I was at Molly Stone in Belmont, Ca trying to find the ^&*$#** Mandarin oranges my wife fancies so much when my iPhone buzz in my pocket. I happen to know that this place is a dead spot for AT&T so I ignored it. The phone rang less than 60 seconds again and I saw it was my wife, so I went outside to find out what else my wife wanted me to pick up.
But that wasn't it at all. She was calling to tell me that our daughter Melanie in Dallas, had given birth to Isla (pronounced AYla) a few hours ago. Isla is 8 pounds, a few ounces and 19 inches long I was told. More important, all her toes and fingers are where they are supposed to be. For once in my life, I was pretty speechless. We spoke for another minute or two, then I returned to Aisle 3 and my quest for Mandarin oranges.
Slowly, I realized that my eyes were misting up. And then I was bawling like Isla must have done a few hours earlier. I stood there wondering if I could shoplift a Kleenex when some guy came up to me, concerned, asking what was wrong. I told him I had just learned I had a new granddaughter. He stared for second, then, beaming, stuck out his hand.
"Congratulations, grandpa," he said. I think I said thanks. Then he turned to someone passing by and told him I just learned about a grandchild. Then one person was telling another and people were patting me on the back and I was wiping my eyes and saying thank you.
I know that I just had one of those memories that will stay with me. I even remembered the Mandarin oranges.
Life is beautiful. Birth is a miracle. And yes, you can call me grandpa. At least today.