I woke up suddenly, slowly realizing I was home in my own bed. A minute before I had been at Estes Park in the house where we spent our summer vacation. I longed to go back to sleep and be transported back to the scene I had left in my dreams. We were all there enjoying hot chocolate in front of the warmth of the fireplace. Nieces, nephews, and grandchildren sat around the large, wooden dinner table putting together puzzles and playing games. Snow gently fell outside the windows to the back patio creating a soft, white carpet on the gentle slope down to the river. What I wouldn’t give to be there surrounded by family.
It seems here lately, family and time dominate my thoughts and my feelings. I am thankful for my job and for the ability to make a living. I simply wish there was more balance with the time I could spend making memories with those dearest to me. Time seems to be in short supply, and it certainly stands still for no one. I cannot explain the restlessness in my heart, nor do I know how to satisfy it except by trusting God’s direction step by step, moment by moment.
I spent the better part of this past week caring for my husband, Charlie, after knee surgery. Although this was not an ideal circumstance for him, I so enjoyed being at home slowing time down and simply resting. We had chances to visit with the kids and grandbabies when they came by to check on him, and we were able to set aside the pressures of the outside world for a day or two. One of my favorite memories of the week was the day the phone rang and it was my Aunt Judy. She and my Uncle Harold were passing through on their way to Texas City, and they wanted to know if they could stop by for a visit. I was ecstatic at the thought of seeing family. It was so good to have them in my home.
As my Mom’s younger sister, Aunt Judy has always been such a big part of our lives. I watch my daughter, Rachel, with my little grandbabies, and it reminds me of how my sisters, brother, and I were with Aunt Judy. In my eyes she could do no wrong. I thought she was the coolest aunt in the world. I have always admired her many talents and her loving kindness. She and Uncle Harold have been so good to my Mom during my Dad’s illness and after he passed away. She is a true sister, and I am so thankful Mom has her close by.
I guess that is one of the things that haunts me most. After being able to grow up in close proximity to my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, a part of me wishes things could have been the same for my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I would love to jump in the car and go to my nephews’ baseball games, or attend one of my niece’s school events, or even go eat lunch with them one day at school. I would love to visit more often with my older nieces and nephews and their families. I also long be close enough to run over to Mom’s for a quick visit, to take her to lunch, or to go for a short shopping spree.
On the other hand, I am thankful for the way God has placed each of us just where we need to be for this moment in time. It is a special event whenever we are able to get together to enjoy each other’s company and re-live shared memories in conversation and laughter. Looking back through old photographs, I see where my grandparents also enjoyed spending time with their brothers and sisters. In my younger years I did not realize the bond between them, nor did I understand how much they must have missed each other once they were gone.