“Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind”
This video came up in my memories on Facebook today. It was one of Grumpa’s favorite songs. It stirs up all kinds of emotions. Five years ago today, on Halloween, the kids and I hopped on a plane to move from Michigan to Oregon. I’ll probably share more about that adventure in the future, but during that time, I was amazed at how perfectly the details fell into place to make the move happen. We sold our Michigan home in a very challenging market, my company (at the time) created a territory in Portland just for me, and we were on track to build a new life closer to my family. For nearly nine months, the kids and I shared a bedroom at Granny and Grumpa’s house. It wasn’t always an ideal situation – I slept on an air mattress, and I was living with the parents (one being a step-parent even) after being on my own for almost 20 years. And it wasn’t easy for Granny and Grumpa either, but they so graciously shared their space and helped with the kids as often as possible.
In the end, the Oregon adventure was not meant for us, and we ended up moving back to Michigan, building a house four doors down from where we lived just a few months prior. And there were whispers, all kinds of talk and stories about our situation. Even people who didn’t know us, felt connected to the flashy story of the move that wasn’t. But I made the choice to do what I felt was best for the kids. I left my family, my job, and my dreams of raising the kids near my childhood “home”. It felt like an immense loss. Not to mention, I was back to the brutal midwest winter. If you know me, you know the Michigan winter is the toughest 9 months of the year for me. 😉
Many times throughout the multiple moves I shook my fists at the sky and asked God, “WHY??” Why would everything fall into place to make the move possible, if we just ended up four doors down from where we were before? A few short months after we moved back to Michigan, I got my answer. Our beloved Grumpa was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and his time on this Earth would be limited. We suddenly realized that every moment of those months in Oregon (even the tough ones) were a HUGE blessing. The kids had become incredibly close to their Grumpa and that wouldn’t have happened without the move that wasn’t.
And three years ago, again on this day, our beloved Grumpa lost his brave battle with cancer. We weren’t ready to let him go; no one ever is. We miss him still today. “He was a big picture”, Granny would always say. He sure was. And that picture remains in our hearts – his love for cooking and baking was handed down to Emma. His passion for life and exploring was passed along to Grant. He lives in all of us, and always will. But life really is a highway, and while you’re here, you might as well lean into the adventures. We’ll lean in for you, Grumpa. ❤
In Loving Memory of: