Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Monday, August 29, 2011

Confessions of a Long-Distance Grandma

They left this morning; Heather and the kids. 'Leaving Day' is always hard for me. Today was worse than usual. Maybe it was the gray clouds. It might be because this is the second 'Leaving Day' this month. (My son John's family left two weeks ago after spending a week here, and I was very melancholy for a few days after that.)

Or perhaps it's because I'm so aware that time is passing swiftly. Jordynn, my oldest grand-daughter is no longer a child, but a young lady. And though I see my Portland grandchildren several times each year and we try to cram as many good times and happy memories into the summer weeks and the holiday weekends as possible... still I will not get to attend all of their birthday parties. I will miss seeing Isabella and Dane score soccer goals, and Junior's first touchdown. Sofie will grow like a little weed. In a year or so, the little red step-stool that I put in the bathroom so she can wash her chubby little hands by herself, will not be needed. It's likely that Jordynn will go to her first prom and I won't see her dress in person. I won't get to go to the pumpkin patch with Ana, or help her carve pumpkins.

This is the first time that I couldn't conceal my tears when they left. I went into the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water, took a deep breath, and walked out to the driveway for last minute hugs. Though I tried to hold it together, my heart sprung a leak and the tears sprang from my eyes.  I gave them quick hugs said good-bye with a croaky voice- then retreated into the house.

It was too early to start cleaning house, so I filled the tub with bubbles and crawled in with a new book. Koda wandered in and lay down on the bathmat to keep me company. She misses them too. I think later I'll walk to the Lynden Dutch Bakery and have some split pea soup with a raisin bun. Food always helps.

Soon I'll turn my thoughts and energies toward the school year. The Resource Room, where I work with special-needs and economically challenged children, will be full of new and returning students. Some will be happy and excited...some will be frightened and anxious. As I look into their little faces I will remember the vow that I made twelve years ago. That was the year that Heather and her husband Edgar relocated to Portland, taking my first and (then) only grandchild, Jordynn with them. I cried for two weeks. Then I dried my eyes and prayed this prayer..."Lord, if you will promise to take good care of my children and grandchildren--my babies...I give you my word that I will take good care of your babies. I will treat every child I teach with all of the tender-care and kindness that I would give to my own grandchildren."

I will keep my word, and God will keep His...soon I will be playing soccer with other people's grandchildren. I will hug them on their birthdays and cheer wildly when they score touchdowns. I will tell them that they are special and smart and lavish them with praise and love...as though they were my own grandchildren. Then on special holidays or long weekends I'll board the train to Portland, where I'll be met with an abundance of hugs and laughter and joy...and once again see that God has kept his promise to me.


***

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. I almost shed a tear just reading this! And I KNOW God will keep His word!

Linda O'Connell said...

Awww, you have me crying. I can so relate to your post. Bless you.

ellen b. said...

Ahh those kids you work with and your grandchildren are blessed to have you in their lives...

jojo said...

that my dear is the most beautiful post that has come from your heart and blessed all of us with it's loveliness. God is good...and he keeps his promises. You are a joy in each of those childrens hearts and lives.

Elizabeth said...

God is good and though seeing the grandchildren go was hard, it was also part of His master plan to work in their life, in yours and in those precious lives that you minister to. You are both blessed and a blessing to others - including those who read your blog. x

Anneliese said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes ... I too said goodbye to my first granddaughter when she was only two .. as our kids moved to Indonesia .. almost seven years ago. I love how god has given you other children to love in His name. Although at the time of departure it was the hardest thing I had ever done.. I now also see his hand providing for me to have room for others ... and His grace has been more that sufficient as I have been able to still keep a close relationship with my overseas grandchildren.

Debora said...

Thank you all for your gracious words. Only grandmothers would truly understand this post. Anneliese...Indonesia!That's a long way for the tendons of the heart to stretch...but I know they do. Thank God for his grace! I am very aware that without this circumstance I may have become too absorbed with my own family to reach out to children in need. And most of the time I'm OK with that. But there are days...

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