Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Mom's Love Lasts Forever

This post is dedicated to my Mom and my Mother-in-Law. Mom gained her angel wings on June 5, 2014. My Mother-in-Law Lurlene gained her angel wings on January 31, 2015.

The love of these two moms will always be in our hearts. Thanks Mom and Lurlene for making me and Kenny who we are today! We love you forever!

When you're a little kid, you really don't understand a mother's love. Yes, you know your mom loves you, but you really don't understand the depth and breadth of that love.

As a child, you don't realize that your mom would do anything for you -- that she would even give up her very life to save yours.

Babies are self-centered by nature, so God created moms to be selflessly in love with their children. When a baby's cry pierces the night, mom is awake and ready.

Moms learn maternal love from their own moms, who learned from their moms. Whether or not that look of love is captured in a photograph, the love of mother for child is timeless and lasts forever.

Although tested by her child's actions and words, a mother's love endures through the terrible twos and the challenging teen years.

A mother stands behind her child in times of trouble and sadness. She stands beside her child in times of joy and celebration. Even if she lives far away, a mom is always just a phone call away.

When little girls grow up to become moms, they truly understand how deep their mother's love goes. As you look into the eyes of your own baby, you begin to truly realize your own mom's love for you.

As your own children grow, your mom is the first person you reach out to in times of happiness. Your mom's also the person you seek out when things go wrong and you need advice.

That mama love extends to grandchildren too. That's why your children can do no wrong in the eyes of their loving grandma.

Moms of all ages cherish special family celebrations. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, holidays and other happy occasions fill moms and grandmas with joy to sustain them through more difficult times.

As time goes by, your mom becomes so much more than just a mother. She's your friend and advisor, your strength and wisdom, your rock.

I've lived far away from my mom for my entire adult life. As a result, most of our family celebrations didn't include my mom, but many have included my mother-in-law.

My trips back home were usually in the summertime or right after Christmas. It was rare for all of us adult kids to come home at the same time since we're all scattered across the country.

Although Mom disliked having her photo taken when she was younger, she mellowed with age and was okay with posing for photos, especially with her grandkids.

In recent years, it's been wonderful to go back home to celebrate my Mom's birthday with her. As an adult, you understand -- even if you don't accept -- that nothing lasts forever.

I'm grateful that Mom was willing to pose for photos more as she got older. When she was younger, she hated being photographed and often hid her face.

It's very true that the older you get, the more you appreciate your Mom. It's also true for many of us that the older we get, the more we become like our moms.

That thing about becoming more like our moms as we age is true with moms and sons too. As adults, we take on qualities we admire from both of our parents.

Time stands still for no man -- or woman. So, as we move forward in our life together, we honor and cherish the memory of our parents by living as they would want us to live. As they shared God's love with us, we have shared God's love with our children and grandchildren.

As they loved their children, we continue to love our children and grandchildren. One of the secrets of life that you realize as you get older is that love is worth so much more than things. Life goes on and life is good.

Happy Mother's Day in Heaven to our moms. Together with our dads, they are singing with the angels as they are joined together forever. Mom always said, "Some day we'll all be together."

But that day is not today. So for now, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Mom of Kid Who Stole My Granddaughter's New Boots

Dear Mom of Kid who stole my granddaughter's new boots,

You probably know who you are. See these pretty rain boots? They were a cherished gift to my little granddaughter from her grandparents.

She loved them and was so happy when she wore them to her 5th birthday party this weekend.

Your kid changed all of that. Like the other kids playing at McDonald's, she put her boots into the shoe holders beside the play area.

The kids at her party had a great time. They ran and played in the play area, climbed through the tunnels, slid on the slides and enjoyed cake.

My granddaughter was filled with sunshine and laughter during the entire party and loved the gifts from all of her family and friends.

Then it came time to leave. My little granddaughter went to the retrieve her boots from the shoe holder and discovered they were gone.

GONE - stolen by your kid. My granddaughter's laughter dissolved into tears. Just imagine for a minute that was YOUR child who had a treasured gift stolen.

Now, since we were sitting in one of the two exit areas, your kid must have left through the other area so as not to be seen.

I hope your kid really needed those boots. It would be a shame if my granddaughter's tears were brought about by a child who was "only" seeking thrills by the theft of these boots.

If I sound angry, it's because I am. Who would even think that a child's shoes - or boots in this case - would be stolen from a public place?!?!

What kind of kid steals another child's footwear? More importantly, what kind of parent sees their child with boots that don't belong to their child and looks the other way???

To all parents and grandparents who take their little ones to play in public places, the message to take away from this is don't leave your child's shoes unattended. I never would have thought that message was necessary!

One Irritated Grandma

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Ebb and Flow of Grief

When someone you love dies, you begin a sad and lonely journey -- one with a beginning, but no ending. It's a journey you didn't choose.

Unlike a road trip, there are no mileage signs to show you're almost done with the journey. Grief doesn't have a destination or an ending.

If the grief journey had signs, one of them would certainly read, "BE PREPARED TO STOP" in capital letters. With the death of a loved one, your life -- and everything normal in your life -- comes to a halt for a period of time.

The life you knew is changed forever, dulled into shades of black, white and grey. Friends gather around and try to comfort you with words like, "I'm thinking of you" or "You're in my thoughts" or "Our prayers are with you." Although the words are comforting, the color is gone from your life.

As you struggle with memories of the past and no clear vision of the future, you feel stuck in a never-ending spiral of grief while those around you move forward with their own lives.

As you look ahead, the path seems rocky, laden with danger and filled with hooks, snares and traps to entangle your emotions as you try to find what they call "a new normal."

Some days you wish you could just post a "ROAD CLOSED" sign in front of your house or in your office to keep others away and leave you with your memories.

As you struggle to recapture the joy in life after loss, God calls you to choose faith over worry. There's nothing too big to handle when you turn it over to God.

Our God is a God of hope. He fills us with joy and peace so we may abound in hope.

He reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened. Beauty is everywhere, even when you're walking in the shadows of grief.

My Mom always said, "This too shall pass." Sometimes we need this reminder on a daily -- or even an hourly basis. The ebb and flow of grief isn't a constant stream that you can factor into your day.

Although it doesn't seem possible sometimes, God tells us that He will wipe away every tear.

There are long days and longer nights on the grief journey, but God will bring you joy.

Put your faith and hope in God and He will renew your strength. You will soar on eagles' wings. You will run and not grow weary.

The person you loved and lost may be one of many, but to you they were the world. Take comfort in the words and actions of others along the journey.

No man is an island. Others share your pain and reach out to help you along the journey of grief. Whether your loss was due to violence, war or tragedy...

Or the overwhelming, acute and deeply personal loss of a parent, child or spouse, your loved one is always with you.

A new day is dawning and we are all called to be a part of it -- to embrace life with all of its sorrows and losses. Death is a part of life. We will all face it ourselves one day.

We all want what we want, when we want it, if we want it -- and we want it now. We want to be sheltered from heartache and pain, but that's not very realistic.

Even when the journey is difficult and filled with unexpected twists and turns, we are called to just keep on truckin'.

We are called to choose joy, even as we struggle with the pain of loss. We are called to be hopeful about the future, even when it's uncertain.

We are called to walk by faith, not by sight. Even though we don't see Him, God is with us along the journey of grief. He knows our pain and feels our suffering.

Live life in gratitude of all that you have. Cherish the precious memories of those who have left this world for a better place. Live more and stress less.

Whether or not you embrace life, it's going by. Choose to be happy. Choose to be fully engaged and alive in all of the little moments of life.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so live life today. We are blessed!

Live life without regrets. Don't cry because it's over now -- laugh because it happened.

Life isn't a dream. You've got to take the good with the bad. Smile with the sad. Love what you've got. Remember what you had. Always forgive and learn from your mistakes.

Life is all about choices. Happiness is a choice, even in the midst of sorrow. Make up your mind to be happy.

Find joy in the simple things and embrace the memories of the love you shared. It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Reach out to others who are struggling. As you encourage others who are grieving, you will be blessed. Forgive those who hurt you and be the first to say "I'm sorry." Laugh every day, even when it hurts. Choose to live happily ever after -- even after loss. Life goes on and life is good.

It's been 10 1/2 months since my Mom died. Just 16 days later, Dad followed Mom into eternal life. Since then, we've also lost two dear family members in my husband's family: his mom who died unexpectedly at the end of January and his brother and only sibling who died a few days ago and will be buried today.

Each day, the words of one of my favorite hymns "City of God" help me along the journey:
"Awake from your slumber!
Arise from your sleep!
A new day is dawning for all those who weep,
The people in darkness have seen a great light,
The Lord of our longing has conquered the night,
Let us build the city of God,
May our tears be turned into dancing!
For the Lord, our light and our love, has turned the night into day!"

As my personal winding journey of grief continues, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.