How quickly the past ten years have flown by; a subtle reminder of my own mortality! I’ve enjoyed incredible highlights in my life during that time! I celebrated the marriages of my three children. I’ve seen their career paths unfold as they each graduated from college. My son, Jake and younger daughter, Mandi, have continued on with graduate school. Malia, my oldest daughter, works in interior design. She and her husband, Shane, have blessed our family with two darling little girls, Makena and Marli.
Being a grandparent has surpassed all expectations!
Of course, I can now better appreciate the fact that my own parents lovingly expressed these same feeling to me as they saw their own grandchildren born and raised.
My husband, Tom and I enjoy our respective careers. He is a financial planner and I am a nurse. We have ridden out the waves of thriving economic times, as well as uncertain ones. We cherish our association with wonderful family members and friends! Even so, it can get tricky to strike a good balance in the rushed momentum of everyday life, and some goals get set aside by default!
When you do take the time to enjoy a quieter pace, it obviously lends itself to more personal introspection.
It was during these times, whether puttering in my yard, getting in a good work out, or reading and snuggling with my granddaughters, that I felt renewed dedication to follow through and make good on the promise I made to myself. Your mind, however, is prone to go a thousand different directions on something like this, and ultimately it all seems intimidating and overwhelming. Then this past March, my daughter-in-law gave me a wonderful book for my birthday, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Don Miller. (Such a great read!) In a chapter at the beginning of this book, there was a paragraph that proved to be inspirational pay dirt for me. The author tells of his uncle, a very influential person in his life, who dies unexpectedly. He writes, “My uncle told a good story with his life…but his story wasn’t finished.”
Like most children, I held strong to the belief that my parents were invincible, they were living wonderful lives and regardless that the odds were stacked against them, I couldn’t imagine their lives ending when they did…their stories weren’t finished yet!
I revisited many aspects of my parent’s lives again while working to settle a legal ordeal where it became apparent that some questionable activity had taken place that compromised the final wishes of my parents concerning their trusts. In doing this, I came to realize, more than ever before, that both my dad and mom truly seemed to have enjoyed life so immensely, despite the challenges and hard work involved in any life well lived!
Near the end of his book, Donald Miller says that a good story teller doesn’t just tell a better story though, “He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too.” He elaborates in the closing paragraph of his book:
“We live in a world where bad stories are told that teach us life doesn’t mean anything…..it’s a good calling then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.”
With this amazing insight in mind…I’m taking a leap of faith and hoping that as I share my stories, you’ll share your own as well!
What I’m learning now…
My parents always seemed to take life’s challenges in stride. I often observed thoughtful communication between them during particularly tough times. The result of which, was a seemingly uncanny insight into when they each needed to be stronger for the other in order to help pull each other through stressful times.
In facing the challenges of being married and raising a family, what I’m learning now is that my dad and mom very likely, often experienced deeply genuine, soul wrenching concerns…the heart in your stomach, sleepless night kind!!
How did your parents deal with stressful times?
In what ways did your parents help you with challenges in your life?
I hope we can all know and enjoy a source of unconditional love and support when challenges arise, and that we can be that love and support for someone else!