Brady and I will always have birthdays close together, at least numerically. He was born on October 10th and my birth date is October 6th. Brady is the newest of my grandchildren, the second one. There’ll be 53 years between our births, that’s over half of a century of time, mine in 1955, his in 2008. So this message is for Brady on his birthday, his true day of birth.
October 17, 2008
On October 10th, your Dad sent me a text message announcing your arrival. It simply said 1:35 PM – Brady James – 8lb. 15 oz. Later, I pressed him for a photo in a return text message. He immediately sent me your photo.
On the day you were born, my 10,000 Mile Grand Tour continued through Oregon. Some 2,677 miles separated us. My travels will continue to move me around the globe. That is why I say you may not get to know this Grandma as your big sister has. I have been back home often throughout Brianna’s little life. I can’t make that same guarantee to visit so often right now.
I was back home when our family learned you were expected. I remember the joy I felt in my heart on that day when Brianna ran and told me that she was going to be a “Big Sister.” I was back home when your Mom had a sonogram at Latrobe Area Hospital. I think you waved to us. My eyes glazed with tears of happiness. And, now here you are! When I called your Mom a few days ago, I heard you cry. You didn’t like having your diaper changed. For sure, I can’t wait to hold you. And, I will be back home for your first Christmas.
Brady, you are our first little boy, a grandson. You’re coming into my life at a time when I am living on the road and I am taking in all there is to see somewhat like the wonder of a child seeing and experiencing new things. I hope someday, you will follow my steps, the route that’s led me through the most beautiful regions of the US and Canada. I hope you’ll be a little bit of an explorer and not be constrained by boundaries. I hope as you grow up, you’ll be a bright boy and take opportunities that come your way.
Brady, as I think about you coming into this world, I think how lucky you are. How lucky you are to be born at a time when perhaps when you are 50 years old, you’ll wonder why people had cancer. You’ll wonder why people drove fossil fueled cars. You’ll wonder why we didn’t prevent the harmful destruction of the environment. When you are 50, I can’t possibly even dream of how the world will be for you because I know, 50 years ago, people weren’t dreaming of the things we have today. Who would have thought of cable television, cell phones, remote controls, the Internet, and satellites - all the marvelous things we have today that no one even imagined when I was born in the 50’s. I hope your generation will know the joy of living and embrace the present. And, I hope your generation will always find new ways to make life better, generate new technological ideas, and foster developments to make our world a better place.
Brady, I hope when you grow old enough to read this message, you and I will have had time to be close to one another even if miles separate us often. I hope you will know about the lady who is your Grandma Patty. You’ll know that I worked very hard all my life to take care of my family, to build a career, to be as bright and as educated as I possibly could be, to make wise business decisions, and to build good will. I hope you will be a better person because of my influence and my love. Maybe you will come to share the opinion of a little boy who I met the other day. He spoke softly to his dad as I left their family’s garage sale. He said, “Dad, she is a nice lady.”