Saying So Long

Saying so long to a family member after a long visit can be bittersweet. Often bridged between feeling sad to see them go, and glad to have your house back. That;s how I feel typically when we have had family here for an extended time. For me extended time is anything after a week.By the I am tired of playing look for the needle in the haystack when even just trying to find the coffee filters in the mornings. Why is it that Bear;s best friend thinks that his sense of organization in my kitchen is best for me?

I digress.

Usually this is where I’d be after a week, bummed to see them go, we really did enjoy every minute of each others company and can laugh off the coffee filters.

Not today though. Today I am just bummed. Today our grandson leaves to go back home. He’s been with us a full month and we have loved every second.

I don’t want him to go!

Lletting T go today will be a tug on my heart-strings that will hurt for days. I’ll smell his youth of him on my arms for hours after he leaves, refusing to wash even my hands for a bit, so to hold on to that which keeps him near.

It’s been a full, busy month with T here. Having just the energy alone has been good for me. It’s hard to focus on your woes when there is 13-year-old male energy running through the house, out to the basketball hoop, p-thack!-p-thack! —against the backboard. I love these sounds, love having his presence here. I told him just last week it does not matter if he’s hanging out in his room alone, or being forced to be part of what we’re doing (such tteenage ways) it does not matter to me. Just having him here in the house is what brings him close to me. Having him here, his energy, his soul, his tall lanky body fills the air up with hope and adventure.

When he left last time in the spring he was not as tall as his Papa, This time when he came back he had passed that self-imposed goal and now has to bend to hug me and is towering over me like a man. This little guy who grew into such a tall and fine young man is my favorite grandson. Oh I know, we’re not supposed to have favorites, but in this case it’s okay.

As T reminds me when I say, “T darling, do you know I love you the most, and you are certainly my most favorite grandson to date.” He says, Oh but Nana- I AM your ONLY grandson

So long T-Man, I miss you all ready.

©tjhelser2012

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23 thoughts on “Saying So Long

    • Oh Tess you speak the reality of our blessings called grandchild. When T was here in March we measured him for the newest mark on the wall, he’d grown an actual inch in 3 months!! Unbelievable.

      Thanks so much as always my good blogging friend for taking the time to share with me. I am actually pleased when i write something that speaks to you.

      Take care friend ! BB

  1. I loved this post even though it made me heartsore that I am being denied contact with my daughter and granddaughter. Treasure the memories that you are building up for T and yourself!

    • Oh optie dear girl I am so so sorry. I understand. I am to relate because our eldest daughter has saw fit that her life is better off without the relationships of her parents and sisters and brother. Her choice, but it breaks my heart too.

      It’s an added pain when I have to say so long to my grandson. For that reason Tuesday was a tough day. I added to this that my late mothers birthday is on the 1st of August and I was just swimming in tears.

      I’m so sorry this post brought back that loss, I would not have done anything to cause you any pain at all of course, but now that I have I’m actually grateful and humbled you have shared this with me. thank you.

      Please be a little extra kind to yourself today, and consider yourself gently hugged from this friend of yours in the USA. ~ BB

      • Thank you for such very kind words BB. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with her decision. This started in 2009 and for more than a year I was emotionally dysfunctional and cut myself off from friends and life in general. I have been on happy pills since the end of 2010 and they have helped me enormously. In March this year I felt strong enough to travel to the UK and try and track my daughter down but long story short, she refused to see me so I came home without seeing her or my granddaughter. It really is like a death, I keep mourning the loss of a relationship that was so good in so many ways.

        • My dear optie, I do understand. I re;ate so well. For myself it’s been a heartbreak too. I at least know where my daughter and granddaughter are hough. For you not knowing anything must be an added heartbreak. I’ve no clue really either what makes children turn away, in my case I think drugs and men are involved. Sadly I watched her choose a man and drugs over her daughter when my granddaughter was just 14.

          I could not stand anymore of it and when she put my granddaughter in the hospital because she was using and crashed the car that was it! I called my garddaughters dad and said I have to talk. My granddaughter and her mom have never really talked to me since. My granddaughter went to live with her dad while my daughter followed a man to another city. I think that a lot of it is shame on my daughters part. I have always been involved with the welfare of children, and she knows, knew that I was a mandatory reporter. She knows that I should have someone step in sooner. While she is still using and has her head in the sand I am refused to be seen.

          I believe the kids think they are punishing me, and they are. But I see it as punishment for themselves too. Such as we could be helping our granddaughter with school, but since she refuses to see us I have closed my pocket book. There are so many ways family can help, and she at 19 yrs old has decided that she can function without us, so I have to turn it over to God and pray that she is OK.

          It’s a miserable feeling I know sweetie, not all what we planned, Taking off and going to England like that was not the vacation you envisioned for this time in your life I’m sure.
          Can I send a gentle hug to you today? BB

          • Thanks BB I have often wondered if drugs were perhaps part of the problem but my son assures me that it is not so. This all started just 4 weeks after we had visited her in the UK in 2009 and she and her partner seemed to be OK. 4 weeks later they had split up and she was coming back to SA, just months away from getting her UK passport and she said she had an eating disorder. There was no evidence of that while we were with her and she did not take kindly to our advice that she not rush back to SA because she would be throwing so much away. After some terse emails from her communication ceased. But I carried on trying to contact her, if I phoned she put the phone down on me, I still sent emails and text messages hoping that her heart would soften but to no avail. She came to SA in Dec 2010 for her brother’s wedding bringing with her a new partner. We tried to welcome them into our home but were fobbed off and it seemed to us that she went out of her way to cause as much hurt as possible. Later in the year we learnt from OH’s brother that they had been in contact with her and that she was pregnant. This was a huge shock as she had always said that she did not want children. Again we sent congratulations but there was no response. Incidentally this has caused a rift between OH’s brother and his wife and ourselves because we felt so betrayed when we found out that they had been in contact with her without informing us of her wellbeing until she told them that she was pregnant. When I confronted my son about this he admitted that he knew about the pregnancy but had been trying to get her to tell us herself. It seems like her entire personality has changed, she was a very committed Christian, spent a year at bible college, married and divorced another Christian after 4 years. To be honest we were not too upset about that because he had never embraced our family and clearly did not make her happy. Her next partner was a lovely chap who we got on with very well, we got on with his parents too, even stayed in their house on one visit and they adored our daughter.
            I know where she is living, the area , not the actual address. When I was in the UK in March I had to enlist the help of a community police officer to contact her and he went to see her but even when she was told that her father had had a heart attack a month before she would not agree to see me.
            I can only pray that whatever is going on in her head with regard to her parents she is still able to be a good mother to her daughter and also to look after herself. It’s very hard to contemplate that I might never see her again in my life time and that thought fills me with overwhelming sadness.
            It is so difficult trying to explain this situation to friends so talking to another mother in a similar situation is a great comfort to me and I really appreciate your kind words. Let’s pray that both our daughters come to their senses before it’s too late.

            • Hi Optie,
              I;m sending you my love and hug for sharing with me like you have. I understand the reluctance to shr\are what is happening with an estranged child completely. To not put words in your mouth I can add that in my case I know my reluctance is about shame. Although what I am ashamed of I don’y exactly know. Shame because a child has turned her back on everything she knew growing up?
              I’m trying not take it personal but it’s impossible not to. When this time of our life should be a comfortable one with little worries here we are worrying about our adult childrenand grandchildren. My one saving grace is that I know where they are and my garnddaughter is now 19 and takes care of herself.

              I find myself going through a mixture of emotions, sadness, anger, even resentment. Maybe that is wherein my shame lies, I still don’t know.
              Our kids were pretty good kids as teens, and in their 20’s.never a problem betond skipping a class to see if they could get away with it, and our youngest daughter’s largest bufoo, she and her friend at age 13 took her friends mother;’s car keys and proceeded to try to go to town. They were quickly caught Thankfully and returned home for punishment. That was the worst we had to deal with. I suppose our eldest decided it was to be her 30’s that she would kick and rebel.

              Thanks so much for talking with me optie, I wonder if more mom’s are in this situation then we know. If we are unwilling to talk about with most I;m certain there must be others like us.

              Please take care of you, do me a favor today: Go and do something really kind and generous for you. Just you. I think it’s a time when giving back to ourselves is appropriate and necessary.

              Please consider yourself hugged gently from your good blogging friend in Oregon USA,, we now know eare not alone in this. Let’s stay in touch, eh?

              Your friend~ BB

              I

              • Hi BB,
                Thanks for your kind and caring message. You hit the nail on the head – Shame is what I felt for so long, most of our friends knew our daughter growing up and at a time when everyone is sharing about their grown-up children’s accomplishments and grandchildren I just could not cope, so I retreated, emotionally and physically. Even now, I have a granddaughter who is 10 months old, I have no photos to show, have never held her or seen and heard her laugh. This situation is one that I would never have thought possible in our family so I feel sure that others must wonder what we did wrong to bring it about. Our closest friends have been told that the subject is “off limits”, that was the condition on which I was willing to re-engage socially.
                Our daughter gave us very little trouble growing up and apart from being moody at times she was a pleasure to have around. Even before this breakdown of our relationship we communicated daily via email, or skype, traded recipes and gardening tips and other girl talk. I miss that so much it hurts physically. She also chose her 30’s for her crisis which makes it all the more difficult to understand. As you say this is the time of life when, having done our job raising our children we should be enjoying the fruits of our labour, not agonising over their decisions.
                There is a chance that my son’s wife may not be able to have children so it is possible that we will never know the joy of being grandparents.
                Thank you too for sharing with me, there are probably other mothers in similar circumstances but I don’t know any personally. It is a great help to talk to someone who is not going to judge you but understands your pain and heartache.
                Take care of yourself too ((Hugs))

  2. I know this feeling so very well – when my grandkids have visited, when my kids visit – when the visit is over, when they leave, my house feels both far too empty but yet pleasantly mine again. I miss their company and it will take a week or two to find my norm.

    • Hi Carol, it’s that bittersweet thing. It will take me several days of having to remain busy so the empiness is not so overwhelming. I am so glad we had this month, but I am also wiped out. The energy of 13 yr old boys has me running just to try to keep up.

      Thanks so much dear friend for taking the time to share in my sense of loss. I adore having women who know the feelings well. ~ BB

  3. Bless your heart, Sis–sometimes blessings are bittersweet, aren’t they. T will be back. God bless y’all–love, Caddo

    • You have that spot on sis Caddo, some blessings are certainly bittersweet. That being said I’ll take the bitter all day long just for hints of that sweet. It’s so well worth it.
      Abd like you remind he will be back, That;’s why I will not say good bye, only so long.

      Keep on shining your heart and smile upon us dear sissy caddo ~ BB

  4. I know you will miss T very much. I’m so glad that you were able to spend a month with him. His energy and love gave you so very much that my feeble little words can not express. Cheerish him and your memories — even though he towers over you!!!!

    • Aww Cee, you have come to know me so well. My energy has been up because of him being here and I know you could feel it. It will be a month of treasured memories with him and yet we did nothing so spectacular. Just being together, even cooking with him and teaching him my recipes was so cool. He so wants to learn.

      I’ll do as you suggest my dearest Cee, I’ll always cherish him and our memories. He’s such a wonderful kid, all 6′ 3 : of him.

      Hugs and blessings ~ BB

    • It’s been a whirlwind month that is for sure. I’ll have to keep busy the next few days, and when I talk on the phone with him Sunday I’ll be able to do so without crying.
      Silly Nana.
      Thanks Cobbie, you’re the best!

  5. My heart is so with you, BB. When 7yr old granddaughter Brittany is with me the days are filled with laughing and playing like children. She sleeps in my big bed and wakes with me.

    As you do T, I miss her for days after she leaves.

    Blessings to you and the family – Maxi

    • Thanks so much Maxi, it’s such a special relationship the bond we have with our grand babies. He is so much a part of me that I know he takes that with him, and leaves some of himself with me. But it’s those first few days…

      It’s awesome we have them, and it’s one of the goals Ive had since a being a young grandchild myself, to reccreate that bond when I became a grand mother.

      Hius sent your way my friend, thanks so much for relating to me and saying so
      ~ BB

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