Another New Year in Labor

Well, 2011 is in the hospital.  Almost in paliative care.  By the time I finish this post, she will have only 12 hours or less to live in our presence.  She will move into time heaven known as “THE PAST”.  While she (2011) is being remembered in our memory as a pleasant experience for some and a hard time for others, 2012 is squirming her way down the calendar’s birth canal.  Do we mourn the passing of this year, or celebrate the arrival of another?

I guess this is my opportunity for both.

The love of my life has had a difficult year.  The frustration of being retired, not by choice, has been a frequent topic of thought and discussion.  His ability to handle this has truly amazed me.  There have been emotional ups and downs, but he has continued to remind me of his love and devotion.  The highlight of this subject was the evening he told me I was doing a good job keeping the drugstore going.  I’m sure he has no idea how much I feed on his approval and praise.  Watching him handle the physical pain of his illness has been tough, to say the least.  I hear him when the pain causes him to catch his breath and hold it for a second and it makes me want to cry.  Sometimes his sighs can fill a room with sadness, knowing he cannot do the things he wants to do.  His visible disappointment with the delay in receiving disability benefits has been frustrating for me, as well.  We see many people every day who don’t suffer like he does who enjoy those benefits that we feel he deserves.  But, most days, he tries to be happy.  He is still my rock and I still look to him for guidance.  Now, here is where wisdom can be found.  Maybe I should get him to start blogging!

My favorite memory of 2011 will always be the afternoon of March 9th!  I was visiting a friend in her office (there is absolutely NO remembrance of what we were discussing) when I received a phone call from my sweet daughter-in-law, Cassie.  She repeatedly asked me if I knew what day it was.  I assured her I did.  It was Ash Wednesday, March 9th!  “I just want to make sure you remember what you were doing when we called to tell you we were on the way to Bethany,” she said.  I’m not sure I heard much more than that.  After many months of paperwork, fundraising and prayer, she and Chris were on the way to the office of Bethany Christian Services to hear of their “situation”.  Thank you, GOD!  The next call informed us that there was a 2 week old little boy waiting for us to be his forever family.  We had already learned all these new terms:  birth mother, adoption plan, forever family and had continuously tried to practice patience.  A shopping trip ensued the next evening after Carter Brett had been united with his parents and then, Skipper and Ju-Ju, followed by Maggie, Jeremy and Nicki made the journey to meet this little miracle.  And as any grandparent will tell you, It was worth the wait!  God is so good.

What will 2012 bring?  We know of at least one thing, another grandchild!  Maggie, our youngest, and her wonderful hubby are expecting a little girl in February.  Yes, if you read my first post, you were mistaken to believe that we already have 2 grandchildren.  The second is not quite here.  This is a VERY different experience having to wait for a pregnancy to pass.  I almost think it is easier to have short notice for an arrival of this magnitude.  Not knowing that God was making Carter for us, there was no worry about Cassie’s health during his formative months.  Nor was there any fear that he would be early or unhealthy.  This pregnancy thing is altogether different.  Being an observer is hard for the first time.  When one is pregnant, she has control over much of what can affect her body.  Grandmothers don’t have that security.  Not that my daughter would do anything to harm her unborn child; she has been the utmost example of a healthy mother-to-be.  But, I cannot “do” anything to help this child along.  That is a strange feeling that I didn’t have the opportunity to worry about with Carter.  You’d think I learned to trust God with that one, huh?  Well, a mother is always prone to worry.  Watching Carter grow and explore and learn will be another thing to look forward to in the new year.  And, Jeremy and Nicki, “our middle two” have an opportunity for new beginnings, as well.  They are such a fine example of devoted love.  They have overcome some hardships in 2011 and have a plan for success in 2012 that I am praying over diligently.

For me, I am still looking to grow.  I need to grow in my spiritual life, in my professional life and I need to be a better wife and mother.  I am grateful to have breath to continue to try and better myself.  I am looking forward to finishing my “knitting room” and USING it.  I am looking forward to more beach and boating trips.  I am looking forward to more time to love on my family!

Eleven and 1/2 hours to go and counting….