Monday, October 26, 2015

"I'm the lucky one."

I heard a saying somewhere. "Youth is wasted on the young."

When I was little, I used to count down the days until I was 18. I specifically remember my 6 year old self looking at my reflection in the kitchen stove. "I'm going to be this tall, then this tall, then this tall." There was nothing I wanted more than to be older and taller.

It wasn't until I became a mother that I wanted time to stop. Watching Matthew get older and wiser caused my heart to ache. I just wanted my baby to stay little while at the same time wanting to see the kind of person he'd grow up to be. I feel bad for my husband. The first time he'd been away from Matthew for any length of time, he left for 6 months when Matthew was 4 months old. He came home to an entirely different person.

Since 9/11, Jaysen has been deployed 7 times. During more than one of those deployment, he thought he was going to die. That puts an entirely different spin on life. Now we live intentionally. Every day we make a conscious effort to not merely exist. I tend to say what I mean and mean what I say. People tend to think it's weird when I say stuff like, "you're making a difference" and "I love you". Because if (Heaven forbid) something did happen, I would want to know they knew exactly how I felt about them.

Whenever I go to Provo, I think about my grandparents. A while back, I went to Village Inn. The same Village Inn where I'd take my grandfather. We didn't sit at the same booth. As we passed the last booth grandpa and I sat at, I almost cried. To be in the same place, even if it was at a different time, brought me closer to him. At least for a moment.

I think I've posted this story before. Grandpa and I were on a date at Village Inn, sometime after grandma had died. He missed her terribly. He talked about a talk he had with God and a message he received concerning putting grandma in a nursing home. Those two absolutely loved each other. They had true love. I said, "Grandpa, grandma was so lucky to have found you." He said, "Oh no, dear. I am the lucky one."

They were the best grandparents in the world. They showed unequivocal love toward their family. If you married into the family, you were in. There was no confidence course that needed to be won. I don't recall them ever saying to their biological children, "Can you just come over and leave your spouse at home so it can be like old times?" I took them for granted. For that, I am sorry. I wish I had loved them more. I wish I had told them how lucky I was to have been their grandchild.

But I can't go back in time. I can, however, change the way I do things moving forward. I can tell people when I love them. I can tell them how grateful I am to know them. I can tell Matthew how lucky I am to be his mom and make sure he takes time to appreciate the little things that make up life's big picture. And perhaps, I can take my own advice and stop worry about what's going to happen tomorrow. I will be thankful for the small moments today.

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