I watch as my baby sister rocks and soothes her newborn baby. She cuddles him close and whispers sweet words of love and comfort. I’m mesmerized by her maturity and effortless transformation into motherhood. 

She is a beautiful new mother. 

She is patient. She is calm. She is radiating love and joy.

I wonder if she knows how beautiful she looks.

She reminds me so much of our mother. That part aches because our mother is gone. It makes this happy moment, full of sadness and sorrow too.

She doesn’t notice, but I have tears in my eyes from the emotion of this exact moment. I find myself overwhelmed with delicate and interweaved emotions. 

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As I wipe the tears, I catch another glimpse of my sister engaged with her son, and everything feels joyful again, overwhelmingly joyful. I stare at the two of them. Both pieces of my mother. Both extensions of her life and love. Both parts of her legacy

As I slowly lean in to hold my nephew, I’m filled with immense celebration and gratitude. This little boy doesn’t get to meet his grandmother, but even with that harsh reality, the beauty is that he still obtained pieces of her. Even better, he has a mother who reflects all she was.

He has a mother just like her. Made by her love, example, and influence. 

As for him, he has priceless pieces of her too. He has some of her blood running through his veins. He has some of her spirit running through his soul. He has her wisdom and her heart and her love soaring through his little body, and it’s a priceless gift we will never take for granted. 

For so long I’ve grieved all of the pieces of my mother that have been lost. Today, I looked up and realized the precious pieces of her that remain. I saw her once again. Clear as day, I saw her. She was right there, exuding love and light through my sister. 

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The day my sister became a mother, my mother had brand new pieces of her legacy created and extended.

So far, it has been grief’s most beautiful gift. An extended legacy for my mother, and another priceless gift to love.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. She has a deep love of teaching and has always enjoyed helping inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. She decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. Website: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities