And--what do ancients, retirees, empty nest lovers, people with dreams for the golden years do when life turns upside down and a twosome becomes a threesome? For us, the options were one--love him, adore him, gift him with a love for God and an appreciation for the wonders of His creation and promises. Casey deserves all that life can offer and if God, in his infinite wisdom, believes we are the ones to give it, then we are honored.
Is it hard? I guess it is--but the rewards are constant and the laughter uplifting so we choose to relish the innocence and cherish the always unexpected.
Recently an adult friend of ours, including Casey's, had strep throat. Casey's bedtime prayer went something like this:
"Please Jesus, take care of Mr. Park's hurt neck. I know it's heartburn because I've had heartburn three times."
Tell me--how does one keep from sacrilegiously interrupting this loving and heartfelt prayer with uproarious laughter? Not easily........ Or--upon turning 7 he introduced me to the 21st century version of coming of age--you know that marker that has existed for all of us from young parents to old grandparents--the prized moment when we could drive? Well, the new benchmark is:
"I can't wait until I'm 8--then I can sit in the front seat." (California law, for those wondering.)
Then he ponders amazingly profound questions as:
I just can't understand how God can be Jesus and Jesus can be God. That doesn't make sense to me.
How was God not made? I know--there was a god who made a god who made a god who made our God.
God, please don’t make all the people because I want to see how you make us when I get to heaven. Finally, after a morning prayer that he would be quiet at school, his bedtime prayer was: God, thank you for helping me stay on green today even though I really did it all myself. (Don't most of us take credit when things go well? So--although right now my nerves are being assaulted by two 7 year olds playing pacman on the Game Cube, by this afternoon something will have happened to remind me it is all worth it. On to the visa saga and current frustration status: We are still on hold with this as when our attorney went to court last week with an ex parte hearing request, the judge denied it and is requiring a hearing. Without going into the details, this is a real pain and total frustration!!!!!!!! And--if by some outside chance he ends up denying the request, our entire ability to be free to lead our life as we would like to and should be able to do will be impacted. So we are really praying. Our hope is that the judge is just wanting to make sure that the i's are dotted and the t's crossed so that there is no reason to challenge this further delineation of our guardianship rights. I believe that the only expectation on his part is that a letter of notification be sent to Casey's mother's last known address to put on record that a notification attempt was made. Of course, this all has lots of $$$$$'s attached to it as attorney time doesn't come cheaply. If we could be sure that Rome would accept our current papers, we could avoid all of this--I keep thinking that maybe we should just give that a run but if it didn't work, we would be way off our time schedule for the start of the school year. It is all so maddening! So, we will follow the course we have set and pray that God's will be done. The truth is that while we really hope for an extended time in wonderful Italy, life will go on quite nicely if that isn't possible. We can go for shorter periods, not requring visas and meet educational concerns with home schooling. There are always answers, options and alternatives and, experience tells us, doors close for a reason and the alternatives almost always end up being better. It shouldn't be a surprise that God's way is always the best way! Again, I hope that each of you has something special enter your life between now and the next time I get the urge to add to this journal. Soon we will be getting ready for three weeks in Alaska--flying to remote areas for bear sightings, landing on glaciers, riding waves in search of whales, dogsledding over summer terrain, floating the rapids and lots more. What an adventure for a child! and for us, too. Can't wait! Ciao e A Presto
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.