THE JOYS OF BEING PART OF A FAMILY

As the saying goes; Life is short, live it to the fullest. Sometimes a life experience sneaks up on you and you are surprised by the emotions that you experience. My granddaughter, Callie, and grandson Broc were fishing off the dock during vacation. The water was very clear and you could see small pan fish circling their fishing lines. We were watching with anticipation, hoping the fish would take the bait. Then boom! Callie’s face was priceless; she had a fish!

She reeled the small sun fish in and soon it was flopping on the dock. Callie squealed with excitement. Her smile and giggle is something I will always remember. What fun she was having! Then it was Broc’s turn. He had the same result and same smile. Their mother, Jen, was sitting on the dock soaking it all in, just like I was. My son Jeremy was assisting his kids with the fishing poles and bait.

That scene of catching fish was played out a few more times on the dock of Lake Darling just outside of Alexandria that night. The excitement and joy on all of their faces brought tears to my eyes. I was caught by surprise by my emotions. I tried to hide my tears of joy.

My son Jeremy and his wife Jen, along with Broc and Callie have had a very difficult year. Jen was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer last summer. Jen had surgeries and radiation treatments throughout the year.  I’m happy to report that Jen is cancer free today. They have been through so much, so it was nice to have them with us at Arrowwood Resort for a short family vacation.

Watching the expressions on Broc’s and Callie’s faces, along with Jen’s and Jeremy’s is something that I will always remember. The smiles were huge; the laughter was non-stop. Something so simple as catching small fish off the dock brought so much joy to all of us. Live life to the fullest; enjoy every moment. That is what they taught me that night on the dock.

There were sixteen of us in the townhouse at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, which is a very nice place. It had been a few years since we had all been together. Spending time with all four of our children and their spouses, along with our grandchildren was the best. I needed some family time. I have thought of that moment on the dock with Callie and Broc often this past week. It really is the simple things in life, like spending quality time with each family member.

I really enjoyed watching grandma play Farkle or Uno with all the grandchildren around the big table, and observing Brianna and Seth spending so much time with their nieces and nephews at the lake or pools at the resort. My daughter-in-law Kristine, and grandson Zane, who loves to bake and cook, brought some amazing desserts and dishes. My boys love to grill and did a lot of it. Watching my daughters-in-law, Katie, Kristine and Jen love on their children. I spent the early mornings, sipping coffee on the patio and thanking God for my family.

Family is everything. I don’t want to paint a picture of a perfect family; we have our issues like most families have. This family vacation was special for me. I realized I have an important role as a grandpa. I feel so much love from my grandkids, and they enjoy spending time with grandpa. I don’t want to disappoint them.  I try and be the best grandpa I can be by spending quality time with each of them. Life is short, live it to the fullest.

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