No. Nope. I am not happy when we send them home. I miss them. I see the time pass in their lives. New teeth, longer legs and new questions that come with the awareness of an older age. Today we decorated the tree.
What is the difference between me at 40 and me at 72? Oh, that’s easy. For those years in-between were filled with loss, sometimes pain and often fear of what would happen next. It’s not easy being me.
There is, however, another side to all this. I grew up. Pain and loss do that, you know. It teaches you in the harshest ways, yet it works. We learn to cope with loss if we are lucky. We learn to embrace it, understanding it is not what is gone but more about what remains. I sometimes think I could relate to just about everyone, because I have been everyone. And, I came through it liking myself. A real revelation to a woman who didn’t think there was more.
We get side tracked with pain, age, sadness and loneliness. It doesn’t matter your age, it just happens to all of us. No one gets through this life on a happiness card. Just doesn’t happen. I am thankful for the struggle. I am thankful for all the parts that have made me the person I am today.
Today we decorated the tree. The twins come into our house as if they are in their own. Nolan talks my leg off while Emma is organizing me. They approach the day with enthusiasm that gradually turns into The Grinch on TV. It’s all good, because the dialogue never ends.
I cherish these moments and take in each and every part, because of all the things I have learned about life. Yes, I will always be watching over you. Yes, you can talk to me about anything, and I will be available 24/7. I listen to your jabber not missing a syllable. I can do that for you. Time will teach you what I have learned, so for today I give you memories.
I think aging is good for us. We never understand the next older age, because we have not yet lived it. We cannot undo what has been done in our lives. We can help our families through those similar times. We can be our parents in decorating the tree, or we can be in the moment making our own memories.
We made little pots with succulents in them for the school janitor, teachers, office workers and kitchen help at school. The kids took hold of the idea and were totally focused on the people to whom they want to gift these cute pots, explaining why they wanted them to have them. I embrace the time I have with those I love not because I am living the past but because I am storing up for the future. I am making myself available to them in their joys and later in their tough times. I would keep them forever and will in my heart. Today I just made a place for myself in theirs.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.