Our New Family Story

img_1004In the early morning hours of October 27th, my grandson, Graham Leo, came into this world by emergency c-section. By strange coincidence, my niece Emma was in the same Winnipeg hospital emergency room experiencing contractions, but her situation proved somewhat more serious as the baby was coming six weeks early. Emma has a pre-existing condition that makes her high risk in the delivery room, so  my sister Nance, was noticeably concerned. As we sat together  waiting through our family’s second emergency c-section of the day, we both remarked how unbelievable it was that we were both welcoming grandsons on the same day. But we were also keenly aware that our family’s history of remarkable coincidences have ended badly in the past.

We were both thinking of our parents. How we lost Dad and his three brothers over a two and a half year period—all to cancer—their diagnoses overlapping so that each funeral felt like a foreshadowing of what lay ahead for the next brother and his family.

Sixteen months after Dad died, our stepfather Paul was rushed to the hospital with a brain bleed. By the time they wheeled him into the emergency room, he was unresponsive. Mom was so distraught she had to leave the room when the decision was made to say our good-byes. She complained of a headache and when Nance helped her onto a hospital bed to rest, Mom also suffered a massive stroke and did not regain consciousness. She died 12 hours later that same day. She was only 69 years old.

So we’ve grown accustomed to waiting helplessly while fate, God, or whatever it is in this world decides, whether the outcome will be met with tears of sadness or joy.

It came as a tremendous relief when Denver was born weighing 8lbs. 4 oz., healthy and strong, and likely not as premature as originally thought.

“Now we have a new family story,” Nance said.

Yes, we do. A beautiful one where the birth of a new generation—sons of cousins, born on the same day, in the same hospital, 12 hours apart—will help soften the memory of past coincidences that ended in loss.



6 comments on “Our New Family Story

  1. Hi Karen – a touching story, with a happy ending this time around. Whether it be “fate, God, or whatever”, you and your family are indeed blessed. And, as you so aptly describe, today’s joy does soften yesterday’s grief. Enjoy these two new miracles to the fullest. Allan.

    • Thank you Allan. I see that we are at that same stage of our lives, enjoying grandchildren. I find as I grow older the more grateful I become and yes, I am enjoying every minute.

  2. Congratulations to the Parents / Grandparents!
    It is good to see both of your families growing albeit way out west.
    My portion of the family has relocated some what with Cindy now in Ottawa, Jodi in N.B. and Pam in Midland. Dane and I are home boys and will probably stay in Hamilton forever.
    Again good to see Karen and Nancy’s family thriving, must be the winters.


    • Hi Lance, thank you for the kind wishes. I try to follow everyone on Facebook but life is busy as you know. Be sure to let me know if a family reunion is planned and I’ll be sure to come. It would be great to see everyone again. Take care.

  3. Hello Karen,
    Just received your newsletter via Mom and thouroughly enjoyed reading through all your accomplishments and events. The most touching of all is ‘Our New Family Story’, a remarkable event for you and Nance and your families. Congratulations on the safe arrival of both your grandsons on the very same day. Brought a tear to my eye and so wonderful that all worked out so well. You both desered a wonderful happy ending after all the emotional rollercoaster ride that day must have been. How special that must be for the both of you to become grandmothers on the very same day.!! Amazing how timing can be. Sounds like life is busy, as it is with me too. I think of you all often. Looks like many of our cousins have dispersed across our country. That’s life . Again, congratulations and love and hugs to all of you…xoxox…Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer, it is great to hear from you. I am planning a visit to Ontario in the New Year and hope to get together for a bit. I will contact you beforehand with the date and hope we can make something work. Have a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you soon.

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