So, I am definitely the “nana” of two young girls! The oldest is now 7½ and the youngest about to celebrate her 5th birthday! They are a darling duo — fun, sweet, loving, playful, and keep Pa and Nana busy, as well as their parents and auntie! Dancing, gymnastics, swimming, dramatic play indoors, and running free at the parks. Not to mention all the creative crafting projects… 🙂 Weekend sleepovers at Nana and Pa’s are coming soon…
Don’t see the kids as often as I would like lately. Seems that the “winter crud” kept us all dodging germs these past two months…. Not a fan of flu season… But, we have turned the corner with the upcoming arrival of spring, more sunshine, and warming temperatures. Rays of hope are shining on plans for extended family gatherings in the near future with much to celebrate and be thankful for.
My mother, dubbed as “Bubba” by her eldest great-granddaughter, is about to celebrate her 90th birthday! Bubba is aging, but active, and as spunky and spirited as ever, despite the fact that she now must navigate with a walker and oxygen tank complicated by the fact that her vision is deteriorating. But her new big screen TV and phone with large buttons bring her much joy! (Many thanks to my sister and all her hard work…) Bubba has a devoted and special friend, Carl, that we have all grown to love. Life brings us amazing surprises for sure. Lost our dad years ago, but in an odd way, we have the chance at another unexpected father-figure to love and appreciate in the moment… And, we were able to pull off an extended family gathering in Ohio last August! Bubba was overjoyed to be surrounded by her growing family! Again, many thanks to my sister for hosting such a large crew!
We need a happy celebration of life right about now… The winter weather got old, and we lost some special members of our extended family. We miss those we have lost, yet must find comfort and healing in being grateful for the younger generation who bring added joy to our lives. Bubba has always amazed me with her positive outlook about dealing with life’s losses and disappointments. She grieves in her own way, but channels energy to those who remain an important part of her life. I admire that about her…
Our own two daughters bring so us much pride and joy. We always count our blessings that both live near each other only and hour and a half drive from home base! They are beautiful women in all ways, inside and out. 🙂 Our oldest daughter and son-in-law are wonderful parents to our grandchildren. Our youngest daughter has found a very special young man who we all think the world of. We are excited for their future together. 😉 We are excited and happy for all of us…
My sister and sister-in-law are in the throws of launching college-aged young adults who have grown in amazing ways these past few years. So very proud of all of their many talents and accomplishments. My husband lost his sister a few years ago, and his step-sister remains a devoted caretaker to their father. Stan’s health deteriorates, but he lives comfortably and peacefully in his assisted-living center in Arizona.
Most of us can definitely relate to all the pull and tug on our time and energy when parents and children and grandchildren turn to us for advice, guidance, assistance, and hands-on care. At the time in our lives when we are beginning to feel our own energy levels sagging, when we long for time to ourselves and with our partners, not only do our own children continue to turn to us for help, but our parents do so as well. We find we are immersed in the “sandwich generation,” forced to make hard choices on a regular basis. Where are our energies to go first? How to resolve and prioritize competing demands for time, attention, energy, and resources? Never mind the fact that we are getting older ourselves…The list is long and ever-changing.
As I have shared before, what helps me in making such difficult choices is keeping in focus important lessons that my mother and father taught me and my siblings over the years. They continue to serve me and our family well.
- Make a list of all the resources available to you. Resources include things like your time, health, physical and emotional supports, finances, knowledge, and skills, to name just a few. Use this list wisely and efficiently. Ask who can do “what” “where” “when” and “how.”
- Communicate your thoughts and feelings with others who are also affected by the situation. Share resources. Help each other. Don’t fight.
- Do your part. Take turns. Don’t go it alone. Ask for relief when you need it.
- Practice healthy self-care. (I dare not miss any of my regularly scheduled dance classes!)
- Maintain your sense of humor while looking for the good in a challenging circumstance. Laugh when you can. Be grateful for what is running smoothly.
I am grateful for the weeks ahead and the chance to celebrate life…