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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Tuesday, April 22

A love story

May 16, 2009 Finn and Granny meet for the first time.
March 19, 2011 Korri and Granny meet for the first time.

Written with love by Stacy Thomas...

Hi, my name is Stacy and I am Jim's wife. For those of you who don't know, Jim is Ron's son, who is Gram's son, so is Granny's daughter. So Granny is Jim's great grandma. Today is truly a celebration of an amazing life and I'm going to try to hold it together. But let's face it, I'm pregnant and the chances of that happening are pretty slim...but I'll try. Today I'm here to share with you a love story.

Jim and I have two children, Finnegan who is 5 and Korrigan who is 3 and they are Granny's great-great grandchildren, even though she often told people they were her grandchildren! And you heard me correctly...she was their great-great grandma.

The first love affair began on May 16, 2009 when Granny laid eyes on Finnegan for the first time in Ron's dining room. After Finn's birth, it was a long, difficult journey to arrange their meeting (a journey Granny understood all too well since she was a preemie too), but we managed and it was beautiful. One hundred years his senior, she couldn't get enough of him. With the help of a picture of Gram, we were able to take a picture of FIVE generations...simply unheard of and such a miracle (for both Granny and Finn!). From that day forward, she told anybody who would listen about Finnegan, even if she thought his name was a little funny.

The second love affair began on March 19, 2011, the day Granny met Korri. Now, Granny always adored Finn and talked about him as often as she could, but there was something special between Granny and Korri. They are kindred spirits with spunk and sass to spare. But Korri has a nurturing soul that latched on to Granny immediately. Korri always stood right next to her, hugged her as many times as she could and often climbed up on her lap so Granny could see better whatever it was Korri was showing her. Even though Granny has gone to heaven, I feel strongly that her spirit lives on in many people but especially in Korri.

My kids spend a lot of time in Ortonville during the summers and every single day, they would walk up to "Granny's house" for a visit. I think they thought it was actually granny's house and other people just lived with her. The favorite part was that Finn was allowed to ride his bike through the halls with the caveat that he didn't run into anybody or anything, of course. Everybody there loved seeing him zooming around and he was so happy and excited to be able to go there. I think that is how you can tell how special their relationship with Granny was...because they never dreaded going there nor thought it was weird to be around so many "old" people nor put up a fight to visit. They often asked (or demanded) to go and went happily every single time.

The love between them and Granny was mutual and total. Even to the very last visit two weeks ago. Granny could barely sit up and my kids just got closer then, so she could hear or see what they were doing or showing her. No big deal. When it was time to go, Korri snuggled right in and gave Granny the biggest hug and said, "I hope you feel better soon, Granny." Even though we'd told them that Granny would be going to heaven soon, Korri still had hope that she would get better so they could have more visits.

So, yes, like so many others here today, I'm sad. I'm sad for what we've lost. I'm sad for the great love my kids have lost. I'm sad for the visits we won't get to have any more. I'm sad for all the cooking secrets that Granny took with her. Although this past weekend she did share with Jim the secret to her skinny pancakes...which apparently is using milk right from the cow that you milked yourself. Of course! But I'm also happy. Happy for all the memories, wonderful times and love shared between Granny and so many. But most importantly, I'm happy because Granny's soul is free from earthly constraints and she is enjoying herself in heaven with all those she has missed so dearly. So while this love story may have come to a conclusion in person, I have a feeling it will continue forever through pictures and memories and with Granny, herself watching over her two little "grandkids" that she loved so dearly. Thank you, Granny, for all you've given to and shared with us. You will live forever in our stories, memories, prayers and hearts.

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