I’ve had this blog written since the day my parents headed south…and with some rough days behind me…and maybe more ahead of me…I felt it was time to share. Not to mention seeing a post from my mom once again trying to justify to other people…but mainly to convince herself, how they can be away from family over the holidays…or at all. Well, here’s my take on it…
Every year after my family’s Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration, my parents head to Florida for the winter months. We all say our I love yous and pass out numerous hugs, seeing my parents for the last time until spring. Yes I will miss them and of course it’s sad to see them go, but I still get to talk to them! I still annoy my mom with every day morning phone calls, because as far as I’m concerned, they’re not on vacation where I need to let them be to enjoy themselves😍they’re at their other home…for 3 months!!
I still get to share videos and pictures so they can stay on top of what the kids are doing…and the kids still talk to grandma and grandpa on the phone throughout the months as well, usually pleading to go to Florida with them😎
And every year my parents give the same response “c’mon down!” And every year I give the same reply “darn livestock!” 🐮🐄🐎
Each year, the closer it gets, I can sense my mom’s hesitation to leave. The calls get more frequent, “are you sure you’ll be okay with us gone? You know we can be home the next day if we need to be…for anything…anytime.” They tell all of us this!
But mom and dad…with me, the middle child🙃, the difficult child (not by choice of course😜), you seem to have forgotten. When I got my head stuck in grandma Ruth’s porch rails and the fire department came, you were there (throwing that in for the Reinbeck clan🤓), and that was only the beginning of my trials!
Diagnosed with diabetes, the car accident when Skye and I were hit by that guy under the influence, the other car accident that sent me to the hospital…the same day dad was to leave for the boundary waters and even had his canoe on the hood of his car, literally so close to being gone…I called with blood running down my forehead asking as calmly as I could if dad had left yet because I knew he wouldn’t go if I told you what happened…but you sensed something was wrong and he stayed, you were there for me, the diagnosis of fm and SVC syndrome, all of the angioplasties and stent procedures, there, there, there and there for me. Two years ago, hypertension set in requiring new stents in my pulmonary artery, you delayed your trip and when I had to perform the procedure again the next year, you came home from Florida earlier than planned, you were there for me…
So, don’t reassure me that you can be here in two days if I need you…because my whole life, you haven’t done anything that would make me even doubt for a second that you wouldn’t be here for me in my time of need.
I watched my hard working father go to a job for over 35 years, a job that he hated on most days, but he still went…to support his family. And if we were outside playing and saw dad come walking over the hill, before his shift was to be over…we knew it was a really bad day😳and we knew to let him drink his coffee and get showered up before talking with him haha😁but he always went back the next day.
I also watched my father plan our family vacations with excitement in order to give us childhood memories and experiences and traditions to pass on to our own kids…and we are! Most important though, I got to see my father grow in his faith and I saw the transformation God did on his heart and his life…simply because of dad winning a golf tournament! Walking proof of what God is capable of and being able to see how God shaped my dad into the amazing father that he was…and is today!
And, I watched my mom try to work a job as long as she could outside of the home after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis…a crippling disease, in her 30’s. I have watched my mom over the years try to hide her frustration as she asks for help with a task as simple as buttoning her coat, tying her shoes, helping to put on her jewelry or even taking the cap off of a milk jug because her hands “don’t work” and having to pace herself when doing anything physical due to shortness of breath and even just walking up a few stairs is too much at times because the arthritis affects her feet, her entire body.
I’ve watched my mom become diagnosed with numerous health issues so now instead of rheumatoid arthritis attacking her heart and lungs…several illnesses attacking her whole body. And in the midst of all of her health problems, her agony and medication changes, trying to find what works best for her pain and flare ups…she is still praising God and helping others over herself!
So answer me this mom and dad…all those years you have been there for me…fighting for me to find answers in hopes of getting my life back…so that I am able to live my life…wouldn’t you defeat the whole purpose of what you were doing for me if you stayed home for me in the winter months just because my health “might” turn for the worse?
See mom and dad, you aren’t leaving any of us, you’re living your lives…and I wouldn’t want it any other way!! Plus, with mom’s terrible health issues too, south makes the aches and pains so much better, why wouldn’t you leave for the winter?! You know I wouldn’t want you giving up anything for me, but your whole lives were a sacrifice in doing what you needed to do to provide for our entire family…and for me, that also meant being the example I so desperately needed to see in some of my darkest days, an example of trusting, loving, having obedience and faith in God. I see how good God is…because of the parents you are!
You did your job too well because I know God has me, no matter what, so I’ll be okay while you’re getting your tan on 🏖
You are retired and while I am grown up, I will never stop needing you and you will never stop being mom and dad, but, this has been your life long dream, your goal we always heard you guys dream out loud about…to be on the beach during Iowa winters, and this is what you and dad worked so hard for! What an amazing example you are to show that if you work hard enough and don’t give up, anything is possible! Your dreams came true and we are all happy for you! This is your time!
God has given you an opportunity to rest together…in the warm south…during the cold months! I suspect you honor Him and go where He leads you 😍
I love you mom and dad! Cherish your time together…guilt free!!! Enjoy the company of your southern friends and your gang back in Iowa will be praying for you to have a beautiful, sunny and warm winter this year!🏝 ☀️💞 Well, Tim will probably be mumbling about you “city slackers” under his breath but you know that’s just him😉
Love you and see you in March!