Months ago, I came across an editorial piece in a women’s business magazine. The writer, a middle-aged female, was lamenting her reality; that she had spent so much time on building her business that she had missed out on precious time with family. Her business was very successful and over the years, she had expanded its reach. She was rightfully proud of what she has created, yet so regretful of the day-to-day family activities she had not witnessed.
As I read her words, I realized it was exactly the opposite for me. I’ve always had such grand business ideas that have not been fulfilled. The lion’s share of my time has been devoted to family. My husband’s job has always taken precedence – I worked a part-time job away from home, took care of our three children and ran our hectic household.
Our three children grew into lovely, caring, responsible adults. When I was 46 years old, and still kinda filled with a youthful exuberance, our lives were blessed with the birth of our first grandchild. I was able to take care of our boy during weekdays for four years, while his parents were at work. I learned very quickly that I didn’t really have youthful exuberance, he did! Jacob wore me out, but those four years were truly some of the best of my life. We went everywhere together…he has such an adventurous soul. We visited the Y, the library, the zoo – and met some of the best people ever, especially at the local Y. He’s now almost 16 years old and I pray that our time together in his youth established an unbreakable bond for life.
I’m turning 62 pretty soon and now my Dad’s health is in decline. His driver’s license was taken away by his family doctor sometime ago, so I’ve become his eyes and ears on the road. Prostate cancer, alarmingly high blood pressure, kidney issues and deteriorating vision keep us both very busy with countless doctor’s visits and scans, scans and more scans. He needed an emergency CT scan and for expediency, his doctor sent us to High River, a town 45 miles away from home. The appointment was at dawn. Neither of us will ever forget the spectacular sunrise that day, the laughs we had or the great health care professionals at the tiny High River hospital. Sometimes, when we’re at the Mall for his haircuts or having a blood draw at the clinic, we take a few minutes and walk and talk and he grabs a coffee. We sit in the food court and he tells me things I never knew. Stories I’ve never heard.
I’m beyond mid-life and approaching my third Act. In retrospect, I may have regrets in my life, but I will never regret all the time I’ve been able to spend with my family. Thanks to my husband, who has always supported me no matter what, I’ve done what I’ve really wanted to do. I’ve wanted to be there to watch our kids grow. I’ve wanted to be there to spend time with our grandchildren. I’ve wanted to be there when my parents need me in their last days. I’ve been blessed to be able to do all of that. Thank you God.