As empty-nesters my husband and I are quite used to having structure in our lives.
We’re creatures of habit and although he travels for his job, which adds a certain amount of change to every week, even that is predictable. We have routines, we follow the same protocol every morning, our evenings have a rhythm.
Our life is structured. So structured that we aren’t even aware of it.
Until it isn’t.
Our grandchildren have been at our home for almost two weeks now due to their parents having the foresight to send them away from Houston before Hurricane Harvey descended on them. Their dad is a volunteer firefighter and stayed behind to do what firemen do in a storm. Their mom stayed behind to save their home. Their other grandma, not really knowing exactly where she was headed, hastily packed everyone up and left the city with an hour’s notice.
And so the structure of our lives disappeared into the storm.
It has taken not just us and their other grandma to keep it all together, but a network of friends and diversions.
Nothing is the same for us or for them, either here or in Houston. Our son worked for days on end, swimming through fast moving storm waters in the dark of night to rescue people while his wife battled the storm alone. At the end of it all they were exhausted and broken-hearted for the devastation around them. They miss their children. Here, the kids don’t have their friends close by, don’t have their familiar toys or their dogs, don’t have the structure in their lives that they’re used to. At three, five and nine, they’re missing their parents, the little ones, especially, not having the experience with time to grasp the difference between two weeks or two months.
And so love has become the foundation, the structure that our days are built on.
Through it all we found time to smell the roses.
And hug a tree with Tita.
Most importantly, we’ve been deeply aware of, and have been thankful for our blessings and the fact we live close enough for them to be with us.
And for this…..just two more sleeps until their parents arrive. 🙂
Now excuse me while I go pick up some legos and clean up the, thankfully, washable markers the two little ones just colored themselves with while I wrote this blog!