It's always the little things that get you, isn't it? The stories of the tornado that swept through Joplin, Missouri have kept me tied to a computer, reading. But it was the story of a little baby who survived the storm with his grandma that really got the tears flowing.
The storm ripped two walls off the closet where Rosetta Vest and 4-month-old Elijah were hiding, but grandma and grandson escaped unscathed. Is it that far-fetched to assume a grandma's love saved him? It's a power that's hard to put into words, but for all the time we spend talking about the bond between mother and child or father and child, what links a grandparent to a grandchild is its own special force.
I'm lucky enough to live near my childhood home, lucky enough to have parents who not only enjoy my daughter in their lives but literally beg for her to come visit. And when I leave her there for a night or even a weekend, I do so without a second thought anymore. I know that they won't just "take good care of her," they'll treat her like they would have treated me or my brother.
The story goes that Vest was babysitting her grandson when the storm came through town. She grabbed the baby and ran for the closet. She did exactly what I see my own parents doing -- the tornado equivalent of throwing herself in front of a truck to protect the child.
It's why I've never questioned leaving my daughter with my parents, even when talking about it has left people looking at me cross-eyed. I remember the first time she spent a night away from home. She was a baby, although well past the newborn stage, and my husband and I were going out to a concert. We knew we'd be getting home late, and with her now able to sleep through the night, we figured it was better to have her stay in one place for the night.
My friends had all warned me that I'd burst out of bed the next morning, rushing to my parents' house, eager to get my baby back. To be honest? It didn't happen. Sure, I was happy to go pick her up, and I had that moment when pure love washed over me when I saw her gurgling in my mom's arms. But believe it or not, we slept in that morning. We made our way rather leisurely across town.
It wasn't because we didn't care. In fact, it was the very opposite. I loved her so much that I wanted her to be somewhere safe while I was gone, and I found the safest place in the world -- in the arms of the two people who come as close to loving her as my husband and I do.
It was that thought that struck me when I read the story of little Elijah, hiding in the arms of a woman who loved him as a tornado ripped through his hometown. He's a baby not just blessed by life but by love.
Does your child have an incredible grandparent? Maybe this story needs to be sent their way today to show them just how important they are!
Image via nasikabatrachus/Flickr