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Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's on my heart right now

This is something I've really been struggling with for the past few weeks, so I want to ask for advice from my friends.  I am lucky enough to have friends all over the world who can help me understand or at least come to terms with this situation.

I am really struggling with the fact that KB's grandparents and great-grandparents can't be a part of her every-day life.  Coming from a background where I spent a significant amount of time with my grandparents, this is especially hard.  I love the feeling of a full heart that I get when I'm with my whole family.  It truly makes me sad that she won't know that feeling, at least not in the way that I do.

Now, don't get me wrong, we are very happy here.  I'm not sitting around crying because I'm homesick. I've done it before for sure, but this feeling is totally different.  And to be honest, both sides of our family are very good about not complaining too much.  They do complain that they are missing her, but I think it's fairly reasonable.  I miss them being around for the little things, too.

I think a big part of what is making this harder right now is that my family is throwing a birthday party for my 94 year old great-grandmother on Saturday.  She's never met KB because I was wary of taking an infant into a nursing home.  But now all I can think about is how much I want to be there with them this weekend.

Today was a huge growing day for me.  I really want to come home, but after a lot of thought, I've decided not to.  I don't want to become accustomed to running home whenever things get a little tough.  That's not me. I'm stronger than that. But this feeling is totally beyond me.  Like I said, I am very happy here; happier, in fact, than I ever was in Guam, so why can't I get this off my mind?

So how do I deal with my family issue?  How do I make it ok that KB will not likely ever experience whole-family Sunday dinners on a regular basis?  She won't have her spot at the dinner table, or know exactly what her grandmother's house smells like first thing on Summer mornings, when all she wants to do is sleep because her cousin kept her awake all night talking about boys. ("But you must get up at a reasonable hour, dear, or your whole sleep schedule will be off when you go back to school", she would say with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.  To this day, smelling cigarettes first thing in the morning is very comforting to me.  Weird, huh?)  I so want my little girl to be close with her extended family, and not just via Skype and emails.  I want her cousin Shelby to be like her big sister. I want her aunt and uncles to be the coolest people around because they check her out of school to go to the zoo.  This is really hard for me right now, so any encouragement or advice would be appreciated.


  1. I know how you feel, but I don't really know any advice to give you. She won't have the same experience as you, when it comes to family. That's really what it comes down to, and something you're going to have to eventually accept. That doesn't mean that your family or Jason's will love her any less for it-it will just make her and their time together all the more special.

    I struggle with the same feelings sometimes, but not to the degree you do-I only had one set of grandparents in my life, and they favored my cousins over me and my siblings because my cousins lived closer and they saw them more. I don't think that's the norm, though, and I surely don't think your family would be like that. I used to worry that my in-laws would love my niece more than Fox because they see her multiple times a month as opposed to once every 12-18 months. However, now I worry that SHE'LL feel bad, because when Fox comes into the picture, he's the one that gets spoiled rotten because they don't get to see him as often as her.

    Anyway, I know this is long, but I wanted to let you know you're definitely not the only one with these sort of feelings. Like I said before, her extended family experience will be different from yours and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just...different.

  2. Okay Emily... this just made me cry. My child isn't here yet & she will b close to her grandparents but not her father... at least not for the remainder of his enlistment so please honey, count your blessings. You're a strong girl & if KB is anything like her mommy she will grow up to appreciate her father and his military service for his many selfless actions/sacrifices and she will totally understand! So don't b so hard on yourself... and remember, when she goes home to visit, they will spoil her rotten bc she's the long distance grandchild-- trust me I've seen how my granny treats hers who don't live locally :-)

  3. Hey friend,

    Having lost my dad and all of my grandparents in the last few years, this subject is close to my heart... knowing the if God ever blesses me with kids they won't know the family members and traditions that have been so much a part of my life and family traditions. And since I am not a parent, I can only offer a few thoughts for KB...

    Those traditions that she will be missing at home... keep them up in your home, whereever that is, or integrate them into your own new traditions. Teach her the names of those family members she needs to know. We have done that with my neice and whenever she is at my moms house and sees a picture of my dad she says "Dannon". It's not quite the same, but it helps that she knows who he is and recognizes him since she was only 5 months old when he died.

    Also, think about the opportunities that KB will have that you did not. She may not grow up with the small town family atmosphere... but she is going to experience different cities and cultures that will create in her a knowledge of openness and acceptance of others. I know the benefits of that vary from what she will miss from family experiences, but maybe consider what she will gain, rather than what she will lose.

    I'll be praying for you as you think through this... but no matter what, you can trust that if you have to be away from family, that is God's will for y'all.


  4. Hey lady. It's a tough thing being a military wife and our children have to be little heroes. I never had the closeness (distance wise) that you did, but that made the times I would see my extended family so special and I really learned not to take them for granted. From elementary school until 8th grade my cousin and I both spent spring breaks in east Tennessee with my maternal grandparents. I also had a cousin who lived in the same city. So this made the bond between us girls unbreakable. I cherish those memories bc they were OUR times with mamaw and papaw. KB had a great mom and a wonderful special extended family. You and Jason have the gift from unc Sam to give KB things and experiences most do not. AND she gets the love and lifetime supply of support from a huge Southern family. She's a lucky girl and will never be truly lonely. A bit harder for you because you know the closeness of a Southern family, but you'll be ok


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