Happy Homecoming

“Happy Homecoming Day” I said to Ben this morning. In the adoption world there are special dates that you always remember. The day my daughter got “the call” and the days between that day and “homecoming day” (which I remember as being like a very short pregnancy where we were scrambling to help our daughter get everything ready for her new arrival). Then there’s “adoption day” which happened just ten days before his first birthday. At the same time, the fact that Benjamin joined our family through adoption is not something that I dwell on – he’s our grandson.
It seems a lifetime ago since my daughter got the call that there was a sweet little 2 1/2 month old baby boy who was soon to become her son.
There were no diagnoses yet. We had no idea that our life journey would be forever changed by this tiny blessing of a boy.
Although we very quickly knew something was up, Benjamin would double in age from that first day before we would hear his first official diagnosis. One followed another, it seemed, for several months. Each time my daughter would kiss Ben and tell him that it was okay. We accepted that all of the firsts that Ben would experience would not be the ones we were so excited about when Jamie told us that she had gotten the call on a little guy whom we thought we would be experiencing so many firsts with. We accepted that many of the firsts we were excited about would probably never happen at all. But still we would look at this little miracle of a baby and know that we are so blessed to call him our grandson. We’ve worried more than we would ever know was possible, even though I am a huge worrier by nature and have been my whole life… nothing has compared to what I’ve experienced in the past two years. Hours and days spent in the ER, hospital rooms, the PICU, hospital waiting rooms, and doctor waiting rooms. Prayers, prayers, and more prayers. I’ve mourned a lot and questioned a lot, still do sometimes. Even though I love Ben exactly as he is, I can’t help but mourn for what he and his momma (and yes, me and my husband and all those who love him) have missed and will miss. We walk on egg shells, in a constant state of worry. I’m not sure I’ll ever totally sleep soundly again. It’s what we’ve learned is our new normal. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact.
But what has this blessing of a boy, my grandson, taught me over the past two years?
He’s taught me first to “cross that bridge when we come to it”. This is a big one because I thrive on routine and I like to know what’s going to happen. I’m a planner and a worrier. There are some things we just can’t plan and there are too many worries in the future to dwell on constantly in the now. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, even though we still exist in a constant state of worry.
I’ve learned that many of the things that used to bother me aren’t really things worth wasting the stress over now.
I’ve learned that some of the little things are the really important things.
I’ve learned that if you act with class and kindness, others are more likely to treat you with class and kindness. Even when you’re frustrated.
I’ve learned that I’m a lot braver than I thought I could be.
I’ve learned to be more thankful.
I’ve learned to be more empathetic and less judgmental.
I’ve learned that the old saying “when bad things happen, you know who your real friends are” is very true while at the same time I just haven’t had the time and energy to devote to some of the relationships that I hold dear.
I’ve learned that a baby’s smile can light up a whole day. And that a baby’s laugh is one of the best sounds ever… especially when it comes back after an absence of too many months.
I’ve learned that it’s easier to adjust to a new normal than I could have imagined.
I look at my grandson and thank God every day that He chose to bless our family with a perfect and beautiful little boy.

Mother’s Day

I lost my own mom in 2010 so Mother’s Day became a whole different day for me. Of course, I’m thankful for my own children because being a mom has been the most important part of my whole life… along with being a wife and now a grandmother, but every Mother’s Day is tinged with a little sadness. Even so, shouldn’t every day be Mother’s Day? And Father’s Day while we’re at it. Do we need a special day to honor our parents? Shouldn’t we honor our mother and our father every day? To be honest, these days make me a little uncomfortable because I don’t like putting pressure on my husband and children to do special things for me or buy special gifts and there are those whose only wish is to become a mother so this day is so very difficult. So on this day, I really just like the gift of time spent together with my family. No honoring, just love as usual.

Thank you, Jamie and Jon, for being the best children I could hope to be blessed with. I love  you forever and always.

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Easter Sunday…1989…my babies.

With that being said, I would like to take a little time to show some love to some very special women in my life.

To my mom- I miss you terribly. You always loved me unconditionally, even though sometimes I didn’t deserve it. You were my rock and my friend. You were the best grandmother ever. You are my sunshine.

To my mother-in-law- Thank you for giving me your son. Thank you for raising the best man I could have hoped to find and spend my life with. And thank you for giving unselfishly.

To my daughter Jamie- Thank you for giving me the best gift ever… a grandson. He is the sunshine in my days. He is taking us on quite a journey, but he is worth every little step. My heart is full of love.
Also, thank you for being my friend and for showing me what being a supermom is all about. It amazes me every day. Even though you have been the best mom to five sweet babies, Happy First Official Mother’s Day!

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My Superman Grandson

To my son’s girlfriend Brittany- Thank you for being the best mom ever to every pup that has and will come into your life. Besides the love you show your own three beautiful dogs, you are giving each and every dog that you foster perhaps the only love they have ever been shown and the best care they could hope for while they call your home their own for a little bit of time.

To my son’s girlfriend’s mom Anne- Thank you for bringing such a special baby into this world and raising her to be such a wonderful caring woman. We are blessed to have her in our family. And some day I will be proud to call her my daughter-in-law.

To my sisters Sylvia and Teri- I know you both cherish your privacy so I just want to tell you both how much I love and miss you. I hope that we all have blue skies ahead with lots of sunshine.

 

 

 

Spring…

Spring has sprung and so have I! What does that mean anyhow?

It’s spring! It may not act like spring every day, but it is spring. The birds are singing and I have little violets that have graced my flower garden. My very rough looking perennial flower garden. Maybe one of these days I can clean it up all pretty. I do sport a brown thumb though. I did not inherit my mom’s talent with growing beautiful flowers and plants.

My family is well and summer is around the corner. I hope that we can enjoy this summer.

More to come…

Mistletoe

Thirty-some-odd years ago, when Jim and I were dating, I gave him a Christmas card. A humorous card… I’m not sure if he still has it tucked away someplace. I can’t remember it’s funny little sentiment, just that it contained a little fake sprig of mistletoe and that Jim tucked that mistletoe into the visor of his car. Eventually that car became our car. And the mistletoe remained and has moved to each car we have bought together in the 30 years we’ve been married.

Recently we bought a new-to-us car and Jim started using our old Explorer as a work vehicle. I had forgotten about the sprig of mistletoe until I had to drive the old Explorer a week or so ago.

And there it was…

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Sweet memories. 

Tonight

Tonight I am sad.

I am sad for Paris and its people. And for the world.

I am sad for a situation that I cannot change.

I am sad that someone that I love has to have so many difficulties.

Tonight I am sad.

Saturday…

Here I sit on a Saturday morning. I should be doing about a million other things, but I want to write. I haven’t written here in so long that I’m sure my blog has been long forgotten by many. I’ve debated for months about whether or not to bring my blog back and decided to give it a go. A little update…

What has been going on? Well, the biggest change in my life in the last couple of years is that I’m a Nana now! My daughter Jamie adopted the most adorable little boy ever and he is the sunshine in our everyday. He joined our family when he was just 2 1/2 months old and the adoption was final 10 days before his first birthday. He’s 17 months old now.🙂 I babysit every day so I’m a pretty busy Nana as our business has been super busy and I still do the office work too.

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Here’s our SuperBen!

My husband and I still operate our business and will for several more years yet. Not old enough or rich enough for retirement yet. Not as much time for antiquing, but we enjoy it when we can. Our kids are super busy with life and work. A teacher, a CNC programmer/machinist, and a nurse. I’m super proud of my daughter, son, and my son’s girlfriend. They’re all good and kind people and hard working.

Duke is still doing silly things, albeit somewhat less and slower as he just turned 9. Our daughter’s dog Sosha now lives with us full time. Our son and his girlfriend have two dogs (Harley and Brody) and also foster rescue dogs. I can’t wait to get over to their house and see the week old puppies that they have right now! Ricky (Jamie’s cat), Lucy, and Ethel (Jon and Brittany’s cats) round out the family and don’t live with us. After having cats my whole life, Jim and I are on a very long term cat break.

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Duke up to some of his shenanigans.🙂

Well, that was my life… in a nutshell. I hope to do this more often than once every two years. Maybe once a week? Maybe. I have a lot less time than I used to, but I miss my writing.

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

As I sit here waiting for Jim to finish setting up the rig, I’m think-think-thinking.

My life’s gone through a ton of changes this past year and a half or so. Maybe I need to start journaling it again in the form of my blog.

I’m posting from my phone so this may be interesting. Am I even on the right blog? 😊

So…what do you think?