** I wrote this in 2005, when Nate was 5 and Philip was 2. It’s now January 2020, and the boys are grown/growing up–Nate is 19, Philip is 16, and Andre is now 14 years old! Nate has come back to live with us in the last year and half (no bad reason–just because), and Jenn and the boys live a few miles from us. She’s still working hard (two jobs totaling 12 days a week), and the boys are still in need of attention, support, clothing, and food–lots and lots of food. 🙂
Has life settled down for us? Maybe a little. Dave and I are both retired now. We spent two of those retirement years homeschooling one of the grandsons, and we are traveling out of state at least once a quarter to spend time with our son’s family, who have a 3 1/2-year-old and a 1-year-old.
In what turned out to be “not a very good year,” Dave and I both lost our mothers in 2014. It was a hard year, with other losses suffered as well, which added to our sadness. Our joy comes from knowing we’ll see them again. Our pain comes from knowing we can’t see them now.
Would I trade my life for someone else’s? No. Our life is what it is. Some days are super stressful; and then we have the days we spend napping in our chairs, just being super lazy; and some days I get to be Spiderman (or Super Grandma), balancing out the less glamorous moments.
And here’s the deal, I still believe that God is in control. I still believe that He will see us through whatever stress drops itself into our laps. We have the normal concerns that other retired families have, but God knows that, and as Dave said recently, “God will see us through.”
Even though there are challenges in our lives, we work them out with trust and faith, relying on God’s grace.
So, on to the original post. **
I watched Spiderman2 with the grandkids the other night. Not long into the story I got the impression this was a very unhappy superhero. You see, in order to perform his superhero activities, Spiderman had to give up many things that make up a “normal” life—the girl he loved, the inability to keep a regular schedule, enough sleep, etc.
Now, I’m not a superhero, but some days I feel like Spiderman. After a night of broken sleep by one or more of the grandkids (they live with us), or a day of sickness which throws all plans out the window, or canceling dinner plans with my husband because our daughter is called in to work at the last minute (and you know who has to baby sit), I just feel drained, empty. As well, just recently I’ve become a member of the “sandwich” generation—taking care of young children AND caring for the needs of an ailing mother. And I feel like asking, as Spiderman did, “What am I supposed to do? Do I never get what I want?”
Before you respond with suggestions to quit whining, let me inform you that I know the movie story line has a happy ending. Finally, Spiderman gets recognized for his good deeds, and he gets the girl. When he again flies off to be a superhero, he’s a happy and willing hero.
Someday life may settle down. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t remember God promising me anything different for my life. I whine sometimes, because I’m human and I get tired. In the rare quiet moments, though, I remember and trust the promises of God.
You see, I’ve read the Book—I know the ending. I know that “weeping may last for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). I am to do the work God has called me to do. As a woman, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother the list is long and the hours are longer. I believe and trust in God’s timing. With His help, I can do this.
-October 19, 2005