The birth of a grandchild brings new love, life, and joy. With each grandchild, my heart bursts with love from the moment I hold them in my arms, and beam as I witness my two daughters as mothers holding their newborn child.
My first grandchild Benji, named for my beloved father enlisted unexpected emotions. After his birth, I returned to ice skating after an eight-day hiatus. I stepped onto the ice and shook knowing the onset of a tsunami of tears. Skating is my passion and solace, and on this day baffled by my body’s reaction. Attempting to skate for a short while, I knew I had to exit the ice and remove my skates. At home, after I calmed down and gave thought to the experience, I realized the emotions not unlike when I lost my beloved sisters Margie and Jane. The death of my sisters changed my life, the birth of Benji changed my life, both sparking extreme antithesis of emotions. Where there is deep grief there is love, where there is deep joy there is love.
Jake, my second grandchild was born five weeks prematurely. Filled with worry for him and his parents, Jake spent twenty-two days in the NICU and is thriving. He is a sweet little boy who constantly smiles and giggles. His bris, the Jewish ceremony in which a baby boy is circumcised was postponed. The beautiful ceremony marked with the Jewish heritage from both parents, deepened by the gift of Jake’s good health, and immense love from family and a few close friends. I looked around and witnessed the gift of four generations of our family present. I came home and cried for two days: the emotions overwhelming. Jake and Benji will grow up as cousins, and my daughters Janie and Amy have each other as sisters. My heart hurt from missing my cherished sisters Margie and Jane.
We welcomed Madelyn, my third grandchild on June ninth, a beautiful girl named for my sister Margie. I have shed many tears and touched Margie will now be remembered for all her good, smiles, laughter, and spark and not the challenges she suffered. I look forward to sharing stories about Margie with Madelyn. My heart is full. Both my beloved sisters now have a legacy to be remembered.
Benji named me “Nini,” and I love he chose my grandmother title. With each grandchild, there is a new love, life, and joy. Every moment spent with them is a precious gift. I do not take photos, every memory imprinted in my heart.
Judy Lipson, is the Founder of Celebration of Sisters, an ice skating fundraiser established in 2011 to commemorate the memories of her beloved sisters to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital. Judy has published articles for The Open to Hope Foundation and The Centering Organization. Massachusetts General Hospital and SKATING Magazine featured numerous pieces on Judy’s philanthropic work. Judy appeared as a guest on The Open To Hope and The Morning Glory Podcasts. Her passion for figure skating secured the recipient of U.S. Figure Skating Association 2020 Get Up Award. Judy’s memoir, Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve, released December 2021 by WriteLife Publishing.