I have another little one coming in February, little Levi will be the son of my oldest child Jeff. I want so much to be around to see my grandchildren grow, to be a part of their lives in a way I've never known myself. I want them to know me for who I really am as the beautiful woman at heart; a loving mother that was met with the challenges to be all she can be to her own children; their grandmother who is overflowing with love, traditions and trust. But somehow there is a shadow that brings reality to life that may change all of my hopes and dreams for my family.
Life is different when you the parent; you know where your children are, who they are with and can manage to direct their path until the time they leave the nest. As a grandmother, you can no longer manage the day-to-day lives of your children much less your grandchildren...where will they live, where will they move to, will their partners welcome me into their lives, will I be in my grandchildren's lives as they grow or will I be alone due to reasons beyond my control wondering what life would be like to have them around... Some of you may be thinking, "Wow Renee, that's really depressing!" I would say, "You're right", it is, but realize there are people who have lived this way and it is something I think a lot about.
My family life was not perfect growing up but it was a good life overall. I did not however have the blessing of having grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins around me all the time to know what real family feels like. I have seen it though in my children's lives and the lives of others with large families. I want to know this place, I want my children and grandchildren around me as I age; I want to take them for walks, help them with life-issues, teach them how to have friends and forgive, I want to be the safe place when mommy and daddy are busy...I want it all. I want to live to see my family grow together like the roots of a Willow tree, known for their remarkable toughness, size, and tenacity to life.