Nanny (my mom's mom) taught her children and their children and their children many things during her 92 years on earth. To be honest, she has continued to teach us beyond her days with us. Her nickname was Patience. Most people called her that, in fact. You would have thought it was her given name. When she passed in 2007, I was mostly sad about all the amazing events that she would miss. I would miss her knowledge and reassurance that things would work out. I would miss her faith and her strong convictions. Thankfully, she left us with traditions and lessons that I carry with me daily.
One of those traditions is a bit silly. Nanny taught us that whenever we saw a white horse, we had to lick our left pointer finger, "stamp it" on our right hand, and "seal it" with our left fist. She insisted it was good luck. I've been on the look out for white horses most of my life and to this day, I lick, stamp and seal every time I spot one. I even taught Chris how to do it. On our way to softball, we would see a white horse and he followed my lead.
Lick, stamp, seal.
"What is this for again?" he would ask.
"Good luck." I said.
In the past year, I wondered what kind of good luck had been sent my way from decades of wishing on white horses. Sometimes, I never really thought of the outcome. It was just a way to stay connected to Nanny and pass along the tradition to Chris, although he insists on calling her "Nanners" which my mom pointed out that she would probably love.
I now have a different view of those white horses. Perhaps they are responsible for the loads of good fortune I have had in my life the past 34 years but there was something missing. And when that pregnancy test popped up positive and we got to see our baby moving and stretching on the screen last Monday, I thought of Nanny and those white horses and considered this baby a gift from her.
A gift for all those years of licking my finger, stamping my hand, sealing it in and believing that someday, this luck would pay off big time!
A lesson in Patience. How fitting.