What Surprised Me About Last Week

© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

Last week’s post, Don’t Throw Me a Pity Party, generated a number of comments on this blog as well as on my social media sites. I appreciate everyone who commented and shared. I’m amazed at how many of you are dealing or have dealt with a family member trapped in addiction. I find the prevalence of this problem disconcerting. Yes, it’s comforting to know who understands firsthand, but I’m still concerned over the number of people affected. Please remember, you don’t know what someone else is dealing with so be kind and try not to judge them.

The surprising part of last week’s post was the volume of responses that focused on our daughter’s addiction rather than our current situation. Yet, most of the sympathy statements I receive relate to our raising grandchildren. Yes, it’s due to our daughter’s addiction, but that’s not what I hear about from most people. As I told one person on Facebook, I believe people focus on what they see—grandparents in a tough spot—and not the issue of what put them there. Maybe I’m wrong. It doesn’t really matter because the two issues go hand in hand.

Early in my writing career, I discovered that individual interpretation of what I write will vary from person to person. Sometimes, the insight surprises me. I don’t think that’s bad. When we read, we filter the information through our own perception, our own world. I’m glad my words resonated with so many people! Thank you for reading and sharing.

Next week, I plan to give you more insight into what grandparents in our situation often feel. So, get ready for some assistance on how to be empathetic with grand-parents.

 

PS:  You may have noticed I’ve been using the term “grand-parenting” in my posts. I made this term up because I believe it’s the best way to describe what we’re doing as we raise our grandchildren.

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Grand-parenting: What About The Other Kids?

And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name–you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. Deuteronomy 16:11

Last week, we traveled to Atlanta to celebrate our granddaughter, Riley’s, seventh birthday. Yes, we have other grandchildren. In fact, we have six! And we have five children.

© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.
5 of our 6 grandchildren one year ago.

One of the hardest parts of raising grandchildren is trying to stay part of the lives of your other grandchildren…and children. The above verse from Deuteronomy instructs the Israelites to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. It proclaims a celebration. Celebrations and holidays tend to be the only times we get to spend with our children and grandchildren because of the responsibilities tied to raising two of our grandchildren.

Our eldest, Heidi, lives in California, so we don’t see her often. She has her own production company, Dweeb Darlings, and a web series that she writes, directs, and produces. She, also, works as a behavioral therapist for autistic children. She’s beautiful, smart, and talented.

Chris comes third in birth order of children. We went to Atlanta to celebrate his daughter, Riley’s, birthday. Chris completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and has steadily climbed high on the ladder with his employer. He and his wife, Haley, have two daughters, Riley and Reagan. It’s hard finding time to spend with them when they live three hours away. Raising their cousins, makes it even harder. This week’s birthday girl, Riley, just finished first grade and, she’s already writing books. Reagan is a toddler and a very active little girl. We don’t get to see them enough.

Our daughter,Terri, worked hard to complete her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Specialist degrees in order to be a school psychologist. Last year, Terri married Scott and became a stepmom in the process. It takes a special person to marry into a ready-made family, and I’m proud of her for embracing Brooks as her own son. He’s a year older than Victoria and coming into the family with two full sets of grandparents, already. It’s a bit harder to get to know him since they live four hours away, but I hope we’ll develop a relationship over time.

Our youngest is Nathan. He lives nearby and recently married Shannon. Both Nathan and Shannon have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Shannon works hard at a side job while completing an internship for her final dietician licensing. Nathan is working several jobs trying to help them stay on top of school bills. We see a bit more of them than the others, but with their crazy work schedules, it’s still not easy

We have one other grandchild, Brandt. Tisha had him during high school and my brother and his wife adopted him. We’re so thankful he remained part of the family. He’s twenty-one! Yes, I have an adult grandchild! They live five hours away, so it’s hard to keep up with him, too.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

When you’re raising grandchildren, you struggle to stay on top of everything while keeping your energy levels up. We’re trying to raise two children who would be orphans without us. There’s a limit to how much you can do. Some of my work got shelved. Our relationships with the rest of our family took a hit because it’s harder to make the time. I know of some families where this situation creates negative feelings within the family members.

I’m sure the other kids sometimes feel slighted. I hate that. We love all of them and are so proud of the productive lives our other children lead.

Disappointment Part 2

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11

Last week, I shared my concerns over promises and plans my daughter made with her children. This week, unfortunately, it appears she chose to disappear again. I can’t be sure, but all signs point to it.

I’ve posted the verse above from Psalm 30 as a reminder to me as I prepare for the time when my grandchildren realize she’s broken her promises. There will be tears and pain. Some they will show, some they will hide. Most times the tears will appear in response to something unrelated, and I’ll need to remember that something else drives the tears. Hopefully, we will find a way to help them dance instead of cry.

Prayers appreciated for my daughter, grandchildren, and us.