Thanksgiving “Family Affair”

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HAPPY  THANKSGIVING  TO MY AWESOME GRANDCHILDREN

It is a beautiful world we live in.  When I get “dumpy” I take a deep breath and look around.  My favorite is the green of spring, the warmth of the summer, the color of leaves in the fall, winter snow, the noise of the world hushed, holding its breath anticipating the first tracks of life across the unbroken perfect covering of white hiding all the imperfections we create.

I think of family and know that I am blessed even tho we have snarly relationships at times.  Communication seems to be the flaw in creation or perhaps it offers  the challenge of looking within ourselves, and learning to build the bridges to understanding.

Forgiveness” is a gift we give ourselves, yet forgiving ourselves seems to be the most difficult.  Accepting our own imperfections and knowing that we are all doing the best we can removes much of the pain from our lives yet ,”EXPECTATIONS”  our own and those around us, become our tools of torture.

Perhaps,“These are the times that try men’s souls,” uttered by Thomas Paine politically, in a more subtle way,  describes every generation of parent and child. You  will face many of the same challenges as those who came before you.  We all experience the desire for love, acceptance, success in our endeavors.  Along with our blessings  you will experience  some failures, loneliness, and rejection.  Although, seemingly, your wold is different, man’s basic desires remain the same.

Parents struggle to protect their children from the pain of life’s gauntlet but it is that very pain that strengthens them.  Even physical pain should be recognized as a blessing for it is our warning signal that something is wrong and should be addressed, not dulled with drugs that allows us to ignore it. Emotional pain sends its signals through depression and tears. Escaping into the artificial world of drugs which leads to the horrors of addiction becomes hell on earth.

Know and believe that you are loved. That the good Lord’s blessing flow abundantly awaiting your partaking in the feast of life.

Love Always,      Grandma

 

Being a grandparent certainly offers its challenges.  Each of us approach this role in a different manner.  In the beginning we are often needed to baby sit and we think we will use the opportunity to change our mode of “parenting” promising ourselves that we have a second chance to correct some “errors” we made the first time around.  That ain’t easy!  We see disapproval in our children’s eyes when we apply the same disciplinary rules we used with them.  I’ve been told, “We don’t hurt feelings in this house…” which leaves me at a bit of a loss as to what exactly is my role here.

I envy the warm, fuzzy folks who can just “be there,”  hold the child in love and let go of any ideas of  “training.”  But we don’t change, we are who we are.  As the children grow and you dutifully attend their stage performances (if you are lucky enough to live close) or you don’t.  If you can accept the disapproving frowns of your children for words spoken and still enter wholeheartedly into the “grandparent” role, you are successful.

And  they grow– you find the grandchildren engaged in their activities,  your children busy with life’s demands and you fade onto the sidelines becoming shadowy figures on the stage of life.  To be expected, but it leaves a vague, uneasy feeling.  Calls become less frequent, visits, “obligatory” holiday sharing.  I remember my mother-in-law’s rather sharp words about this happening.  We shrugged it off then, but now,  with time, we begin to understand.  To understand does not necessarily change your feelings.  Expectations need to change.  I must learn to enjoy “observing,”  move off  center stage, offer advice only when it is asked,  and bow to the new role of gossamer support.  I can do that!!!

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