before I go on my own journey into motherhood. If I could be half the woman she is, I'll consider myself remarkably successful.