Never Leave it Too Late

After a long three months in Kazakhstan and a seemingly longer 20-plus hour plane ride alone with me, Dylan was finally settling into his new home in Chicago. All the adoption books warn you not to expose a child to too many people once you bring him home, so although we were anxious to introduce everyone to our new baby, we decided that, for the first few weeks home, we would introduce him only to our immediate family.

 

Within the first few days of his being home, he had met everyone except Bill's grandmother, Helyn, who lived in a nursing home about half an hour away from us. We kept meaning to go see her, especially since Bill's mother Emma had mentioned Helyn was not doing too well healthwise. Helyn had been doing very badly while we were in Kaz, and at 95 years of age, we though then that she was not going to make it. Somehow, she managed to come back to health and was doing fairly well until about a week after we got home. However, what with taking care of Dylan and dealing with a bad case of jet-lag, we kept putting our visit off.

On Wednesday, May 21, I awoke with the feeling that I had to take Dylan to see Helyn that day.  It would have been more convenient to wait until Bill got back from his business trip later in the week, but I had this pressing feeling of urgency. It had to be that day. I have learned to follow these feelings that I get every so often, so I called Emma and asked if it would be all right if we came over and visited that morning. She said it was OK, so Dylan and I headed to the nursing home for him to meet his great-grandmother.

When we arrived, Helyn and Emma were sitting in the dining room. Helyn was leaning back in her chair with her eyes closed, and stayed that way throughout most of our visit. Emma and I chatted for a while and showed Dylan off to all the nursing home staff and residents. He was a big hit! Everyone oohed and ahhed over him, but still Helyn remained seated with her eyes closed.

After about an hour, Emma leaned over and asked Helyn if she would mind if we placed the baby in her lap so she could meet her great grandson. Helyn said all right, so Emma picked Dylan up and carefully placed him in Helyn's lap.

The change in Helyn upon seeing Dylan was incredible. Her eyes flew open, her face broke into a smile, and she began saying "baby, baby, baby!" in such an excited voice that Emma and I could barely hold back the tears at witnessing that tender moment. Unfortunately, Dylan almost immediately started crying, so I couldn't leave him in Helyn's lap and had to pick him up. We left the nursing home soon afterwards.

 

Helyn passed away that very evening. Although I regret not having visited her sooner, I will always be grateful that I followed my gut and took Dylan to meet his great-grandma that morning. Emma said that the last time she saw her mother happy was when Helyn had Dylan in her lap. It is a moment that we will all treasure forever...

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  • Beautiful entry, Khadine! I feel the same way about my grandparents; hopefully, they will be able to see my kids again soon. Just beautiful, you made me cry. Love, Nina

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    Glad you liked it, Nina! It was a very touching moment and a super emotional entry to write. I, too, am anxious to get back to PR and see my grandmother. You just never know when the last time will be...

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    I love this K, and good for you to trust your intuition- it usually leads you right. What a beautiful entry.

  • In reply to kmccarron:

    Thanks, Kelley! You are absolutely right about following your intuition. Took me a little while to learn to trust those feelings, but I'm so glad I did. Look what I could have missed...

  • In reply to kmccarron:

    Another special entry...so glad Dylan met Helyn....she just loved babies, as was shown as she met Dylan. This is a very powerful family history/ memory...glad you've written/ shared about it.

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    Thank you, Kathi. I am so glad I took Dylan to meet Helyn that day. I think this story has allowed a lot of people to look back on this date and smile on what would otherwise be a very sad memory.

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    Muy emotivo el escrito de esta semana. Te felicito.

  • In reply to Valmir:

    Gracias! Me alegro que te haya gustado! :-)

  • In reply to Valmir:

    Volvi a recordar. Es incre

  • In reply to Valmir:

    A la verdad que si parecia estar predestinado. Estas cosas no tienen explicacion. Lo mas importante es que segui mis instinctos de que deberia ir ese dia. De alguien los herede. Hay que tenerle respeto a tus "Yo tengo un feeling de que..." :-)

  • In reply to Valmir:

    I used to show family pictures to her and talk to her about Dylan, Kai, Jack, and Justin. These were her happiest times. I don't have a photo of Helyn holding Dylan that last day of her life, but I will always have a picture of it in my heart. Thank you for bringing Dylan for Helyn to hold that day. Helyn, sitting in the rocking chair, is holding her first grandson, Jim, 1969. Helyn was tired, but knowing her, she may have willed herself to live until she held her fourth great-grandson.

  • In reply to emmabradshaw:

    I know, I am so sorry I didn't bring a camera that day either, but as you said, we will always have a picture of it in our hearts. I am glad you liked the entry. It means a lot to me that you did. :-)

  • In reply to emmabradshaw:

    Beautiful post, Khadine! Thanks for sharing such a touching story. So glad that you followed your instinct and now have that happy memory.

  • In reply to Ileana:

    Thank you, Ileana! Glad you liked the post!

  • In reply to emmabradshaw:

    Wow! What a powerful message, Khadine! So true! NEVER wait. You gave Great-Grandma Helyn and Dylan the best gift.

  • In reply to anitarudite:

    I feel the same way. That visit was such a blessing to all of us. As always, thanks for your comment! :-)

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