I didn’t sleep very well last night-in fact I hardly slept at all. I must have overworked my left leg yesterday because, in spite of ice and pain meds and positioning and massage, it ached from top to bottom last night. It must have been three when I finally fell asleep.
Rachael had to be at work this morning at six and Michael and his dad had a tee time at eight thirty. I woke up for a very few minutes when Rachael let the dogs out and brought them back in. No, that isn’t quite right. I woke up when she let them out. I realized later that she had brought them back in. I woke up again a couple hours later when Michael let the dogs out. ( lol Our lives center around the dogs!) I stayed awake a little longer that time because did talk with Michael a bit about the prospect of heat today and when he and his dad would be back from golf. He also mentioned when his mom and the kids would be back from Freddie’s house. That’s all I remember until about an hour later when I really woke up.
As I was getting around and getting dressed I was thinking about how wonderful it is to simply manage my very small portion of the world and not have to think about the bigger picture. I have no housekeeping to plan. I have no lawn work or gardening to worry about. I have very few bills to pay. I have no shopping to do and no groceries to buy. I could look forward to having Michael’s’ family visit but not have to worry about where they sleep or what to feed them. And all of those things are a very great blessing!
When I retired my only thought was of not having to go to work every day on knees that hurt beyond most people’s imagination. I only looked forward to trucking around my small house and having my dog and cats to care for. I hadn’t been in a grocery store or WalMart in probably ten years; I hadn’t done yard work in longer than that; and my house work involved straightening my bedroom and bathroom and keeping the kitchen counters clean. Dianne came once a week to do laundry and clean for me (I love her like a daughter and she did that for me as much from love for me as from the small amount I was able to pay her) Rachael came every couple or three weeks to do my grocery shopping and spiff up the house when Dianne couldn’t get there. I paid someone to do my lawn. Becky and Steve did the ‘in-depth’ landscaping for me: scrubbing down and paint the deck, weeding the flower beds and trimming the out of control bushes. (I loved having them and Connor with me for those few weeks. I know they needed the money, but I still appreciated their help. Hard to believe that Connor must be almost four years old by now)
One problem was the my SS income was not large enough for all of that to continue. Another problem was that Rachael and Dianne worried constantly about me being there alone with no close help. And the last problem was that Rachael’s job made it more and more difficult for her to get down and spend a couple days checking up and looking out for my needs.
So I decided to sell my house and buy a little one in the Columbus area. That would put me closer to her and Michael and looking out for me would take only a couple hours a week rather than a two hour drive and a rush to get every thing done that I needed.
As it turned out they decided to get a house with a ‘mother-in-law’ space and move me in with them. How wonderful this is! The relatively small (by today’s financial standards for retirement) amount of cash I have and my mediocre income is not stressed by my trying to keep everything going alone. I can give Notah and Kerra and Rachael and Michael occasional cash assistance for housing and other expenses and not have to skimp to stretch my small income..
Now here are my blessings. For most of the past 35 years, with the Lord’s help I’ve carried the entire responsibility of raising both of my kids, taking care of a house and property, making all the financial decisions for myself and the family, as well as carrying al the responsibility of the day care. I never resented that and I never, until the last few years, felt it was a burden. The last few years before retirement, I did sometimes wish for another human being to take some of the responsibility for the decisions.
Now it is wonderful. I live a lot of the year with Rachael and Michael. I live the other part of the year with Notah and Kerra ( and my fantastic grandkids!) They manage the house and all of the things contingent with being ‘adults.’ I need not worry about the electric bill or the mortgage. I don’t worry about doing the grocery shopping or buying clothes for the kids. I don’t worry about the yard work or keeping fences sturdy or grass mowed. I don’t worry about having the house clean for company or anything other that looking forward to seeing them.
I never planned, during the years, when I was raising my kids that the care situation would be reversed when they were grown. I never planned that they would take care of ME when I was old. But now I find them doing it out of love. Neither of them has ever expressed one breath of resentment for the circumstances. They do everything they can to make me feel loved and wanted in their homes.
Rachael has had the responsibility of getting me to doctors and the hospital and rehab for my knee surgery, but I know beyond any doubt that if I were with Notah and Kerra, they would do the same things that Rachael and Michael have done. I know they would have worried as much as they have about my care and comfort in rehab and been as scared as Rachael was when the doctor discovered a strange heart rhythm during my surgery.
Now it is almost time to move to NM for the summer and fall. I look forward to it. I look forward to my new mobility and being able to walk outside with only a cane and get around more freely. I look forward to being able to do a little cooking for Kerra and maybe clean a bit when she needs it. I look forward to being with them. Period.
Those are my blessings. God promised me when Louie died that I would live to see my kids raised to live for Him and being responsible adults. I felt that His Promise was fulfilled when I saw Rachael off to college. I knew my last chick had left the nest and my job was done. Every year since then has been a year of grace.
And now, my blessings have been multiplied by their care for me.