Sam, nice to meet you, thanks for reading and commenting. Actually, I am writing as a grandmother. I didn’t have children of my own. Never felt the desire or need and the husband of my youth was not the help mate I would want as a parent. But, towards the end of our faltering marriage, we gave shelter to a runaway teenager originally from Honduras. We adopted her before we separated. My estranged husband died a few years later, right before our adopted daughter gave birth to a son. Two years later, she delivered a girl. Two months later, my daughter and her family moved to her husband’s hometown far away. I was devastated.

18 months later, she and the children returned to Florida to live with me while her husband was in college in another state. Their already unstable marriage would not survive the separation. Although he returned to our state, about two hours away, his involvement with the children was/is extremely infrequent.

I, in essence, became his substitute. My daughter works in retail with a constantly changing schedule so I was deeply involved in the rearing of my grandchildren. Since I didn’t have babies of my own, it was a new and amazing experience I never expected to have.

Last year, my daughter and the children moved to their own place after living with me for 7 years, but the children are with me each Friday evening until Saturday night or Sunday morning. They are an intricate part of my life.

My daughter has remarried and they will be moving far enough away that visits will be few and far between.

I am devastated again. After having these special little people very closely woven in my life for so long, I can’t imagine my existence without them.

I never intended to be a parent and certainly by default, a grandparent, but I am both. This experience is all the more delightful because it wasn’t planned. Now, so much is changing and I am wondering who I will be without them here, without their laughter and stories, unable to see them growing and learning, not participating in school assignments and activities, not swimming and playing basketball and soccer together, not reading stories and poems to one another, not singing and dancing in the living room, not baking or painting or planting flowers together. I don’t know who I will be without them or who they will be or become without me. I don’t know how to do these upcoming good-byes. How to be the brave and wise adult. How to smile and assure two young children that big changes are good and that they will be okay or that I will be okay. Okay seems impossible.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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