Friday, February 20, 2009


In the past two hours, I've rescued wayward cheese fishies hiding in the cracks of my leather sofa. I've mopped driblets of apple juice forming a path from the kitchen to the dining room.I've stripped the beds and thrown dirty towels in the washer. I've readied the highchair to pack back in the spare bedroom closet--the same closet that once housed my daughter's color coordinated tank tops and flip flops. But I can't yet wipe the nose prints on my window and the tiny fingerprints on my glasss-topped coffee table.

After ten days, my grandson has left more than his mark on my patio door--he's left another permanent dent in my heart.

It's hard saying goodbye to family when you don't know for sure when the next time you will squeeze each other in a group hug. It's hard returning to an empty house after watching the people you love most file through the check-in lines at the airport on their way to the other side of the country.

My husband and I promised each other we wouldn't cry in front of them and we kept our word until we spied our car in the parking garage.

Of course, we played the same game-- the same one we play every year after a visit. What if we had never moved to Florida? What if we had stayed in PA? Maybe she would be living in the same town with us. Maybe...maybe...

But then I might not have the tiny body named Gavyn to love who gifted me each morning with a cuddle on my lap and a smile from a game of peek-a-boo.

God has a plan for my life and part of that plan includes the hellos and goodbyes to special people in my life. He has another plan for me too and that is to write.

Maybe I need these kind of memories to prompt my fingers to the keyboard.

I had a great visit but I've also missed my blogger friends and reading about your onward push with writing. I can't wait to get around to each of you to catch up!

Hope all your smudges in life turn into sweet memories like mine do.


Sassy Granny ... said...

My grandmother's heart is gripped with recognition ... and my teary eyes too. I have those same smudges, those same apple juice trails, those same heart-dents.

I have often thought what a gift I've been given to be so far from my children & grandchildren; and they me. They've grown strong ... sturdier than if I'd been there. Me too. I don't bend so much in the wind now. I have blooms where once was the pruning shear's scar.

We can have both - - smudges & tears, roots & beautiful new blossoms. Who knew?


Kasie West said...

Ah, that first paragraph is my daily life. LOL It is hard to say goodbye to family. I think memories and emotions really do make us better writers. Thanks for sharing.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Soooooo hard to have our families out of town. I'm glad for your great memories and sad for your goodbyes.

Janna Qualman said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post, Terri. Makes me grateful for all the smudges in my life. Thanks for sharing!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I think I'd have to keep those hand prints for a long long time...but don't listen to me, I've still got my Christmas tree up! LOL. Welcome back, BTW. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

What a sweet post, Terri. I'm so glad you were able to be blessed with your family's presence these past few days.

LisaShaw said...

While I'm glad you are back with us I can so understand how you feel. I felt that way twice in 2008 and will be going through it again this year.

Our daughter (who was pregnant at the time with her second child) came to visit with us with our first grandbaby and they all stayed with us for three weeks. Daddy wanted them back home so they had to lave (pouty face) I guess they couldn't stay forever. I bust out crying in the airport. I was no good for any of them.

Then the birth of our second granddaughter a few months later drew me to go to them and after 8 days my hubby and teen daughter wanted me back home (happy and pouty face) and so again I had to tear myself away from now the four of them and that was so hard. That time I cried as I began to say my goodbyes and pray over them.

I boohood as I dropped off the rental car and walked through the terminal to the gate. I then had to sit for an hour and boohood some more as I thought of leaving them behind and so desperatly wanting them all to move here and really live for the Lord passionately and be close to us and be one -- and so I cried some more and then prayed...

Well, they are coming back in a few months this year and with all the love and fun I will boohoo at the end of it all.

Isn't being a mother and grandmother a wonderful thing? Sure is! I wouldn't trade it for the world or the tears.

Love you sweetie.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Still and yet, it hurts. For several years, I had the hellos and goodbyes with my folks. I never got used to it! Now they live within an hour, so our visits are more frequent. The older we grow, the more precious they become to me.

Yes, I think emotional seasons are good fodder for the pen. You've done a fabulous job with this one. I can really relate to your tender and your smudges!

God's peace and comfort to your weary heart~elaine

Yolanda said...

Don't want to erase those smudges too soon, nor forget those precious memories as well. Do you have a Grandma's journal? I'm not kiddin'; I love mine! It'll be f-u-n to read it to them when they are a little older. A book all about them, and how they touched my heart.

giddymomof6 said...

aww.. now you're gonna make me cry! LOL! We've been overseas for so long, seeing and being just a state away from family is the only thing that keeps us excited and anxious to be away from our european adventures! Jenni

Linda said...

Oh know I understand just what you mean as I too am so far away from children and grandchildren. I'm so glad you had a wonderful extended visit with them. We're off next week to Calgary to cuddle grandbabies!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

So sweet!

Jessica said...

Awww, so sweet. Glad you enjoyed yourself and have fun cleaning up now. LOL

Gina C said...

I felt your pain and caught a glimpse of what my inlaws must feel when we leave after a visit!

Technonana said...

Be still my heart!! What a special time with your sweet children! My heartaches with yours. I know how you feel when they leave, but mine are only an hour away!! Can't imagine a whole country between us!!
There is nothing like being a grandmother! The bear hugs and sugary kisses, just take your breath away!!
Keeping you and these sweet children in my prayers!

Technonana said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit with me today. My husband is teaching a class on FireProofing Your Marriage... says he can't wait to use these in class!!

Pat said...

And I have never wiped the fingerprints of my full length mirror. It's been 6 yrs. And when my grandkids came to visit last year I got to show her how little/tall she was when she was a baby.

And last year they did chalk-paint hand-prints all over my outside chiminia thing. Did I wash it? No way!

BTW - I've got to work the next two months with my sister during tax season so I won't be there this month or the next.

Grandkids - wow - what a gift!

Love, Pat

KelliGirl said...

It's nice to have you back!

What a heartfelt post. You are blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with your daugther and her family. My parents live fairly close and our visits are far too infrequent and much less heartfelt.

Your tender heart shows through in your writing and blesses all of us!

Happy Sunday,