When I had my first child, my mother and grandmother stayed at the house to help me. I don’t know what I would have done without them. My husband couldn’t get off from work, and I would have been on my own. Here we are, twenty-six years later, and I’ve taken up the mantle and am at my daughter’s house helping take care of her newborn.
When Rebecca told me that her husband had two weeks of paternity leave and would be there to help as well, I honestly didn’t think too much of it. Sure, he’d be there, but what good would he be? If Rebecca needed guidance and help from someone who had “been there,” she would have me. Anthony certainly wouldn’t have anything to add to the equation. I pictured him coming home from the hospital, tired and hungry, eating whatever I made before going to bed and returning to the hospital the next day to bring Rebecca and the baby home. From there, I assumed he’d make an appearance during the day, but his primary role would come into play at night with diaper changing and then handing off Evelyn for feedings.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
Then and Now
When I came home from the hospital with my children, my husband had to be at work as usual. With our first two girls, he was an hour away, working overtime since the state legislature was in session. With our last daughter, Ken was working for a busy law firm about 30 minutes from our home. He was at the house as much as he could be but not nearly as much as he wanted. When Mom and Gram left, I was on my own, navigating the scary world of new motherhood.
From the moment Rebecca’s water broke (I was already there because the doctor told her that morning to expect labor within the next 24 hours), Anthony went into husband and daddy mode. He helped Rebecca get herself ready, checked everything on the list, and was calm, cool, and collected throughout. As for coming home from the hospital in the evenings, that never happened. Other than a few trips to the hospital cafeteria, Anthony never left Rebecca’s side. He was there for the entire twenty-two-and-a-half-hour labor and the 36-hour postpartum hospital stay.
Once home, Anthony took an active role in the feedings, offering moral support, making sure both Evelyn and Rebecca were comfortable, and encouraging Rebecca in those many moments when nursing is just hard. Since they’ve been home, Anthony has changed nearly every diaper, makes sure Rebecca is always hydrated, and constantly asks what he can do to help.
I wasn’t sure how all this was going to play out. What would Anthony do for these two weeks? What would I do if he was always at Rebecca’s beck and call?
A Trinity of Love
Believe, me I have kept busy! There are always clothes to be washed (we all know how the laundry piles with a newborn), dishes to be washed and put away (especially with an endless line of visitors), and meals to be made. I try to stay in the background, tending to the house while these two beautiful young people learn to be parents. I was worried about how I would be as a grandmother during these early days, but that came easily of course!
When I return home this weekend, Rebecca and Anthony will be on their own. I don’t know if they have any fears or trepidations, but they will be able to handle it. They are a team, and it makes my heart melt to see the love they have for each other and their baby. They are the embodiment of Trinitarian Love manifested through the love of a husband and wife.
As Catholics, we believe that God lovingly breathed to life His Word in the Son, Jesus, and through the Father and Son, love came to the whole world as the Holy Spirit. The family is the true fulfillment of this Trinitarian Love. A husband and wife, through love, bring forth a child. St. John Chysostom said, “When husband and wife are united in marriage they no longer seem like something earthly, but rather like the image of God Himself.” They become like God, the Creator, the one who breathes life into the Son and from Their love, produces the Holy Spirit. Husband and wife, breathing life into each other through their love, create a new human being.
After Mass Sunday morning, Rebecca and Anthony’s priest, Father Larry, blessed Evelyn. As my eyes filled with tears, I knew that the blessing also extended to her parents. They form a union, a beautiful trinity that can only be enhanced and affirmed if they are blessed with more children in the future.
Pope Benedict XVI said, “God wished to reveal Himself by being born in a human family, and hence the human family has become an icon of God…The human family is, in a certain sense, the icon of the Trinity because of the love between its members and the fruitfulness of that love.”
That love is alive and well in this house.
I have been blessed to witness this love all week. I have seen the words of Pope Francis lived out through the love and care that Anthony and Rebecca show each other and Evelyn. I especially in the love and devotion that Anthony shows to Rebecca and their daughter.
Husbands Love Your Wives
At the Festival of Families in 2015, Pope Francis said, “the most beautiful thing God made – so the Bible tells us – was the family. He created man and woman. And he gave them everything. He entrusted the world to them: ‘Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it bear fruit, let it grow.’ All the love he put into that marvelous creation, he entrusted to a family.”
May God bless this beautiful family.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.Ephesians 5:25-28
October 15 and 16, 2022 – St Mary’s County Fairgrounds, Leonardtown, MD
Amy will be signing and selling books at the festival. All ages are welcome for a day of sun and seafood! See event website for more details.
October 29, 2022 – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD
Amy will be signing and selling books at the festival. The event features live music on two stages, boat rides, retriever demonstrations, oysters and other local fare, an oyster stew competition and cooking demonstrations, along with children’s activities, oyster demonstrations, harvesting displays and Chesapeake-related documentary screenings. More details coming soon.
Write What You Know Writer’s Workshop
November 12, 2022 – Time TBA – Leonardtown Library, Leonardtown, MD
Amy will be giving a workshop for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). She will talk about how to write a more authentic and readable novel by writing about what you know – the people, places, and events that have shaped your own life. More details coming soon.
November 19, 10am-4pm & November 20 10am-3pm – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD
Amy will be selling and signing her books at the annual event just in time for Christmas! The Festival will feature artisans from around the country selling coastal and sea-glass related jewelry, home décor, art, and more. The two-day festival ticket includes entrance to the festival, live music, and all the exhibitions and historic structures on the campus of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, was released on June 15, 2022. Buy your copy now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021), Seeking Tranquility (2022).