An unexpected circumstance can change one’s direction, often in a most uncanny manner. Who would have thought in a million years a man I have never met helped me make a decision that I will always remember?
I must thank him when I meet him again. He awakened and energized my desire to write about an important chapter in my life. This story had been silenced by one of my children. Out of her mixed desire to provide privacy for her family and her personal agenda. I will honor her objections.
Fortunately, my other daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and Grands have given me their approval. And with much exuberance. I will begin writing stories about my family relationships. I will write about my daughter Jenny and son in law, Bruce. My daughter-in-law, Jami, and my brood of the most fabulous grandchildren. Stay tuned.
I was a very young grandmother, under forty-five when my first grandchild was born. My close friend, who was ten years older, was called Honey by her grandchildren. I recall the day I asked her if she would mind if I took her name. She was delighted and I was thrilled because the name Honey defines a grandmother. She is sweetness personified.
I don’t have to try and live up to my title. It comes naturally. I am loving, fun, energetic, enjoy spending time with children of all ages. I am not a judgmental grandmother. I relate on an emotional level to a Grand who is four, eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, and older. I just flow in the role. My Grands feel my sincerity and interest. I love them, enjoy them, learn from them, cherish them, and would do anything for them within my power.
I have a blended family and I love all my grands with all my heart.
If you are thinking to yourself she is ‘little Miss Perfect,’ don’t. Looking back on my life I wish I could have spent more time with everyone. I feel guilty trying to be here, there, and everywhere. To add to our family situation our adult children and Grands live far away from Chicago. These factors are not the best for blending a large family. But we are blended. I feel it.
AN IMPORTANT FACT OF LIFE
I think most mothers and grandmothers see their children as adults. I’ve learned that children, no matter their age, will always see themselves as children.
LOOKING BACK ON MOTHERHOOD
My daughters, their deceased father, and I had a very strong root system. Before we moved to Honolulu, where my children spent their growing up years, we were attached at the hip. This attachment only enhanced when we moved to the Islands because families spent an exorbitant amount of time together.
After my late husband passed away we lived another year in the Islands. A year later, my daughters and I moved from that peaceful Island setting and lifestyle to the bustling city of Chicago.
Shortly after the sudden loss of their father, we moved away from the peaceful islands they had always called home. Where trade winds blew softly through their bedrooms, palms swayed in our yard, and orchids bloomed. We ate fresh bananas and mangos from our trees. We walked barefoot or in flip-flops.
To go from that tranquility abruptly to life in the big city was a shocker for my daughters. My daughters needed me more than ever. And then I met my ultimate concierge and it was love at first sight.
The timing was bad.
He was and is a perfect mate–he was not the perfect new dad. He wanted me to himself. They wanted me to themselves. I wanted to please everyone and be with everyone. I had overwhelming empathy for my children. It was an impossible situation. He wanted to travel and buy a second home in California. I did too, but with a heavy heart.
My daughters needed me and missed the way it had been. An open-door policy, kids running in and out of our home. They could not accept it. I needed them, too. I had a heavy heart. My mother told me to put my husband first. “The girls will find husbands and have their own life,” was her message. It took years for wounds to heal and I am choking up as I write this.
I would call from Moscow at 3:00 AM sitting on a cold bathroom floor to talk. I would take them on trips and invite them to California. I would drive to the suburbs twice a week when I was not in California or traveling to visit one family. But, when my daughter broke her ankle, I was not by her side.
Once a father or mother passes away the family is never the same again. The love is still as strong but the lifestyle changes.
THE GOODS – MY BLENDED FAMILY
I feel we are blood relatives. I love them. This is a compliment to them.
With my ultimate concierge’s family, it was different because I was not the biological mother of his sons. I was not my wonderful daughter-in-law’s biological mom. They did not get angry with me when it was hard to visit because they knew I really cared and wanted to be with them. They could appreciate what was going on and were not as emotionally attached to the situation. They could accept.
Over the years my daughters and my blends married. My grandchildren were born, and all of them took off for the unknown. From New York to Austin to LA and San Fran and Arizona our adult children and their children settled.
How do I feel?
I am happy for them. I know they miss the bond of having family in their communities. They make a concerted effort to stay in close touch.
When I wish upon a star, I wish that our family lived in a close radius of each other. Because that is how a family survives and thrives. I am capable of being the glue that could bind us together. I often dream of spending time in person on a regular basis with my grands and adult children.
I feel we are all being cheated because my ultimate concierge and I could give all 20+ so much more. And the children and the Grands could give us that much more, too.
I wish I could sit each week with my grands over a cup of hot chocolate or a burger and fries. We would talk about the importance of positivity, living life outside the box, being curious, daring themselves to dare, to be generous and grateful. When things get tough they must get tougher.
I want them to see the positive in everything, even their disappointments. And that kindness counts. To do unto others as they would want others to do unto them. To love openly, to be charitable, and to listen to their heart. It knows.
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE
Adult children will always be children and need their parents. Grandchildren definitely need their grandparents. Grandparents need their grandchildren.
HOW WE STAY IN TOUCH
We just returned from five days at my daughter’s in Arizona. We stay with our children. We are a family that plays together and stays together. We are returning to Arizona for Thanksgiving.
The best gift I got on this trip was, “Mom, let’s talk every day.” My heart swelled with happiness.
My grandson Scott Good called the day we left for Arizona. We were on the plane ready to take off when my phone rang…
“Hey Honey, can Katie, AJ, and I come to Chicago for a visit in the next few weeks?”
“OMG yes! Whatever plans we might have I will cancel. Get back to me, whenever. I am so excited and so is Papa.”
This winter I would like to take a group of our grands down the Nile in Egypt.
Of course, we keep the channels open through texting. Our conversations are often deep and always meaningful with all the family.
I heard from my grandson Jack and my daughter, Jenny as I am writing.
OVER THE YEARS
Over the years we have established a loving and flowing pattern of family togetherness. I am at peace now. I am able to commit myself to them and still maintain a loving relationship with my ultimate concierge. They all know it.
That is why I can smile.
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