As most of you know, I have just returned home a couple of days ago, after having spent two weeks in New York with my daughter Ryan. On July 23rd, I was up early and walking out the door to go to the dentist, when I received a frantic text message from my pregnant daughter. Ryan was about 32 weeks along and felt as if she was going into premature labor. This had happened before, so it was cause for alarm. I went on to my appointment and waited to find out what was going on with her.
To get a complete understanding as to why it sent me into immediate panic mode...you have to know all of the other things going on at the same time. One week before this, Ryan's husband had left to go to Iraq. She has three children...Layne 4, Kenny 3 and Zoe 21 months old. Not only having her hands full with the children, as she was going into labor, her house was full of moving people packing all of her belongings to move her onto post housing. Knowing she is pretty much alone, I book a flight and fly out there the same day. I get there late that night and thus begins endless trips to the hospital and doctor office visits. During this time, I was trying to get my daughter unpacked and run after three very rambunctious kids, plus do laundry and all of the other things that needed to be tended to.
I truly enjoyed the time spent with my grandchildren. Giving them a bath each night and putting them to bed. Playing at the park with them. Singing to them and rocking them and kissing boo boos. Just being able to do all of the things that most grandparents that live close to their grandkids, take for granted, was a miracle in and of itself. As tired as I was at the end of each day, it was a good kind of tired. It was time well spent.
The hard part came on Thursday of this week. I had no choice but to return home. I had my little girl at home that had now been two weeks without her mommy. She had started school...her first day passed without mommy there. She had signed up for cheerleading and had her first practice...without mommy on the sideline cheering her on. She got to sing at a special service and mommy was not there to hear her. So many little things that mean a lot. My husband was missing me and I was truly missing him. We have some things coming up at church that I needed to be there to attend. As I walked out the door on Thursday morning to go to the airport, my mother's heart was torn in two. I wanted to be in two different places and it was not possible. I cried all the way to the airport and even on the planes. I wanted to be with both daughters and couldn't.
I have been in constant touch with Ryan since coming home. Thank God for computers and cell phones. It is not the same as being there, but the next best thing. I am praying that God will heal my heart and the pain I feel. Having to leave your very pregnant daughter alone in a new place with three children and a husband away at war, would break the hardest of hearts. We mothers tend to carry guilt with us at all times. Even though in my heart of hearts I know, that I have done everything that I could do....it still hurt to leave her.
Mothers tend to want to kiss the pain away. We want to fix everything. The hardest part was NOT when they were younger and getting up at night or running them to and from all of their activities or taking them to the doctor. No, the hard part has been watching them as adults try and make their way in this world. Realizing that there are some things, MANY things, that will pop up in life that I have no control over and cannot protect them from.
This mother's heart is sad today. I want to make it all better and can't. I have to turn it completely over to God. He, and He alone...can make it all better for Ryan. Plus, He can soothe this mother's heart!