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Confessions of a Tired Mom #5: Darlene Daniel

Nine, Six and Ninety-Six My grandson is nine. My granddaughter is six. My mother is ninety-six.

I am somewhere in between! Literally………during these past few months, I am somewhere in between my grandkids’ house and my mother’s house, almost every day. My role, as one of the caregivers in each of these generations, each with their own unique needs, brings an abundance of joy and an abundance of grace.

My interest in living a purpose-filled life quickly became a reality as I found great purpose in helping my amazing daughter by caring for my grandchildren as often as possible, and great purpose in caring for my mother during this uncertain time.

Early on in the pandemic, my sister and I decided to focus on mom’s health, safety, and well being, knowing that it would initially mean limiting our time with our grandchildren. Our mom lives alone in the home that she and our father built and moved into only 6 months before his passing in 1996. She needs assistance with grocery shopping, managing medications, doctors’ appointments, paying bills, managing her financials, assisting with personal care, memory care assistance, all while we are mindful of signs of loneliness and isolation. These caregiving responsibilities continue six months into the pandemic but will be ongoing even after the pandemic. We know this moving forward. But today, she safely lives independently with dignity and grace.

As restrictions began to ease, my beautiful daughter was ready to welcome me back into my grandchildren’s lives. Boy, was she ready!! From the onset of the virus, she had maintained a tight bubble around her family and was determined to keep me and her grandmother safe in the process as well. A few months in, we had slowly worked our way past air hugs and talking while sitting in the car in each other’s driveways to coming in the house! I was so ready to spend time with the kids again and she was ready for a break! See you later, honey, the kids, and I have a lot of catching up to do!

My nine-year-old grandson promptly began to tell me more about Pokémon and Minecraft than I ever knew I wanted to know! He is so excited about his new gaming interest and the endless litany of characters he is fascinated with…….while I am fascinated just listening to this remarkable little boy who makes my heart swell just looking at him. His joy is my joy!

My heart continues to swell as my beautiful six-year-old, soon to be seven-year-old granddaughter enters the room. This girl is a princess, no, literally, today she is dressed up as Elsa, white costume, not the blue one (this is important she says), tiara, light up shoes, complete with magic wand……. the entire ensemble! What a vision! I will hold that moment of her in my heart forever! Her joy is my joy!

Their mom returns before you know it and it’s time for Didi to go. We have made great plans for an epic sleepover at Didi’s house soon. We will pick up ChickfilA for dinner, make ice cream sundaes for treats, and snuggle up to read books at bedtime! Sounds like a perfect evening!

I have missed my daughter unbelievably during this time of separation! We have a special bond that never waivers. I am so incredibly proud of who she is and who she is becoming in her life. She is the light in the days of everyone she meets. She spends her days molding and shaping these fantastic little humans that I get to call my GRANDchildren! She also chooses to make time to actively participate in church and community organizations that make her heart light up!

I am grateful to have these moments with my children, my grandchildren, and my mother in the middle of a pandemic and beyond.

As we navigate the uncertainties of today, I realize that grace is always certain. Grace received as well as grace extended, in our daily challenges.

To paraphrase the timeless hymn: It’s grace that brought us safe this far And it’s grace that will lead us on.

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