Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy Valentine's Day! So much has happened in our family in the past year. It was about this time a year ago that we first saw the orthopedic surgeon and learned Bill would need a spinal fusion. (Ten months later, he is still recovering; some days are just an effort for him.) We welcomed two precious grandsons over the summer. My dad died in early September after a long journey through dementia and my adoptive mom, Pat, passed away suddenly in January. Finally, I helped our daughter Katie move to Florida last month. Bill's mom, 97, lives here in town in assisted living. She seems physically well but her memory is not.

Every family encounters trials and joys, but the past year seemed to give us extra helpings of each. All of our children and grandchildren now live out of state. Some days I really struggle with this. I never imagined we'd want to "follow" our kids as they move away, but now we are beginning to talk and pray about possibly relocating. I don't know, maybe losing Dad brought this into focus for me. I don't want to be an absent grandmother. And while yes, we can "take road trips" (a comment I hear often), honestly it's getting old to have to drive 450 miles to hold a grandchild or celebrate a birthday.

Some retirees look forward to travel, hobbies and socializing and I'm fine with some of that. Bill and I enjoy our quiet evenings, dinners for two, and bike rides. But my heart aches terribly in missing those five precious little ones. I never want to be intrusive or overbearing in the lives of my children and grandchildren, but I do want to be available, to know, love and enjoy them.

I think it comes down to love. Things like houses and vacations don't much matter to me. They certainly won't matter in eternity. After God, family is the only thing I need to love.

And so while I seek God's wisdom and grapple with Him stirring my spirit, I trust He has the best plan, the best timing and will prepare us for whatever is to come. Also, I am reminded to "be content whatever the circumstances." (Philippians 4:11). No matter what I may want, I choose to trust God in all things.


Jenny Haller said...

Awww that last pic! My sweet baby girls are no more. I know this year has been exciting AND challenging. A story waiting to be written ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb. I too went thru the wanting to be near the grandchildren syndrome. I didn't want to be the grandma that they only saw once in a while. We now live in North Carolina. We are just 6 miles from our two grandsons and our children. We love it!

Melody Mussard

Kathleen said...

Move, Barb. Though I hate the idea of you not living in Ohio, I love having my parents close. Because we see each other often, there is a closeness, a bond that we didn't have when we only saw them once a month or several times a year. They are truly a part of our lives, as opposed to visitors. And if I were one of your grandkids, I would want you close . . . you are an A+ Grandma!

-d said...

Baba's arms were made to hold her babies close to her heart, and those babies will be blessed to be in your arms as much as possible!