Some pictures are worth a million words. Introducing our first grandchild–Owen William Showalter. Born March 31, 2011, at 11:15. As he was being born, my dear Aunt Lois was dying. I’m feeling the full impact of the life cycle today.

Owen William, your memoir has begun. I hope to help you remember your early days all the rest of your life, so that some day, when you too are coming to the end of the cycle, you can look back and say, with Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Shirley Showalter


  1. Jean Shank Miller on April 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    It’s been many years, but do I only imagine he looks like his namesake grandfather? Our first grandchild, little Colin, was born nearly six months ago. I could never have imagined the amazement and delight he brings with each week of his life. Warmest wishes to you and Stuart in your role as grandparents.

    • shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 12:47 am

      Well, Jean, we are going up to New York to check out your thesis. I am expecting to see a strong resemblance from Grandpa to Daddy to son, and from there it is easy to imagine son looking like his Great Granddaddy Owen. Thank you so much for these warm good wishes, and may you and Colin experience many joys together.

  2. Lanie Tankard on April 2, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Congratulations to all of you!!!!! So happy to hear the good news and get to meet Owen! So sorry about your aunt, though. Such a poignant cycle, isn’t it? I look forward to many more posts on the topic! Please give the little guy a hug from me!

    • shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 12:40 am

      Yes, such elation and then such reflection and sense of loss. And then the elation. And loss. The wheel of life. I will give Owen a Lanie squeeze. Thanks for the good wishes.

  3. Kathleen Friesen on April 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Wonderful and sad all wrapped around each other, but the mystery wrapping is love. Sending warm thoughts and blessings to you as you experience the journey.


    • shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      You said it beautifully with just a few words, Kathleen. You have a gift. Thank you.

  4. Saloma Furlong on April 2, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Shirley, a hearty congratulations on becoming a grandmama! I can imagine the joy of it all! I’m sure you and Stuart are the proud grandparents… please give him my congratulations as well.

    My deepest condolences in this time of grieving for your aunt. It is such a poignant reminder that there is no joy without sorrow — both are part of this life as we know it. May you cherish the memories of your aunt as you welcome your grandson into this world. A warm hug of sympathy and congratulations from across the miles.

    In Friendship,

  5. Christine DeCamp on April 2, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Congratulations, Shirley and the rest of the family too—on the birth of Owen. And condolences for the loss of your Aunt Lois. Sweetness and sadness all wrapped up together. Hugs to you!

    • shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Christine, thank you for coming to this blog and leaving a comment. You have been so supportive throughout the waiting time and understand the emotional highs and lows.

      Readers, I invite you to go to Christine’s website by clicking on her name above. She is a visual artist with wonderful mystical, colorful, playful work. I’m a big fan.

  6. shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you, Saloma. Your book and your new career as a writer is your own baby right now. I wish you all the joys and realize that both are quite a bit of work!

    Here’s a good New England woman writer with an original sense of humor to guide you–Anne Bradstreet:

    The Author To Her Book

    Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
    Who after birth did’st by my side remain,
    Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
    Who thee abroad exposed to public view,
    Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,
    Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
    At thy return my blushing was not small,
    My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
    I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
    The visage was so irksome in my sight,
    Yet being mine own, at length affection would
    Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
    I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
    And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
    I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
    Yet still thou run’st more hobbling than is meet.
    In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
    But nought save home-spun cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
    In this array, ‘mongst vulgars may’st thou roam.
    In critic’s hands, beware thou dost not come,
    And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
    If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none;
    And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
    Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.

  7. Sharon Lippincott on April 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    What a magical moment — the arrival of your first grandchild. Blessings on all! And condolences on the loss of Aunt Lois. That is a poignant juxtaposition!

    • shirleyhs on April 2, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you so much, Sharon. I appreciate your comment. The moment is magical indeed.

  8. Carolyn on April 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    He’s beautiful, Shirley! Have a wonderful visit. The cycle of life and death…..singing “all shall be well” this morning must have been especially meaningful.

    • shirleyhs on April 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Yes, Carolyn, it was very fitting to sing “All Shall be Well” this morning. Just one of many synchronicities in the last week. A sign of living in Kairos Time. Thanks for noticing.

  9. DazyDayWriter on April 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Congrats, Shirley! The “new one” has arrived, how wonderful! Enjoy every minute. And here are a few words of celebration from Vincent …

    If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle. — Vincent van Gogh

    • shirleyhs on April 6, 2011 at 12:03 am

      I love this quote, Daisy! I sent it on to Anthony and Chelsea, who will be experiencing the truth of a cooing and smiling baby before we know it. Right now we are just amazed to hold and cuddle. I would never have guessed that Van Gogh was the author of this quote.

  10. DoraDueck on April 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Oh, he is so beautiful! Congratulations to parents and grandparents!

  11. shirleyhs on April 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Thank you, Dora. We are having wonderful times together.

  12. Rachel Showalter on April 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Oh, Aunt Shirley–your life will never be the same, and in such a good way!! So happy for you and Uncle Stu. I know that grandchildren bring such light and love into the family. Enjoy!! 🙂

    • shirleyhs on April 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Rachel, it’s been so exciting to share your excitement of becoming a mother and to enjoy vicariously the grandparenting stories of Hollis and Marty. Thanks for your warm wishes. We are having a blast.

  13. Betty on April 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I´m a little late, but CONGRATULATIONS to your new grandson! I´m sure you are thrilled and wish you all the best!

    • shirleyhs on April 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

      Hi, Betty! So great to hear from you. I’m just back from eight days in Brooklyn where I held baby Owen for hours every day. Thank you for your well wishes from Paraguay–and hope you and your family are well also.

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