adversity, flowers, love, relationships

Pressure Makes all Things Sweeter

When our first grandson was born I used to visit him regularly, even though he lived out of state. I stayed with them after a two hour flight and would babysit for mom while she ran errands or did what she had to do. I am sure this was hard for her as I can be a bit annoying. I love to clean and maybe cleaned too much when baby was napping. I am not sure how or why I got on her nerves, but now….after 5 years of regular visits, I don’t get to see him at all.

Life is tough sometimes but you have to go with the punches. A big battle with attorneys would not have been pretty. Basically, grandparents have no rights. She and my son are divorced so that does not help the situation. Sadly, he tries to stay in touch with his son, but seems too difficult to really put himself out there. This can only be my opinion, but he does not talk about it, and gets tense and jealous, when I ask about his son too much.

He would hate me for saying what I really think about the entire situation, and what good would it do if I made a point of saying it here? I guess I am venting again. It is helpful for me, to at least write about it here. It stinks, but I just continue to pray for his safety and well-being.

My grandson, lets call him David, not his real name, has a mother, who I am sure loves him, in her own way, a grandpa that most certainly does. My son, an absent Father, since he lives out of state and rarely visits, unless he just doesn’t tell me, will need to live with his own choices he makes.

Some fathers expect too much from their sons. My own dad did, my brother. They only reconciled when dad was on his death bed after months of cancer treatments. Sad to see what could have been between them, wasted. My brother has had a hard life and to this day is easily offended. Fathers are so important, especially to young boys. Nothing has an influence on a life, like a father.

I really don’t want this writing to be about judgement. I just am sorry I never got to have a lengthy relationship with my first grandson. I really only had five years. He is now 11. I would love to take him fishing here in Minnesota. I would love to see him help himself to my raspberries, or play on my piano. I would love to see how he does on the golf course. He has athletic ability that never had a chance. His dad did and I saw it one Christmas I visited as he hit a ball across the kitchen floor with his plastic hockey stick. He rarely missed a shot.

All the things our children could be if given half a chance. It starts with parenting. Loosing one or the other or both is hard. Being abandoned or rejected causes harm unless there is intervention, or another person who loves them greatly so they can thrive. It has been done. Many come from bad situations and make it. Look at Dr. Ben Carson, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton, Tom Cruise to name a few. Mother Theresa or the stories of people in the Bible like Joseph and others.

Joseph’s brothers threw him in a pit (Genesis 37:24) because of jealousy, and left him to die until they changed their minds when they saw a caravan and sold him into slavery. Joseph was about 17 then. He didn’t see his father, whom he loved, until the second year of the famine in Egypt. Joseph was 39. This pressing of his life, that Joseph endured, was a sweet aroma to God and turned out to be a blessing to the very brothers that wanted it to harm him. Read the story.

I would like to send David a note. I don’t know what to say or what to tell him, besides the obvious, that I love and miss him and think of him often. I would never know if he even got my letter or what he thought or how he would answer, or if he would. I have written many times before and sent packages. I never get word from him.

His mom is out of touch and still obviously bitter toward me. Maybe it has nothing to do with me. I don’t know. I can only guess what she feels towards my son is not helping my situation. It is messy. We all have our heartaches so don’t feel sorry for me. I will get through and some things you have to accept. I have those around me to think about too.

It will only cost me a little time and a postage stamp. I can write. I just don’t want a letter from me to open up any wounds he may have or cause him to have to yearn for something out of reach. A visit from grandma. Just a wish, a hope and a prayer…on my part. Kids have other fun things to think about. I am sure he is staying busy. David came with his mom to Minnesota once when he was three.

“Love is patient and kind…..it does not seek it’s own way.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Am I being selfish by trying to hold on to something from a minor child (my grandson) that a custodial parent does not want me to have?

Maybe the letter I should write should first be to his mom. I can see her just throwing it away and not opening it. I have seen unopened letters before on her counter, I wrote to Keagan, when he was young. I was there. I am not making these things up for pity sake.

People change. I have. I did. Why couldn’t she? I could send her pressed wildflowers. I could apologize. I could try loving her as Jesus says we should. It is hard to love those who hurt us. (Matthew 5:44)

I remember walks with David when I pushed his stroller. I would stop and pick a wildflower and let him hold it. I have pictures of these moments I can cherish. Even pictures just make me sad and long to be with him again. It hurts. I need to think of something else. I have been her typing long enough.

I collected some wild flowers on my walk with my husband this morning. They weren’t perfect specimens. If I want to press these I should have been earlier. I didn’t pick them when they first bloomed and some of the leaves were shriveled and torn. I don’t need to have perfect for my own purposes.

I have always loved wild flowers. I have always loved the flowers in general. They always remind me of my grandson, David. My first grandson. I wanted him to love nature. I wanted him to go through life slowly and be observant. He was my first experience with being a grandmother. He would be the first to call me “grandma”. He is a gift!

I pressed wildflowers, from my walk with David, in my devotional Bible. I kept them for years until they started fading. One day I threw them out. It hurt too much to keep these memories when I could not buy airfare any longer to see him. All the wildflowers year after year will be reminders to me of him. They, like him are so precious. God’s gifts to the world.

I don’t have true flower press. I don’t have the blotting paper you need or the plywood boards to make the frame. I could easily put one together. But I made up my own press by placing my flowers between paper towels. Carefully I tried to lay them flat. Not perfect. Nothing needs be perfect unless you are framing a house.

As I pressed on one of these which caused the base of the petal to crack this amazing aroma found my nostrils. I should have looked at the flower that ejected the scent. It made me think of the herbal teas and scented oils you buy and how they are made. Maybe that would be fun to look into more as a hobby. Aromatherapy or just to have some scents I made from wildflowers.

Maybe we give off a beautiful scent to God’s nostrils when we are pressed. Maybe we all have to go through things in life, and sometimes they are very hard, yet we do come out of it somehow. Over time, all things heal. Now that we have gone through something difficult we are equipped with things beautiful and lovely so we can be of help to another who is hurting.

You know how you feel when you had a loss and are hurting and someone comes up to you and says, “GEE WHIZ! Get over it. You will find something (someone) better.” It is not helpful. That person has not been pressed. They stink.

A person who has gone through what you have should not say, “IT ISN’T AS BAD AS WHAT I WENT THROUGH…..(and goes on to tell you their story of heartache). They have not been pressed hard enough! They didn’t hurt enough, obviously. They are not helpful either.

It is the person who cries with you when you are hurting. The person that listens to you and does not have anything the want to say, as they know it would be foolish. It is the person who will give you the hug you need even though you didn’t ask for one. That person has been pressed. They have a sweet aroma about them. Precious to you and you are relieved when they show up. They are a comfort to you.

Be a sweet aroma to God, your friends and family and to the world. Just as the wildflowers are beauty to behold in my hand, and remind me of my sweet David, one day I will be holding his hand again…..even if I have to wait for the sweet by and by in heaven.

In the Sweet By and By

Sanford F. Bennett, 1868

  1. There’s a land that is fairer than day,
    And by faith we can see it afar;
    For the Father waits over the way
    To prepare us a dwelling place there.
    • Refrain:
      In the sweet by and by,
      We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
      In the sweet by and by,
      We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
  2. We shall sing on that beautiful shore
    The melodious songs of the blessed;
    And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
    Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
  3. To our bountiful Father above,
    We will offer our tribute of praise
    For the glorious gift of His love
    And the blessings that hallow our days.

https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/In_the_Sweet_By_and_By/score/

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