The Bliss Blog

Yesterday, I had breakfast with a celestial being who is newly arrived on the planet.  Her name is Lucy and she is the daughter of my niece Jena and her husband Brendan who I had the pleasure of marrying a few years ago out in California where they make their home. Wind back the clock to 1987, and Jena is something like three years old, standing next to her older sister Dana, both decked out in cute little floral dresses as the flower girls at my wedding to their Uncle Michael. Their brother Eric was probably around the age Lucy is now. The reason we were, along with her mom (my sister-in-law) Patty sitting opposite each other at breakfast was that Eric had just gotten married to Jasmine on Saturday in Harrisburg. Sadly, I was not able to attend the festivities since I was still recovering from pneumonia. Tearfully, I had the next best experience when my son Adam passed his phone around the room as I got to Facetime hug, dance and chat with family at the reception. They were decked out in fancy clothes and I was in jammies, bundled up in a blanket with a cup of tea at my side. Felt loved and included.

A few days later, I had the joy of greeting the newest family member, this brilliantly shining tiny human who locked eyes with me and I blinked first. It seems that she doesn’t miss anything and according to Jena, she is incredibly curious. One of the things I loved about the ways she and Brendan are raising her is that they want her to be well rounded and not just a pretty girl (that she is anyway with a full head of dark hair and chocolate brown eyes), but smart and talented and creative. So often in our culture, girls hear how cute, pretty, adorable, lovely, sweet and beautiful they are and boys are told how tough, rugged, smart and athletic they are. In this family, both the women and men are athletic, since Lucy’s grandmother Patty was a gym teacher and her grandfather Ray was a marathon runner and my other sister-in-law Lisa is a fitness trainer. Dana’s work is as a sommelier, but she focuses on fitness as well. The weekend Jena and Brendan got married, the family went for a run (I walked) for a few miles.

I had such a good time choosing outfits for Lucy and as is typical for me, I don’t subscribe to the ‘blue is for boys and pink is for girls,’ attitude about baby clothes. Instead, I picked fun onesies, shirts, and pants that had fanciful animals and affirming messages on them. One even had a full-maned little lion on the back of the pants.

One of the things I love about my relationship with my in-laws is that long after my husband’s death in 1998, we remain friends and I am invited to family gatherings  They came to Adam and Lauren’s wedding back in August and Adam and Lauren had a blast at Eric and Jasmine’s celebration. As I look at the two cousins, I am amazed that these once upon a time little dudes, grew to be mature young men with linebacker physiques, married to the loves of their lives.

I’m sorry I missed hugging the newlyweds,  as well as Dana and Ray. Will catch up with them over the next few months, I imagine.


For Jasmine and Eric, I share the blessing I would have wanted to offer them at their wedding, had I been there:

I Know You by Heart

 From the words you whisper in my ear

To the glow in your eyes when you look into mine

From the late night talks we share

To the little things you do to brighten my day

From the way you take care of me when you sense I am in need of a little TLC

To the way you share secrets with me that you have never told another living soul

Thank you for letting me into your heart

I love you with all of mine.


I offer these words for Lucy as I have done for those whose baby blessings I have done over the years:

May your mind be clear and focused

May your voice speak truth with kindness

May your heart love beyond limits

May your hands do good in the world

May your feet keep you grounded and take you where you need to go

And may you know God as your constant companion on all your journeys

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