Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


It's nearly 7:00. If Jill and their caravan of three vehicles is on schedule they should be battening down the hatches somewhere near Evansville IN in the first leg of their journey to Naples. Last night -- was it really only 24 hours ago -- we said goodbye to sweet baby Deven and to Jill -- to verbally wish them well on their southern venture and to privately hope that they hate it and come home to the warmth and welcome of the midwest.

I printed a picture taken of the three of us -- Bob, Deven and me -- at The Wedding and put it in a magnetic frame for their refrigerator. How is a 21 month old going to remember his Grammie and his Papa? For a few days, maybe even for a few weeks, each time they get in the car he'll ask, "Papa's house?" but when Papa's house isn't forthcoming -- he'll forget.

Jill cried. I cried. "You don't HAVE to do this," I murmured into her neck as I was hugging her...."You COULD stay here."

But no, she has to go. If for no other reason because she wants to go. Derrick wants to go. They are tired, they think, of the cold Chicago winters. (Uh, duh, I think I'll take a few snowflakes and 20 degree weather over hurricanes any day, but what do I know?)

They both have good jobs waiting for them. They have a two bedroom, furnished condo waiting to house them while their home is being built. They have the ocean, the beach, Disney World, the sun,

Papa Bob and Grammie are here. Auntie Torrey and Uncle Chris are here. (Well, practically here -- Indy is suddenly seeming close.) Uncle Tim is here -- at least for a while. Auntie Ruth and Uncle Joey are here. Cousins Donovan and Joey are here. Church is here. Friends are here.

I thought the old folks were supposed to leave and go to where it is warm. I didn't think the young families were going to take flight.

My dear sister Rosie called me tonight to see how we were doing. "Um. Well. OK, I guess." I said. It helps that we are going to Taylor tomorrow for Tim's graduation and that we will be staying with Torrey and Chris. I need family right now.

I didn't think it was going to hurt quite this much. After all, there is e-mail and there are cell phones and there is the U.S. Postal Service and there are digital cameras. But somehow, none of those make up for the delighted squeal of a toddler with eyes lit up as he reaches out for his Papa. And they have been planning this for well over 3 years. So it isn't as though we haven't known.

But somehow....

I miss my children and my grandbaby. And it's only been 24 hours.

What will it be like a month from now?

May God grant us all traveling mercies as we continue on our various journeys.


At 10:28 PM, Blogger The Silver Fox said...


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Oh, my goodness...that picture of Deven, ready to head out the door on his big adventure...I was already sniffling, but that one did me in.

I am going to forbid my children, RIGHT THIS MINUTE, to ever move more than 20 minutes away from me, especially when they have children of their own. Oh, wait...the oldest is already further away than that.

My childhood memories of my wonderful grandparents, both sets impossibly far away from us, was a joyous yet painful mix of near ecstacy during incredibly magical visits and the hearbreak of saying goodbye. I envied those kids who complained about weekly visits with grandparents --- but then, they didn't have MY grandparents, who were all so fun and delightful and interesting and quirky and humorous and adoring. I would have been the happiest person in the world to "have" to spend every weekend with my grandparents.

Deven will not forget. There is so much more now to keep memories alive. Back when I was his age, we didn't have phone calls. Mail was ridiculously slow. We had my grandparents' voices on reel to reel tapes that they would send. I remember thinking that my Opa was actually inside the huge tape recorder, and I would call for him to come out.

I took every nap listening to the sound of what I called the "Opa bell", a musical toy that he had given me, decorated with a picture of himself. It was one of my most precious possessions. I would cuddle with my stuffed monkey, a gift from my Oma, and feel their love and warmth, even though they were a continent and an ocean away.

They were huge in my life. They were present even when we were apart. They loved me and taught me and impacted my life in ways beyond measure. It may sound like a small consolation, but I know you and Bob will be just as huge in Deven's life.

Unfortunately, there will also be tears. Buckets of them, on all sides.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger An Ami in Berlin said...

My heart broke when I saw the picture of Deven. It brings back memories of saying goodbye to mother at the end of every summer. How hard it was for her to have all four of us so far away.
I hope Jill can come back on her vacations . . . and I know you will be the very best long-distance grandmother on the planet.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Jenn said... sweet!

Don't bet on your grandson forgetting your house. My second daughter was about 2 when she last saw the house that my grandparents had built 40+ years previous. They moved into a retirement community before we were able to visit again. The first thing she said when we pulled into their new driveway nearly a year after our previous visit was "why did Grandma and Grandpa's house get smaller?"

Amazing their memories, really.


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