Big Inspiration from Tiny Tot

We were remodeling our current home and it was a mess. My oldest son, Jason and his wife, Veronica invited my husband, Frank, and me to live with them in the country for the next 2 weeks. I was excited since we were new grandparents to Rachel, an adorable baby girl who was about 22 months old. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is extremely strong I was learning. Currently, I am the blessed grandmother of 3 including Julia (6) and Jadon (3) and looking forward to more.

In the morning I waited for Rachel to awaken. I could hear her laughing and playing in her baby bed across the hall. Carefully, I would peek into her room and she would see me and start bopping up and down immediately, laughing with such joy and enthusiasm for life. For a short time, her mommy worked 3 days a week so I gladly stayed with Rachel those two weeks.

Daddy Jason, PaPa Frank and Mommy Veronica enjoyed Rachel at night but for that window of time, she and I bonded deeply. She loved the wagon rides as I explained about the cows and sounds in the pasture, the feel of a prickly pine cone, the wind and sun dancing in her hair, the beauty of wildflowers, the birds' cheerful songs, ants, bugs, and the BIG horses. We sang silly songs and laughed out loud. Being a former teacher, I knew outdoors was a tremendous classroom environment. 

The previous years had been tough, I went through 6 chemotherapies and two tandem stem cell transplants, using my own harvested blood to battle a life threatening diagnoses of multiple myeloma. I was given 3 to 4 months to live. Frank and I lived 18 months out of 24 in Little Rock due to my treatments. Life is always precious but when God gives you a second chance even if you are still recovering–it is a miracle. Yet in my heart, I knew by faith God had the days of my life planned.  Psalm 139:16: "Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days (of my life) were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them." (Amplified Bible)  My husband and 4 other friends including my son, Jason, were given another powerful Scripture for me to hold onto. It was Psalm 118:17: "I (she) shall live and not die and declare the works of the Lord." (Amplified Bible).           

As Rachel and I enjoyed our play time, I began reflecting back to July, 2002: I was in Little Rock, Arkansas for the first time to meet a world renowned doctor in the field of this rare blood disorder. My husband and I were in Walgreen's shopping before my first appointment the next day.  My husband reminded me that I needed to focus on a new vision for my life. Proverb 29:18 ~ Where there is no vision the people perish...(Amplified Bible). Although I knew this was true, I was stunned by his words of a new vision. I thought I had a new vision. That was why I returned to college at 47, after being out for 25 years to obtain a Master's of Science in Education (in the fascinating field of reading) to help struggling students. It was a lifelong dream of mine.  I was back in the classroom for only 4 years and my last year, I was in pain more and more.  God gave me grace as I did not know what was wrong with me. I do know when school was over, the grace was gone. Two days after school ended, I found myself in a hospital where my husband was once the administrator. Actually, this hospital brought us from Tennessee to Florida many years before. My two sons,(including my youngest - Stephen), would read the Bible to me constantly, place healing Scriptures on the walls and fervent prayer was going on literally around the world.

A day before I was hospitalized, our radiologist friend looked at my x-rays and told me to do the same. He asked me how I walked into the room. I was in pain so I was confused if he was kidding or was actually waiting for an answer.  He said, "You are a "Bigger Man" than your husband or me!"  It was meant to be a compliment but I started to cry for the first time. The x-rays revealed 17 fractures from head to toe as a result of this rare disease. We thought I had pulled a muscle in New Zealand on our 2001 summer vacation. I sneezed and something snapped in my back and from then on it kept snapping (fractures).  

Continuing in my mind to reflect back to that day in July, 2002, when I was in Walgreen's and my husband informed me gently that I was going to have to get another vision. I was puzzled how to answer him!  I went to another section of the store to think.  I began talking to God. How can I have another vision for my life when I don't know what the future holds or even tomorrow? I prayed for God to help me find a new vision as I knew with sadness I would not be teaching for a long time-if ever. What could possibly be my new vision God? I heard a gentle voice speak to my heart immediately. "Grandchildren!" "Grandchildren?"  "Grandchildren."  My two sons were not married at the time and no serious relationships were evident.

But a deep peace flooded me and I said, “Okay, grandchildren.” I found two photo albums to put my future grandchildren’s pictures into and went to find my husband. I told him I had my new vision. A little shocked, he said, “Okay, grandchildren it is.” So I began focusing on that. Meanwhile by September, my son and his new, beautiful missionary friend (Veronica) had become more than friends.They became engaged! Jason and Veronica's wedding was in January, 2003. In July, 6 months after the wedding, they found out she had just become pregnant. I had forgotten all about my Walgreen's talk with God and His words to me. Later, I was thinking about the great news of a grandchild. (I continued treatments in Little Rock and so came home weak many times.)  Without any warning, I remembered God's promise to me that grandchildren were my new vision. The faithfulness of God overwhelmed me. Being in the delivery room on April 7, 2003 and holding my first grandchild was surreal. Rachel ~ Little Lamb ~ had a wide-eyed wonder in her big brown eyes....along with the rest of us!

For now, I was very grateful for this time living with my son while our house was being remodeled. At 22 months, Rachel was a sunny, highly communicative little one. Veronica and I were in the kitchen chatting.  Without any preface, Rachel looks at me with her beautiful, wide-eyed expression, points and declares: “You BC!”   Veronica said, “Mom, do you realize she is trying to tell you something important?” I did. I listened again and realized she was naming me BC. I decided to test it. I said, “I am Rachel - you BC.”  She put her little head down (as if to say, " I have to be patient; she's never been a grandmother!")  and then sweetly but boldly said, “No, I Rachel! You BC!”

In determining the reason she would name me BC, I recalled the countless hours we sat on the floor in my kitchen with magnetic letters on my dishwasher. I would sing gently in her ear “A..BC....DEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.”  The A..BC was always with such emotion and sing song; she would ask me to sing over and over. The BC was sung higher and so she associated me with the alphabet. As a medically retired teacher, my first grandchild verbalizing at 22 months a custom made name for me that matched my profession was priceless. Guess what all my grandchildren presently call me? Grandma BC or just BC.

Complete healing~Joy in the moment~Vision for my children's book~come in many forms.  God knew my love and passion for children as my highest joy because He placed it there. The anticipation of days with laughter and adventure has helped me heal and learn to live in and cherish each moment cancer free for 11 years. (Watch videos on the page for more details.)    

Linda Rossetti Brocato / Brocato Publishing   Touching Hearts ~ Changing Lives  

Happy 9th Birthday, Rachel!     April 7, 2013



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