Hugs and kisses are part of Mother's Day and every day

(WBIR-West Knoxville) What could be better than being a mother? Maybe being a grandmother. A grandmother, her daughter, and HER daughter share a special bond.

"I fell in love instantly. She was just an amazing little girl," April Lawson said.

That's a not so surprising reaction to the birth of your baby. It came after months of worry during April Lawson's pregnancy as she prepared for Annabel to be born with Down syndrome. Two years later...

"I don't even look at her and see that she has Down syndrome. She's just a baby. she cries. She plays. She laughs. She started smacking me in the the face. She wants her Nana more than she wants me half of the time," she said.

Ah, Nana. That is Sonya Merritt.

To be an advocate for Annabel, April did a lot of research and connected with Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs. But her best resource has been her own mother.

"Being called Nana instead of Mama is special," Sonya Merritt said.

She watches Annabel every day while April works. She helps with her therapy at home and takes her to appointments. She's also shared her own motherly wisdom with her daughter.

"You've got to have a lot of patience with children. The love. We have a lot of love in our family. We have plenty of love to go around," she said.

April said, "I love everything about her."

That's for sure. Annabel has the cutest smile!

"Annabel is amazing. If everyone could have the strength and determination that this little kid has then this world would be an amazing place. She brightens everyone's day," April said.

Sharing their love for Annabel and sharing their time has brought three generations closer together and made them stronger.

"God is with you. God can give you things that you cannot handle. He did. He continues to. But I lean on Him to get through it," April said.

Sonya said, "Always say I love you. Accept the hug when they come."

Expect lots of hug and kisses for Mother's Day, and every day.


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