Monday, 1 June 2009

Regarding Josephine No. 2

Josephine is my only granddaughter, my oldest daughter Angelique’s daughter, and my new lease on life.

When Josephine arrived I was 51 years old and I never thought I would see any grandchildren. Oh my God, how much we all loved this little girl. A little girl who on the day she was born was so tiny and looked so much like her father that it surprised me. Because I thought I would have seen my daughter in her too, but I didn’t. But it didn’t matter, I loved her totally.

Today Josephine is two and of course she is pure magic. If it is dark outside and her parents are carrying her in the house it looks like they are holding a lantern because there is such a bright light. I always want to say ‘here, I will hold the lantern’ until I realize that it is a small child, my small granddaughter in fact.

What a funny thing to have the past and present sitting right here, right now. It uplifts me to see that my little girl should be sitting there with a little girl of her own. It uplifts me to see that my little girl is running and laughing with a little girl of her own. It uplifts me to see that my little girl is reading to her little girl that at the age of two looks just like my little girl did at the age of two.

I have never forgotten much of what it felt like to have my own little girl, but boy oh boy, seeing my daughter with Josephine brings the memories back in spades.

Without a doubt I am immersed in one of the deepest most beautiful love stories of my life. I think of Josephine when I get up in the morning and I think of Josephine when I fall asleep. So, yes, I am over the blue moon that she was born under to be her grandmother. If you want to check out the wonder of when our girl came to us please do so at

Josephine sweeps us off our feet. Her gasps of wonder, fun, and sheer pleasure remind me of a simpler time. They are hers for sure but they can’t help but remind me of the gasps of wonder, fun, and sheer pleasure that were her Mama and her Auntie Naddie and her Uncle Nate’s when they were small children.

We have been asking Josephine for some time how old she is going to be and she always says two. We then say how many sisters does your Dad have and she says two. We then ask her what 10 minus 8 is and she says two. What is the square root of blah blah and she says two. I know a total genius.

When Josephine comes over to play with me and she grabs my hand to hold, it seems as though they are the same small hands that use to clutch me long ago, dragging me upstairs and downstairs.


Child of my child,
Heart of my heart,
Your smile bridges the years between us –
I am young again discovering the world
through your eyes.
You have the time to listen
And I have the time to spend.
Delighted to gaze at familiar,
loved features, made new in you again.
Through you, I’ll see the future
Through me, you’ll know the past
In the present we’ll love one another
As long as these moments last.

~~ Unknown ~~

She is my only granddaughter, my oldest daughter’s daughter, and my new lease on life. Josephine thank you for the privilege.

Happy 2nd Birthday Grandma’s bestest girl.

Happy Birthday Josephine, love Grandma, Grandpa, Mama, Daddie, Auntie Naddie, Uncle Chuck, and Uncle Nate.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco


kathy hare said...

Happy Birthday Josephine!
How beautiful that you say she shines like a lantern.. it sounds like she brings great joy to your life.

My daughter is expecting her first child in September and we have just found out that she is carrying a girl, I am so excited, I just can't wait to meet her..

lots of love to you Renee..

Micki said...

Happy birthday to a girl who has quite clearly brought you so much joy!

Micki x

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Josephine! What a special day for all of you. Enjoy. Love, Barb

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you Renee. I remember having these very feelings when my first granddaughter, Cailee, was born. I held her, in awe, that my 'baby' had created a baby! THe years zoom by and posts like yours, so beautifully written, help me to stop and really, REALLY think and appreciate all these wonderful gifts.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Happy Second Birthday, sweet Josephine!

Anyone who knows the square root of blah blah HAS to be a total genius:) Must be from Grandma's side of the family!

Hugs to you and Grandma Renee.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Josephine! Thank you for bringing so much joy to your Grandma! She takes that joy that you give her, and she gifts all of us with it! See what a wonderful circle you have created? Times "Two" clever girl!
Much love to you and your Momma and your Grandma! Blessings!
Love audrey

Meghann said...

Happy birthday little Josephine (and wow, do I love your family's names!). I am so glad you have another light to shine on your days and nights. I hope you get to spend a happy day with her and get to smile and laugh and sing and play.
Meg xoxo

Sonia ;) said...

Happy Birthday Josephine!!! Oh what a wonderful age of exploration, creativity and laughs. The words that will come out, the newness to the world around her. You will see life and the surroundings new again also through her eyes. How lucky you are to enjoy this...Hugs Renee.....Have fun with it and laugh everyday with her...

Sonia ;)

Yoli said...

Happy Birthday sweet Josephine! Do you guys call her Peppi? I heard a long time ago that Josephines are called that as a term of endearment and I loved it. Children have a way of healing of giving joy and a new lease on life. My own mother in law who has liver cancer is a complete different woman since the arrival of our kids. Before only her health consumed her, now, all she has time to think of is her grandchildren. It is a beautiful thing.

So again, happy birthday to your child of light.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

This is such a beautiful and moving post, Renee. Happy Birthday to your little angel! I was thinking of my grandparents all weekend. I wish so much that they could be in my life now. I still have so many things I want to ask them - especially now that I am 53 and have walked so many roads. They were the most influential people in my life. I didn't have children, and just this weekend I was thinking of how I will miss being a grandmother. I'm so happy for your joy.
It was so nice of you to think of 'introducing' me to Lola. We actually 'met' just last week! You and I are on the same wave length.
Love to you -

Once Upon A Blue Crow said...

Happy Birthday kiddo!

Deborah said...

Oh yes, Happy Birthday Josephine! Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little girl. A very blessed little one at that. Sending all my love, Deborah

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So lovely.
And such a gorgeous name.
Happy Birthday to the little light.

studio lolo said...

I love her name and I love that she is SO loved!! Your words are saturated with pride and joy. I love that she's a gift to all of you.

Happy Birthday Josephine!!


Polly said...

This is a beautiful tribute. So full of love. I loved reading it.

Jeannine said...

Bonne Fete Josephine!

Tu est une petite fille adorable. Je t'aime beaucoup.

Tante Jeannine

lakeviewer said...

Happy Two! Renee, I know that feeling of looking at life's past and future with your children and grandchildren. Absolutely Divine.

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday to little Josephine! I love her name (also my Italian grandmother's!) and that painting at the top of the blog is priceless. I love, too, that you have a new lease on life through her. The way you wove your memories of being a mother to HER mother is marvelous.

karengberger said...

Happy Birthday wishes to Josephine and to all of your family! It's wonderful to read the joy she brings to your life, and to read that lovely poem.
I am thankful that Josephine came into your life, that she is here with you, shining her brilliant light to mingle with yours. God bless you and your family.

nanakin1 said...

Happy Birthday, dear Josephine.
May your joys be many and your sorrows be few.
May your loved ones be near you
as you celebrate turning TWO!

Renee, there is nothing to compare with a mother's love for her only child, unless it is that grandmother's love for her only grandchild. At least that has been my experience with my daughter and my grandson.
Your post was so touchingly beautiful

Nancy (nanakin1)

Sarah said...

Oh I'm in tears - again!! I love you Renee!! Any sweet little creature who brings you this much joy must be a blessing indeed!!
Happy Birthday Sweet Josephine!!
May your day be filled with delicious 2 year old pleasures!!
Love, Sarah

studio lolo said...

I would never ever leave you to rot without a raven queen.
You ARE the raven queen ;)
KJ really did look out for you though in case you missed it!


angelique said...

I don't think there is anything cuter than Josephine spending time with her Gaga. I love to watch the connection and lust for life that you two share. You let it rub off on me and I am constantly reminded of what a wonderful Mom I have.
One thing that you hopefully don't share though, is a sweet tooth.....the first thing she asked for (or even said) this morning (while still in bed), Cake. "Cake Mama? Cake."
"How about some milk?"
"No Mama. Cake."

Renee said...

Angelique I can just hear her in the cutest voice ever.

'Nooooooo Mama cake.'

She is my girl.

Love Mom xoxoxo

Elizabeth said...

Hi, Renee! I read an article in the magazine MORE that made me think about you. The name of the website mentioned in the article is called

Thought you'd be interested --

Daria said...

I can only imagine how much joy Josephine brings to you. How wonderful you have her and she has you.

Happy Birthday Josephine!

angelique said...

You got that right!

kj said...

i've got your back, renee. in this case snatching lolo's raven for you was second nature! besides, you know our ms. laurel would pull her own strings for you.

now--about josephine....i'll be back. (kj recites broken record timetable...but at least she finally shows up)

ps did it rain yesterday? did you wear a birthday hat? did you have frosting all over your face? did you remember you are loved?


Shelly said...

Happy 2nd Birthday Josephine! I haven't seen any signs of the “terrible twos”, only that she is terribly adorable and she has me under some sort of spell...maybe she is following in her Grandma's magical footsteps?

TheChicGeek said...

Awwww, what a beautiful post! Happy Birthday, Josephine!

The most precious relationship I have had in my life was with my Grandma MeMe. Absolute unconditional and perfect love. There is nothing sweeter.

I know how much pleasure my children have brought me...I think a grandchild....oh, gosh, I can't even imagine how great that will be!
You are a lucky woman, Renee :)

taylor said...

Happy Birthday Josephine!

I wish I could have been there to celebrate yesterday, as I heard "all the sweetest things happened."

I love the ladies (and gent's) but am especially fond of this set of ladies in my family! I look forward to many more fun days and birthdays; hopefully more often than once in a blue moon!

love love love,

Ps. in Regarding Josephine 1: "The Real Dancing Machine" Love Uncle Wahid!!
Ps2. "Uncle Chuck" ...cute!

taylor said...

Ps. I've got the sweet-tooth and woke up "chocolate Taylor, Chocolate"
" Taylorrr go running."

send her over here and We'll delight in some cake whenever she wishes!

Anairam said...

What a wonderful way to describe your granddaughter - as a lantern - it is beautiful. I am so glad you can enjoy her so much - what a privilege!

Karin said...

Happy Birthday to sweet Josephine, the beacon that shines in Renee's heart, and reflects it's sparkle here, all the way to us!! So grateful you have the joy of her in your life ♥
love, Karin

Michelle said...

I am hoping my girls give me a few more years before grandchildren happen, for their sakes not mine!

Still, it will be special :)

How are you?


Flor Larios Art said...

Happy Birthday to Josephine! I can feel the happiness thru your words...and I am happy for you.
A big hug to you both.

Lola said...

I have to print this out and give it to my mother: the proud, crazy in love, playful, enamoured, delighted, head over heels grandmother of my son, Mr E.

She embodies everything you say. You young grannies rock, y'know that?

Touching poem. I'm smiling thru happy tears.

Happy happy birthday to Josephine (perfect name) and a special hug to her grandmother. It is your (and Angelique's) birthday too, you know. On this day, 2 years ago, you were both born again, mothers anew.

Ciao my sweet friend.

Karin said...

ha! just working on clearing my mind, thoughts, and emptying... It's hard to tell, but I did line it with copper and gold paint, so at least it shimmers :) But I certainly didn't make it to cause anyone else to keep their brains busy all night!! Don't spend a moment more thinking about it!!
xox K

Angela Recada said...

Oh Renee! This was so beautiful, it brought me to tears.

Happy Birthday, dear little Josephine!

(I love the painting you chose, too. It's perfect.)

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to a special little girl...Josephine.
So beautifully written Renee!

Love you


kendalee said...

What a blessing Renee! Congratulations to you and your lovely family on Josephine's light. I am sure she's also reflecting the love and light that she finds in you!

I don't have children of my own but I know that my two sweet nephews and tiny niece opened a space in my heart bigger than I ever imagined could be contained there. Children expand us beyond the boundaries we might otherwise reach and what a joy and a privilege it is to experience that! ♥

Baino said...

Lovely tribute granny! I'm just not ready (perhaps as well because my daughter isn't yet married!) I really hope that by the time mine have children, I'll have the same feeling! Happy birthday little one!

Bella Sinclair said...

Happiest of Birthdays, Josephine, you gorgeous, adorable, little fluff of sweet amazing love! Renee, it is no wonder she shines so brightly. She has your name embraced within hers! You are lucky to have her, and she is lucky to have you. Hooray for Josephine!!

Anonymous said...


I can't believe you are two today! Happy birthday my little strawberry.

Love forever
Auntie Naddie

Michelle said...

Ahhhh, no I'm not.

But I'm trying...

I'm dancing as fast as I can these days.....


Sarah said...

Hi Renee,
I loved reading about your beautiful Josephine! Happy birthday to her!
Sarah x

Mickey said...

Happy Birthday precious sweet sweet Josephine You are totally a ray of sunshine. We all love our Josephine and wish you a Happy Happy Birthday. Angelique and Don your daughter is a joy to be around and you are both such amazing parents, it is no wonder Josephine is so amazing...

Love Auntie Mickey

nollyposh said...

Yep them babies are so full of ~Heaven Scent~ X:-) Beautifully written and heartfelt <3

Anonymous said...

****Happy Birthday Little Lantern****

I love how you see her, how you view her being. What a gift she is and what a gift you are to her Renee, I love it! I love you.

yoborobo said...

Happy birthday, Josephine! And happy Renee, too! Very lovely :)

kj said...

"If it is dark outside and her parents are carrying her in the house it looks like they are holding a lantern because there is such a bright light."

okay, i've read this now. jesus renee. this is love layer upon layer. you know i understand this post especially, because we are in the same club here. when you wrote the end part about holding josephine's little hand and remembering exactly what that felt like before, it gave me the chills, almost brought tears.

do you realize that josephine will likely be reading these words from you when she is 21? and 45? and 60? and your children and maybe her children? what you are doing with your writing and in this blog is incredible.

love you renee,

Manon Doyle said...

Happy Birthday to your Josephine! What a beautiful post about your grand baby! My mom tells me that there is nothing better than being a grandparent! : )

Kate James said...

Oh such a beautiful post Renee. Your love for your family and especially this little angel shines so brightly.

I can't wait until my girls have children of their describe it just the way I imagine it will be.

Kate xo

Wendy said...

Wowie - zowie! Can I ever relate to this post. My granddaughter (#2) is the spitting image of her mother - my only daughter. I am taken back 34 years ago when my little girl was a little girl. Now she has a little girl of her own!!

Happy happy Birthday Josephine! How lucky you are to have a Grandma who loves you so much. And what a beautiful day to celebrate a birthday - June! I love June - such a beautiful month!

You asked about my hubby - he's not doing well these days. Very tired and weak. We are taking one day at a time.

glorv1 said...

Happy Birthday Josephine. Happy June month to you Renee. Enjoy and take care.

Diana Evans said...

oh what a sweet post Renee!!! Children and Grandchildren are such precious gifts....

Happy Birthday Josephine!!!


Sydney said...

So beautiful Renee -- have you printed this out to save for her to read someday? You captured so perfectly how it must feel... I say must feel because I could not know but boy do I feel it through your writing.


Diana Evans said...

you are so cute and so funny...I am glad you won't eat the doll...hehehehe....


Diana Evans said...

Thanks Renee!!! you are truly an angel....I hope you know how special you are....


Chrisy said...

Happy Birthday to your little light..I too know the truly is the ultimate love affair...and how fortunate she is to have you as her grandmother...

Sue said...

Renee I had a lump in my throat reading your post. How blessed you are to have such a beautiful granddaughter, and how blessed Josephine is to have such a beautiful Grandma!

Hugs to both of you

Snowbrush said...

I envy you that relationship as I don't have anything even close. I'm glad you have do.

Sayli said...

happy bday to josephine!!
I loved the way u call her Light/ Lantern.... U all r lovely family... May God bless you always!
love n hugs to josephine

Mim said...

what a lovely, lovely post - and yes...she does sound like a genius!

Ces said...

Sham, shame, shame on me for being late. But my dearest twin Josephine will forgive me because she knows that I am an incorrigible Gemini. What at a glorious month for you renee. it starts with the celebration of dearly beloved beautiful adorable grandchild. She is light, laughter and love. She is beauty, grace and hope. She is the energy that will fuel your life and the line that continues your circle of life. Happy birthday month to my dearest Gemini twin sister!

Ces said...

BTW. All the talk about intlligence, she will pooh-fooh someday. It all comes naturally to her. She is a brainiac, a mentally agile child. She is the child of the wind after all! Also her grandmother is Aries, Gemini and Aries are friends.

Noreen said...

Unbelievable that it has been two years already, Renee! Josephine and you are so fortunate to have experienced two wonderful years together!

Happy second birthday Josephine!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Renee

What a sweet little grandaughter you have ~ loved the thought of her shining like a lantern.

Happy Birthday Josephine!
What a gift you are to her and she is to you!

Birthday hugs to you both.
Carolyn xoxox

Woman in a Window said...

That poem is a perfect tribute. These new ones bridge the past and future. I see it with my children and my parents, and I imagine it for my one day grandchildren. Beautiful.
Happy Second Birthday!

BT said...

Wow, Happy belated birthday Josephine. I know how wonderful it is to have a grandchild. I have loved Jack just as much as his father, Jason and now I have a little girl to love too, Kitty. I will meet her and fall in love I have no doubt. I meet her on Thursday. Hooray. Love to you Renee.

Loni Edwards said...

What a precious post. What a lovely Grandmother you are! Happy Birthday dear Josephine, you are such a lucky little lady to have such a wonderful Grandmother! Renee, I had tears in my eyes as I read this post. I could just feel the love you have for Josephine. Its wonderful. I'm am so happy for you!

yoon see said...

God bless and may Josephine continue to bring more joy to you Renee:)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Happy Birthday to sweet Josephine. She sounds like a real gift - there is nothing like the laughter of children to warm the heart.

A Cuban In London said...

Happy Birthday to your lovely granddaughter! And past and present. Yes, and future! You are also in her future, you're Grandma, or Nana, or whatever she calls you. Many thanks for this post.

Greetings from London.

Jen said...

Aww, happy belated birthday Josephine!!

I love her name by the way!

Lydia said...

Such a sweet writing of Josephine and your love for her. How lucky to have such beauty and an angel from above in your family.

I'm glad she is there to cheer you.

JuneMoonToon said...

Renee says: "Today Josephine is two and of course she is pure magic. If it is dark outside and her parents are carrying her in the house it looks like they are holding a lantern because there is such a bright light. I always want to say ‘here, I will hold the lantern’ until I realize that it is a small child, my small granddaughter in fact."

Just had to repeat that here. That is just about the most beautiful thing I've read in ages.(May I quote it on my blog in referring people to yours???) I love it.
ALSO the part about her brilliant math!!! (I know where she gets her geniosity!!)

Marie S said...

I am sitting here with tears running down my face. They are tears of huge joy, I understand and feel your love in my soul. A grand daughter is an amazing gift.
Thank you for the wonderful words.
Happy Birthday little light Josephine!

Jeanne said...

Like you, I thought I might not have a grandchild. My health is good, and I'm relatively young for grandmotherhood, but my daughter is gay, and that makes things tricky. She'd always said she'd have a child when she was 32, and she's a great one for planning and executing, but the best laid plans can go astray, especially if no one is getting laid in a way that generates children.

After 7 artificial insemination attempts, she became pregnant and my grandson was born in January, 2007. He's a startlingly beautiful child, golden skinned and dark-eyed, athletic, quite verbal, and given to melodrama.

Just like his mama.

ophelia rising said...

Incredible. I feel just this way, with my children, now. they are truly bright, incredibly shiny lanterns burning everywhere they set their feet. Joy, richness, divinity follows them.

Thank you for reminding me.