I'm A Long Distance Grammie And Oh, My Heart

 
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I remember the day like it was yesterday. My son and daughter-in-law were staying with us for a few months while their home was under construction. One day after they had gotten home from work, they came in the kitchen as I was preparing dinner. All of a sudden, they stopped the conversation, looked at me, and said in unison, “We are expecting a baby!” The words took a moment to sink in. I looked at them and screamed with excitement as I ran to hug them both. It still brings tears to my eyes reliving that moment 10 years ago.

May came in a hurry. Their announcement many months earlier paled in comparison to  that moment when I saw my son holding his son, Heston, for the first time. There were no words to describe the love in my heart for that little baby. It was kind of like when you have your second child, you think you can’t possibly love him as much as the first, but then it happens and there’s plenty of love to go around. This grandmothering club is like no other. In this season of life, it’s the grandest group to which I belong.

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The following years were filled with “Mondays with Grammie”, as our days together were called. Heston went to daycare four days a week when his mommie went back to work, but Mondays were all mine. Oh the things we did, building such sweet memories together. When he turned four, he went to preschool and our times were not as regular, but intentional play dates were made, and many spend the night parties were enjoyed.
During the snowstorm of 2014, another sweet grandson was born. Our lives were full with two little boys and my “Mondays with Grammie” started back with baby Leif. We were getting to know each other just as Heston and I had.

Life happened, my son got a new job opportunity in Dallas, and before I knew it, they were packed and loading up for the move to Texas. I knew it was coming. I knew it was a great opportunity for my son and his family. And I knew the boys were young and would have no trouble finding new friends. I knew it all in my mind but my heart was not prepared for the loss I would feel.
I tell myself I am a big girl and can handle it. My heart sings the song, “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” but in reality, it is hard to be a long distance Grammie. Yes, sometimes I feel sorry for myself, but then just as quickly as that feeling comes, I get a FaceTime call or a letter in the mail with hand drawn pictures, and life is again good.
Saturday, the phone rang and as I glanced over, I could see it was my little Leif FaceTiming me. I clicked the phone to say hello and I saw a great big smile. “Grammie, I kicked the ball and I won! I kicked it all the way and it went in. I won!” He’s four now and playing his first season of soccer. It was an exciting day for him!  Once again, my mind was thinking of all the ball games we’d enjoyed as we watched Heston play here in town. Now, we have a new way of enjoying those games long distance: we relive them through their excitement, calls, and words!
I am indeed blessed beyond measure to have these special little ones in my life. I know many, many grandmothers whose grandchildren live out of town. I am not the only one who has a long distance relationship but still, my heart. I knew how it was to have them so close and perhaps this makes the distance harder for me.
As I grow older, I’m learning to embrace new seasons of life. They come and go and I’m thankful for each and every one of them.

This little girl’s dream came true. I grew up, married my best friend, and had three children and two grandchildren. I have been so blessed along my journey. Thank you Lord, for your faithfulness. And also for direct flights to Dallas.

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Jane Lazenby: “I am a wife, a mother of three, a grandmother of two, and an empty nester. Certain things in my life have taken on new meaning as I have grown older. I am trying to listen more. I am trying to hear better. I find so much joy in collecting words and phrases in my mind and heart. I am reminded how quickly life changes. Seasons come and go in the blink of an eye. Painting and drawing for me, have always been simple pleasures, but as I look back I see how God has been preparing me for what’s next. In 2010, my world forever changed when my sweet mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During one of the most difficult times of my life, I began to write about her journey for friends and loved ones. During those last days with her and her home going to heaven, I started putting words to paper in a new way. I began writing stories and creating paintings around these words. God gave me a new path to follow. I’m joyful as God gives me words and art to create expressions of His grace for others. My first book Expressions of Grace comes out this summer.”

Jane’s art can be seen at www.janelazenbyart.com.