Thursday, April 16, 2009

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

I know that I mentioned in my last post on Monday that I was pretty wiped out after having Easter dinner at our house. My OCD is really starting to take it's toll on me. It took until yesterday for me to start feeling rested. This growing old thing really sucks sometimes.

Mike and Kathy called Easter Sunday and we had the opportunity to talk with each of the kids on the phone. I only cried a little.

Chris is leaving this afternoon. He's really anxious to get home and be with his family, particularly since Kelly's birthday is tomorrow, but this morning he is finishing up a small job for the son of our friend and former pastor. Chris has worked really hard this week and he has helped Tom so much.

Talking to Mike and his family on the phone Sunday and having Chris here for a week has been kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is really great to talk with Mike and his family and spend time with Chris, even though I know he misses Kelly and the kids very much. On the other hand, it makes me so aware of how much I miss seeing and spending time with my kids and grandkids. It makes me aware of how much I am missing, so I am sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks just writing about it.

But what alternatives are there now? I don't know. This is what we've chosen. If we'd known back then what we know now, would we have made the same choices? Hard to say. We attempted to make a change back in 2001 when we moved to the Lake Tahoe area near Mike and Kathy. Tom and I both had good jobs there, but the sale of our home in Arkansas fell through. If the sale had been completed, we would have purchased a condo there and probably would still be there. But, it didn't happen that way.

Two and a half years ago when we put our old house back on the market, we considered moving to Savannah near Chris and Kelly, but the risks were too great. At the time, we were hoping to pay for a house outright with the equity from our home sale, but homes prices there were climbing. We didn't want a big mortgage because we weren't (and still aren't) ready to retire and we didn't know, at our ages, how we would fare in the job market and Tom was afraid of starting a business over again from the ground up. It was a hard choice.

What if...what if...what if...

So, here we are...a 14 hour, one long day's, drive one way to Savannah and almost a 30 hour, 2-1/2 day's drive, one way to Reno. If we're lucky, because it's closer, we visit Savannah maybe twice a year and Reno, because it's further, maybe once a year. We don't take vacations to Florida any more, except for 2 years ago over Christmas and New Years ~ not the best time to do that, I might add. We just travel to one place or the other. How do you balance it? Or, I should say, how do you balance it and not feel guilty? What do other older people, who are also parents and grandparents, do? I have no idea.

Some days I just want to do for me and Tom. I'm jealous because both of my sons have visited New York. I've never been and I've always wanted to go, but we've always made a different choice. I've always wanted to drive up the New England coast in the fall, but we never have. I've always wanted to take an RV and visit all the different national parks, but there's never any time left. And, on top of it all, I feel guilty for even thinking about doing those things because it would mean passing up an opportunity to see my kids and grandkids.

Okay, so I'm a little down in the dumps. I think I might be giving too much. Ya think?