Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grandpa's Lullaby

One of the things I miss most about my Dad is his big heart. If my Dad loved you he loved you with his whole heart and that's a fact. I had my Dad's whole heart wrapped around my finger from beginning to end. I was his youngest and only daughter which made our connection very special. He told me a thousand times over that the day I was born was one of his happiest. I will tell you a thousand times over that the day he past away will be one of my saddest. His thoughtfulness and kind gestures made him who he was. The most loving, kind, and generous person I may ever know. I will remain thankful for the years we spent together, for the memories we made, and for all the gifts he gave to me and my children. I will love and miss him without a doubt, for the rest of my days.

I'd like to share the story of Ava's Lullaby. It's about time since I have referred to it in the past on this blog.

I have to explain a little bit of Grandpa Barron history for you to understand how Ava's Lullaby ever came to be in the first place...

One of the things my Dad looked forward to when he was told he was going to be a grandpa for the first time was that he would get to sing to his grandchild. Jack Michael Barron arrived into the world on June 28, 2001. I remember being in my early 20's and thinking how great it was to see both of my parents embrace grandparenthood, especially my Dad. He loved singing "Diddle Diddle Dumpling" to Jack and he sang it in his grandpa way. On May 24, 2003 Emma Grace Barron was born. The world colored in pink looked even brighter to Grandpa Barron. He had someone to call his pretty and he sang to her too. Jack and Emma are only 23 months apart... so Jack was too little to care that Grandpa sang, "Diddle Diddle Dumpling" to both of them.

Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Diddle, diddle, dumpling,
my son, John,
Went to bed
with his stockings on,
One shoe off
and one shoe on!
Diddle, diddle, dumpling,
my son, John!

Rob and I announced our pregnancy with Elise to my parents in February of 2007. My Dad was ready for another baby to love and sing, "Diddle Diddle Dumpling" to. But Miss Emma Grace at the tender age of three was not so keen on sharing "her" song. So Emma decided that my Dad could sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to Elise. They were both so excited a baby was on the way that they sang this lullaby to her while she was growing in my belly. The words to this song are so fitting for Elise...

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!"

What can I say about Ava Elise Kolkman? Well she is our "Rainbow Baby" and announcing her life to our family was a very hopeful and anxious time. She was the answer to our prayers and we prayed for her life each and every day I carried her in my belly. It was very important to me that my family got to know her very early on so I took my parents frequently to my high risk OB appointments. My Dad loved to come with me and get a sneak peak as he said, to brighter days that lie ahead. Ava was and still is a bright spot in our lives. Pulling us though hard times must be her God given purpose. I will be forever thankful for the joy she brings me and my family.

My Dad would meet me at my regular OB office at 3:15 pm on the days I had appointments at MFM. He would jump out of his truck with a bounce in his step and get into my car which he called, "Momma's Red Chili Bean." He would shut the door and give me a kiss... warm up his hands and say, "Tweet-Tweet, Grandpa's ready to see you so be good little girl!" I don't think many daughters share this time with their Dad's but I am thrilled I gave both of my parents the opportunity to know Ava in-utero, especially my Dad.

My Dad was like a kid in the candy store at these appointments. He was always pushing buttons on the ultra sound machine when the tech would leave so he could have extra pictures of Ava. He would say, "Grandpa needs his own pictures ya' know." He would hide them in his front pocket and he showed her off to all of his friends. He was the proudest Grandpa ever and he was over the moon for Ava Elise. He was also known to "button push" at my NST's for Ava. He had to know how everything worked and he loved to be on the inside loop when it came to these check ups on Ava. It was at these appointments, when I stretched out in the lazy boy hooked up to the fetal heart monitor, that my Dad and I talked about what song he would be singing to Ava. I decided for Elise that, "Twinkle Twinkle" was officially retired. I really wanted my Dad to learn the lyrics to, "Somewhere over the Rainbow" for Ava but he was resistant to the idea and I couldn't figure out why. What song better or more fitting could there be for our "Rainbow Baby"?

My Mom spilled the beans a little early to me about my Dad's lullaby he was personally writing to Ava. The idea of this melted my heart. She told me how she came home from work one day and caught my Dad singing in the house. She didn't think to much of it since my Dad did occasionally hum a tune when he was in a good mood. She didn't start to question him until she repeatedly caught him singing on different occasions. When she inquired about what he was singing he would say, "Oh nothing." He was one of the greatest secret keepers I will ever know. Then she caught him scribbling on a note pad and singing in his chair one day when she came home early. He could no longer hide his secret. He confessed he was writing a special lullaby for Ava because no lullaby already written was special enough to sing to her. How sweet is that? Precious! My Dad loved Ava from the very beginning and it became very clear to me that they would share a bond unlike any I had ever known.

A few weeks before Ava was born my Dad sang his lullaby to her in-utero for the first time. It was the sweetest moment I've fortunately had the privilege of being a part of. He had the look of pure joy in his eyes as he sang his song to her. He was truly delighted by every word that he carefully thought about for months as he anxiously awaited her arrival. My Dad met Ava face to face on April 15, 2009 an hour after her birth. He held her in his arms and he sang his song to her face to face. I remember him smiling and winking at me in our hospital room while he sang to her. Silently, we exchanged a look and I know exactly what he was thinking. "Ava, was worth all the worry and wait. She was perfect or better and our prayers had been answered. She was here to stay!"

Ava's Lullaby
by Michael James Barron

Hotchie Coutche, twedle dee dee
Bumble bee Bumble bee don't get me
Elise slides down from rainbows crest,
 watching over Ava's nest-
Grandpa's pockets hold some treats
and he tickles Ava's feet-
Grandma's coming thru the door 
what she buy me at the store-
Jack and Emma are on the floor
and they want to play with Ava some more-
Dad and Mom can we stay
I don't want to go away.
(Hotchie Coutche, twedle dee dee
Bumble bee Bumble bee Grandpa loves me-
 This italicised verse was added later on with the help of Jack & Emma.)

My mom was putting some books in my Dad's nightstand this past August when she stumbled upon a treasure. She found his special pad of paper with the original page he scratched down the lyrics to Ava's Lullaby. What a great gift to find and receive during my birthday month this year. Thanks for not throwing this away Dad! This find is truly better than receiving a million dollar lottery ticket! I love that my Dad most likely bought this pad of paper in remembrance of Elise. It had our Angel Prayer on it that we read together prior to the start of our family gatherings. I love that while he embraced Ava with his whole heart he never forgot Elise and included her memory whenever he could.

Angel of God

I love that when my Dad wrote letters he wrote in cursive. I love that when he wrote lists or his name for example (on everything!) he wrote in all caps. I love that the original copy of Ava's Lullaby contains both styles of his writing. I love how I can now see his thought process as he carefully constructed the lyrics for Ava's Lullaby. I am saddened to no end that my unborn children will not experience moments like this with my Dad. It is my hope that while their souls are in Heaven he is singing away to them! xoxoxoxox...

Grandpa's Original Lullaby

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible tribute to your dad. Having those keepsakes like the hand-written note is so powerful. If you've not done so already, framing something like that would be pretty awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this part of your life. I'm sure your dad loves seeing you reflect all of your favorite characteristics of him to those around you. :)