This Friday, I am falling for this cherished wooden train that was give to Z by his great-grandfather, my grandpa.
On November 14, 2009, Twiggy and I came home from an errand to find a package on our front porch. I was pregnant with Z. The package was addressed to Baby Branch (at that point we were still searching for a name for our little guy!)
Enclosed in the package was a note:
Dear Jessica & [Kee],
[Jessica's parents] gave this wooden train to me in 1981 and if you don't mind, I would now like for my great-grandson to have it.
As always, Grandma and I are deeply proud of both of you and your family values (yes, including the Mountaineers, too!)
Wishing you love and happiness always,
Grandpa and Grandma
I remembered seeing this train sit in my grandfather's office. He worked many years for the railroad. This package definitely pulled at my heartstrings, because my grandpa was battling cancer with all that he had. I decided that this train would be our baby-to-be's monthly picture prop! I took at photo of Twiggy each month with her very first doll and placed the photos in a scrapbook. I planned to do the same thing for the new baby.
Below are just some of the photos of Z with the train. It always amazes me at how much babies change over the course of a month!
Z was so blessed to be my grandpa's first great-grandson! Z was born 2 days after my grandpa's birthday.
My grandfather fought courageously and never ceased to be a man of honor. He passed in July 2010. In his final days, Z held his hand and cooed. Although Z was only 3 1/2 months old, we will never let him forget Grandpa's legacy.
There is a certain joy that now spreads across Z's face when we get the train down from his bedroom shelf. It is almost as if he knows that it is special. As if he knows that Grandpa thought he was special.
March 15th will be bittersweet as we remember my grandpa on his birthday. We will tell the kids stories about the funny tricks he'd pull and we'll tell them the lessons he taught us. Two days later we will be taking Z's first birthday picture with the cherished train, knowing that Grandpa is watching!