Trying to be Normal in a Completely Abnormal Situation

It has been almost seven months since three of our grandchildren came to live with us.  It has been one adjustment after another.  Bob and I are older and really enjoy our time together.  We love traveling and spontaneous dinners with our friends.  We love sitting outside and watching the sunset over the lake.  We enjoy sleeping in.

All of that changed with the death of our precious granddaughter, Carly.  If you have corded blinds in your home and you have children or pets, please do yourself a favor and replace them.  Between law enforcement investigations and the utter stupidity of the Department of Family and Children Services, our lives have been nothing short of difficult.  Seven months.  I appreciate the need to investigate but this has gone on long enough.

Throughout this period, my husband and I have tried to keep things as normal as possible for the children.  But nothing about this is normal.  Tonight, though, I finally realized that we just have to find the humor when we can.  Here’s my list of things where we found humor today.  They all may sound trivial, but they are keeping us sane.

  1. Sarah Katherine, who prefers the nickname “Snowy”, decided to help Bebob (what the grand babies call my husband) tape off the molding so he could paint the stairway going from my office to the main floor of our home.  If you aren’t a painting perfectionist and haven’t ever tried to tape the molding going up the stairs, you’ve missed a treat.  You have to laugh.
  2. Tonight was a series of invisible “boo-boos” on four of SK’s fingers.  Only one bandaid would do, and she moved it from finger to finger.  When the one bandaid finally gave up the ghost, the insult of a second bandaid was just too much to bear.  Not even a Disney bandaid was an acceptable replacement for the plain bandaid that had gone from finger to finger.
  3. A bed would not do for SK tonight, as with most nights.  She likes to sleep “on the ground.”  This translates to the floor in our bedroom, which eliminates any CSI watching or any other TV program that is not suitable for a two year old.  She has a perfectly fine bed, but in our room she has a spot where she wants to sleep and it covers about an area large enough for another queen size bed.  The assortment of animals and babies that are lined up across the floor further add to the obstacle course of our bedroom.
  4. Watching SpaceJam with the boys was also an adventure.  What?  You don’t know who Michael Jordan is?  Seriously?  Charles Barkley?  Larry Bird?  Our “good ol’ days” included Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Joe Namath, Mean Joe Green.  We had Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.  We had Apollo 13.  We had the Beatles making their debut in NYC.  We saw the first lunar landing.  These poor babies!  What are they missing?

While they are missing their parents and they are missing their home, we make sure they get lots of love and the constant reassurance that there is an end out there, somewhere.  Their parents are here every day, and my 82 year old mother makes the trip down as often as she can so that Bob and I can have some time away.  My sister has also offered to come down.  Many of our friends have helped, my boys call regularly and Jackie calls periodically, and you can’t imagine how much that means to us.  You cannot imagine how much we appreciate those who have made efforts to help!

No, our life is not normal, but we’re hanging in there doing the best we can.  We laugh daily, as much and as often as possible.  We are thankful for our friends and for the family members who have been supportive.   We are thankful for everyone who is helping.

The lessons learned from this are to hang in there.  Appreciate what you have.  Appreciate your family.  Whatever their flaws, they’re the best you’ve got. Make the best of whatever your situation.   Use humor when you can.  As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

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