I’ll see ya when I see ya

As a young wife and mother, probably the most frustrating thing I struggled with was fixing dinner with little ones to care for. Just preparing an edible meal was challenging enough at that point in my life, but doing it with a baby who had colic, projectile vomiting, who needed feeding and diaper changes, etc. was enough to push me over the proverbial edge! Doing that and meeting the dinner deadline was nearly impossible and rarely a delight! Dinner hour was the most dreaded hour of my day.

When my husband was late for dinner, after all that, well, let’s just say that it became a sore spot. I’d get frustrated that he was late; he’d be agitated that I was frustrated. After all, what was the big deal? He was doing something important. (And I wasn’t? grrrrrrrr!)

He couldn’t understand my world, and I resented his. Over the years, communication, love, forgiveness and grace have soothed the bumps and bruises of our earlier years. It helps a lot that the kids are older (nearly grown) and that I have lightened my expectations tremendously! It helps too, that my husband is great about communicating with me and we now enjoy mutual understanding and plenty of grace!

Now, when one of us is leaving the house, I’ll say, “I’ll see ya when I see ya!” No longer is there an expectation that he be home exactly on the tick of a certain hour. There’s a general time frame, but not a dogmatic expectation. If there is a specified time that is vital, we clarify it and say we’ll see each other then. But more often than not, my line has become, “I’ll see ya when I see ya!” The underlying message is that I’m not going to hold him hostage to an exact time to be home. He’s free to come home when he’s able and I’ll be delighted to see him come through the door at the end of the day, no matter how many hours that day may be! It’s amazing how pleasant life became when I adopted a kinder, gentler way of operating!

I’m glad our 21-year-old son is living at home with us until he finishes college in December. I’m so thankful to have him around after ‘losing’ so many years to cancer. If I catch him coming or going it’s a delight. I know that he is a full-time student and works nearly full-time at his job, so I never expect his attendance at dinner. That’d be a bit weird – he’s a grown man, after all! But I let him know if I’ll be making dinner and what it is in case he’s interested. I’ll holler after him as he’s walking out the door, “I love you sweetie! I’ll see ya when I see ya!” Message: I look forward to seeing you, whenever that may be!

Recently my family had been making plans to fly out to South Carolina in June to visit my dad and his wife. We were looking forward to seeing their home and yard that he’d told me so much about. He asked nearly every time we talked when I was coming out to visit. I’d almost begun dreading our conversations because I knew the question would always come and I’d feel so guilty for not making it there for a visit. I hadn’t been able to make the trip because of cancer, chemo-sickness, 7 months of dizziness, years of surgeries and then several subsequent years of challenges we faced due to work-related issues. Physically, emotionally and financially I just couldn’t make the trip happen. I was really excited about going out in June. Then I got the phone call.

We made hasty plans. We were finally going to make that trip home, earlier than June, to attend my father’s funeral. Oh how my heart ached and still anguishes. I was able to see his and Donna’s beautiful home and carefully tended yard filled with plants arranged with an artistic touch. Donna showed us around with sorrow-tinged pride. They spent innumerable hours working together in that beautiful garden. I just can’t believe we missed seeing him by 8 weeks.

I know my father had been disappointed I hadn’t made it out to see him yet. I know he longed to have me share that part of his life. I’m disappointed as well. My life-reality didn’t provide a good opportunity for me to travel there, and for whatever reason, he hadn’t made it out here for 5 years either. What a sadness we both bore. What disappointments we both gave to each other.

I’ve learned many lessons from this sorrowful event. I’ve taken away treasures from this experience and tucked them into my heart for future reference. I know my dad loved me. I have no doubts. I’m so glad my dad loved God also, and lived his life attempting to obey God and live to please Him. I’m thankful that one day, decades ago when my dad was a teenager that he decided to surrender his life to God. Because I’ve done the same, I have the assurance that some day when I die, I’ll be able to see my dad again. So even though I missed my opportunity to see him in South Carolina in June, I can still say, “Dad, I’ll see ya when I see ya!”

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7 Responses to “I’ll see ya when I see ya”

  1. Wanda Says:

    The limits of our lives can be so hard for us to accept and we grieve the most for something that could never have been then for something that we had and then lost. Take care and remember, crying helps.

  2. Ann Crews Says:

    Kris,

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on family expectations. Boy, can I relate! You are an inspiration in many ways. This past week I moved my 82 year old mother from ND here to live with me. I am greatful that I can be a part of this season of her life and care for her as she cared for me 53 years ago. I thank God that He has brought me to this place where I have been able to forgive and heal which allows me to have this relationship with my mother.

    I pray that God will comfort during the times when you are missing your father. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Ann

  3. Holly Says:

    This is beautiful, sweet sister. Thanks for sharing your heart. I was blessed. ❤

  4. Shireen Eldridge Says:

    Thank you for your wonderful perspective (as always!) Love you!

  5. Bonnelle Says:

    Now that both of my parents are gone there are so many times I wish I would have visited more or called more or just asked questions and listened more. I know too that I’ll see them both one day but still… I miss them.

    As I look toward the events that will be taking my kids away from home and into their own lives and callings… I pray they won’t forget to call or visit but more than anything I pray… I won’t forget or become too busy with the stuff of life to take take time to… listen.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and life with us!

  6. Barbara DeJesus-Dothan, Ala Says:

    Kris,
    I wanted to take a minute to first thank you for your blog. I have looked forward to that arrival email to see what is crossing your mind for the day.
    I was particularily touched by todays blog. I had a similar but different (that is a silly statement huh!) situation with my mom. I had a very dysfunctional family life and was never very close to my mom, I guess you could say we tolerated each other. As I grew older and began experiencing “life” we seem to grow farther apart due to my life choices. During this time I came to the Lord and things began to change..not a miraculous overnight change but a long lesson learning journey that was and is AMAZING! In FEb of 2005 I received the “call” my mom had been diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer. They were living in Tampa, Fla so I flew there to be with them and hear what the doctor had to say. We then began a 7 month journey. During that time the Lord allowed me to have conversations with my mom, to really listen to her and learn who she was..I shared the Lord with her and feel she received his love and grace and a peace settled over her. In Sept of 2005 I received a call from my dad that she was in the hospital and in the background I heard my mom ask for me to come home. I left immediately and was blessed to spend the last two weeks of her life sitting bu her bedside and stroking her hands. I had “met” my mom. She passed away on Sept. 11, 2005 Kris, I say all this to say..God blesses in so many different ways but it all the same..a blessing. You were blessed to have a dad who loved the Lord and who you know loved you, your cancer kept you away longer than you had wanted to be. Cancer allowed me to find my mom and for the first time spend time with her and see her as God saw her and to share him with her. Her and your dad are now with our Lord…Be blessed my friend…Barbara

  7. Anna Marie Adams Says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart & perspective on your life. You are such a great writer. I’m sorry you lost your dad. I’m praying for you. Thanks for sharing this though… such good thoughts. I admire you in many ways!

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