Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family Visits

We learned a very difficult and trying lesson of life this last weekend. Thanksgiving came, and brought our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Unfortunately, my wife started a new job just a very short time before they arrived for a large retail corporation. She couldn't get time off , though she had asked for it. I was able to ask for and get time off. It is very hard for her to deal with because she loves our son and his family very much. Of the 3 full days they were here, she got to be with them less than 4 hours. That included a family dinner.

Our grandson is such a cheerful baby that it is hard to believe, and we got some wonderful pictures of 3 generations, including our grandson in the dress his great-grandfather wore as a baby.

This visit was complicated by the decision of her parents that they would make their snow-bird trip to Las Vegas now. So, while we tried to enjoy the first visit with our son's family since June, we also were caught marginally in the hectic pack and stack of getting ready for their move. Her sister was nearly run ragged trying to appease, pack and shop for them. She was also the chief aim of their confused state during all of this.

The lessons? Simply that life happens! You never know for sure what life will throw at you as you try to plan for events like this. And, be ready, because when you are trying to celebrate, life just might toss in a lemon or three!

My lovely wife's greatest concern is that our son understand she tried to get time off, and couldn't. I've tried to assure her he does understand, often not having time off when we used to visit. But the emotional loss of not visiting and not playing with our first grandchild, coupled with the emotional and physical stresses of Black Friday are not allowing her to accept that.

I will continue to assure her, and to mediate the different views until we are able to reach some balance, and gain some perspective.

I hope you will do the same. For far too many people are caught on the horns of puzzles and conundrums they cannot fathom. We need to start helping them find that balance!!

Peace and happiness this holiday season!

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