Aug 24, 2018

Unexpected Feeling

I had an unexpected feeling recently and thought this would be a good way to work it out.

A couple of months ago, we were able to go home to Texas to see family for the first time in four years.

It's never a good idea to wait that long.

But we took full advantage of every minute we could while we were there. One of the things we did was to watch a home video we had made of the kids when they were really little after we had just moved to Georgia. We made it so we could send copies home to our parents so they could see their little grandchildren playing in the yard, doing school, and just living life at our little farmhouse.

It was a sweet time of reflection and caused a flood of memories that I loved reliving.

Once we got home, we found another VHS with a slideshow of pictures of the boys (the oldest two only) from the time they were born until they were each about 5 and 2. Oh my gosh. SWEET. LITTLE. BABIES.

Well the oldest (now 20) decided he wanted to convert the VHS into a digital format so we could watch it. He had to take our old VHS player apart to clean and tinker with to get it to play, but he did it while capturing the video using some little doo-hickey thing he plugged into my laptop. {Sidebar: it blows my mind that I used to be a computer science major and at one time knew all about the technology that was out at that I feel like an outdated floppy disk.}


After he converted the file, I finally sat and watched the whole thing. And bawled like a stinkin' baby.

Well don't get me wrong; I fought it, allowing only a couple of tears to actually fall down my face. As soon as it was over, I barrelled into the bathroom to ugly cry. It was bad.

What in the world was that?

I'm not sure if this makes me really selfish, but the best way I could describe what was going on inside was grief. As in loss. I really, really missed being able to scoop them up and hug their entire body at once. I missed their toothless kisses and baby shampoo hair. I missed their tiny, fat fingers barely closing around my index finger, not wanting to let go no matter what was going on. I missed reading them stories while they piled in my lap and pulled another book from the stack they brought me. I missed picking them up from the nursery on Sunday mornings and their faces lighting up when they made eye contact with me. I missed bath time and brushing their teeth and helping them put their pj's on.

It's been forever since I did these things, and like smelling playdough for the first time as an adult has that way of thrusting you back into your own childhood, watching this video and hearing this song threw me right back into their childhood.

And I was missing it. I was missing them.

Now, I have a precious friend who lost her son a few years ago. He was a Marine and was one of the Chattanooga Five who fell at the hands of a terrorist (I don't care what the news reporters say). When I use the word "grief," I am not using it in the same way my dear friend has had to experience grief. I pray I never EVER have to go through what she's gone through in her level of grief.

But this overwhelming feeling I had after watching that slideshow was a form of grief, I think. And I did not expect that at all.

Don't get me wrong. I love my boys now. I love listening to them tell stories, laugh at geeky memes, and sing in the car as loud as they can to TobyMac or KB. And my heart overflows with love when I watch them play the guitar or ukulele or lose their voices from encouraging their football teammates to overcome adversity. And I love listening to them share their creations with me...from video clips to artwork to lego creations. I love it all and wouldn't change a thing about them now.

It seems so cliche to say, but I just wonder where the time went. And those babies seem so distant to me now, like a lifetime ago. And I'm beginning to understand why people have said for so long that grandparenting is the's because you get a tangible glimpse of that bygone joy back in your lap for a new season. I'm a long way away from that, but it gives me hope of something to look forward to one day.

I'm not even 46 years old yet, so this was really the first time I've been overcome by these thoughts. As time goes on (and it will), I've a feeling I'll be experiencing more of this ride. This is my attempt at trying to embrace the ride, the unexpected feelings, and the white knuckles to show for it.

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