Daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids
"They" happen to be my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandkids. They make me proud in many ways, but the reason I chose to write about them here is that they've had to make a lot of adjustments recently and I know it hasn't been as easy as they've allowed it to seem.
My son-in-law, who is like a son to us, worked at a General Motors plant and received the news that his plant would soon be closing. He was forced to make the decision to either stay with an apparently sinking ship, or leave while he could still see land. He chose to leave and it might have been very easy for him to sit home and complain about how unfair life had been to him, since his desire was to work at GM until he retired. Instead of moping or complaining, he took the changes in stride and decided to pursue another career.
He recently completed 6 weeks of instruction in this new field and is now enrolled in a school about 4 hours away from his family in order to continue this instruction. He'll be away from home for one month. I know it was hard for my daughter and grandkids to bid him goodbye on Sunday. I know, because I remember how hard it was to tell my spouse goodbye when he had to return to his Army base after an all-too-short leave, many years ago. In our situation, we didn't know if he would be transported to Viet Nam or not and we had no idea when we'd be reunited. I'm happy that my daughter knows her spouse will return to her in 4 weeks. That doesn't make it easy though.
I'm proud of the way all family members are supporting each other through the changes that will soon impact their lives, from income adjustments to cooking for fewer people when one is on the road. I think they are good examples of how to make the best of what could have been a devastating situation. They didn't allow it be a negative thing. They're all viewing these life changes as adventures. I wish I could adjust to changes so easily, but then, they are much younger than I.
My spouse and I have suggested to our daughter that we'll be there for her and for our grandkids if they need us, but we know they'll do just fine on their own, and that's how it should be. Still, I can't help feeling that strange sensation in the pit of my stomach when I think about what she's experiencing right now. After all these years, I still remember exactly how it felt to be saying goodbye for weeks or months at a time. I think my daughter and her family are teaching me some lessons in coping. By their examples, they're showing me how to make the best of the here and now.