When my husband retired 5 years ago, his heart's desire was to be close to the grandchildren, which at that point were two delightful little girls living in Nashville, Tennessee. So, with the encouragement of our son and daughter-in-law, we moved to a suburb of Nashville. While always aware that, as a college coach, our son could very well move at any time, it was also reasonable that his current situation could continue indefinitely. Having made the move, we have been so blessed to be a part of our granddaughters' lives as they made their way from ages 5 and 8 to ages 9 and 12. But then, with what I picture a grand sense of humor, God moved them to Ohio. Our son started his job at a university there last spring, and our daughter-in-law and the girls moved up when school was out.
During the years we have been in Tennessee, our daughter and son-in-law have been in New York, and blessed us with a grandson and another granddaughter. Overlapping the timeframe of our son's job change and subsequent move, our daughter and son-in-law found their time in New York drawing to a close without yet having a direction as to where God was going to plant them next. So, much to our delight, they brought those New York grandbabies to Tennessee to live with us during the interim. And, yes, we saw the irony of all of us being in Tennessee, while our son, who was the reason for us being here to start with, lived elsewhere. Not only that, but Ohio is our son-in-law's home state, and our son is coaching at his alma mater.
Simultaneously with all this, the physical symptoms that I had begun experiencing early in the year continued, primarily manifesting in continued unexplained and unpredictable episodes of debilitating exhaustion. I had cut back on my work responsibilities late last year, but now it seemed that retirement was perhaps my best option. So, with very mixed feelings, but confidence that it was the right thing to do, I left my job at the food pantry, and began what I still see as an experiment with retirement - I reserve the right to un-retire at any point!
I have worked since I was 17 years old. With the exception of a cumulative total of about 4 years, I have always had a job. My times as a stay-at-home mom were in brief intervals, so this is new ground for me, simply being at home. Since the 3 and 5-year-old grandchildren have been here the whole time, I know I have not yet fully experienced the impact of retirement. But their family is in the process of relocating to San Antonio, so once the flurry of Christmas is done, I look forward to seeing what that feels like.
So, life goes on.