Today’s post is by Debra Dickey, my friend and frequent contributor.
Lately, I’ve begun to experience an unusual development of emotions that is difficult to describe. When I tried to put a finger on it, the only thing I could come up with was the ticking of my ‘biological clock’, only in reverse.
With children who are now grown-ups, on their own for the most part, and in their first stages of getting established in jobs and careers and with lives of their own, a healthy marginalization has been aptly carved out. Yet much more than classic separation has invaded my heart – a sudden perception of inevitable mortality has begun to creep its way into my psyche, lending itself to the reality that my time on earth, and therefore, with my children, is day by day, becoming more limited.
The truth is, no matter how long I have, it will never be enough time to spend with my children. From the very first moments of their lives, I have wanted to be a part of who they are and share in the known quantity of their lives. Because of the extraordinary people they both are, not just my children, our journey together has been one of joy and appreciation.
With the challenges and harsh trajectory that our lives have taken, the three of us had to become a unit. Knowing what was at stake, I intentionally created a mindful environment to foster family connections that would ultimately lead to the homogenous family nucleus that, hopefully, will endure for the rest of our lives. I was on the right track — it’s working! So well that I cannot imagine it any other way and, never want to let it go!
Although I whole-heartedly loved my children the first 20 years of their lives, we were all so busy being pretty overwhelmed and mostly in survival mode, our relationships were less symbiotic and more parent/child, as they only could have been. But grown up children are real people–and mine are really wonderful people–people I absolutely love spending time with, am inspired having conversations with, thrill at sharing moments with, have trustingly created equality and affinity with, and simply enjoy laughing and planning and being with.
Petulant, my clock is on a nostalgic countdown. How many more years can I possibly have with them? Ten, fifteen?? That is not nearly enough! Not nearly enough to cram all the love and fun and delight and heart songs that they bring, into my life. Not nearly enough to make them understand how much they mean to me and how indelibly they have impacted everything that has ever had meaning. Not nearly enough to see them smile, hear their voices and their laughter, to celebrate their successes, and to know them as they develop all their talents and become even more incredible people than they already are. I don’t want to miss a thing!
Sentimental that it is, the ticking of the clock is the beating of my heart, with the message to make every minute count and to focus on the things that matter most – don’t ever take these two amazing gifts for granted. I won’t. I just hope that the Good Lord gives me exactly the right amount of time, perfectly synched, full of Grace, for all three of us.