Friday, March 27, 2009

Is My Life Really All That Melancholy?

I was reading over the posts in my blog, and I think if you didn’t know me you would get the mistaken idea that my life is all sadness and sickness and death. It’s not really. I guess it’s just that a lot of the major milestones in my life have been sad situations and a lot of them have been due to sickness and death.
But really, my joys do outweigh my sorrows. But as with most people, it is the difficult upheavals in my life that have borne my greatest weaknesses and my greatest strengths. And these tough times have brought out my strength of character or lack thereof. Some of the stories written here on this blog are some of the trials I’ve gone through which have made me realize the depth of my need to rely on God and the support of others. And while these critical events in my life are certainly significant, they definitely are not the whole of my life.

I think for a little while at least, I’m going to try and concentrate on only the joyful phases of my life. And that being said, of course, two of the biggest joys in my life right now are my two grandchildren, four-year-old Jayden and two-year-old Mia. And it is here in these sweet little stories that a major source of the happiness in my life lies:

* Our grandson Jayden had a hard time saying ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’ when he first started talking, and it came out ‘Umma’ and ‘Paw’, and so we were labeled. When our granddaughter Mia came along, she accepted Paw as Grandpa’s name when she began talking, and that name has stuck, and for awhile she was okay with Umma for me, then she started calling me Grandma except when Jayden was around, and only then would she refer to me as Umma (which I thought was very smart for a tiny toddler!). Now I’m just Grandma to her and when she hears Jayden call me Umma, she just looks incredulously at me and says to me, “Umma, Umma” while shaking her head no with this little smile on her face, as if to say “Grandma, what are we going to do with him?”

* On another day Mia was saying to me, “Grandma, get my ducks for me” and Jayden happened to be in earshot, he walks over to me, rolls his eyes, lets out a big sigh, looks at Mia, points to me and corrects Mia by saying very indignantly, “Her name is Umma.”

* One day when Jayden was about two he was looking at me and he said, “Umma, you have old eyes, but the rest of you is still good”!

* Another day we were talking about people growing old and Jayden said to me, “Umma, please don’t get old, stay new!”

* My son Erik was letting Mia jump on the couch and after awhile he said to her that it was enough now, but Mia wanted to continue jumping, Erik again said no, and then Mia said to him, “Stick in the mud.” No one knows where she got that phrase from. I think she’s an old soul.

* Jayden and I were looking on another blog and we spotted a beautiful picture of Jesus knocking on a door. In the picture there was also a lake and grass in the background, and there was a big water jug in the foreground at Jesus’ Feet. Jayden pointed out the lake to me and told me to look at the beautiful ocean, then he told me to look at the beautiful green grass, then he pointed to the jug and he said, “And see here, Umma, this jar has the beautiful Holy Water in it.”

* Jayden asked me to get him a bowl of cereal, I told him as soon as I was finished working on the computer I’d do it, I guess I was taking too long, because he climbed up on my lap, took my face in his hands, and said very seriously, “Umma, do you want to make me starve or what?”

* I came into the dining room yesterday and saw Jayden sitting at the computer, wearing my eye glasses, pretending to type on the keyboard, and he said in a girlie voice, “Look at me, I’m Umma.”

* Jayden asked me to read him a book, I told him that we would have to turn off the TV though, otherwise he’d just be distracted and I didn’t want to read the same page over and over again. He said to me, “Yeah, turn it off because I don’t want you to be distracted with Judge Judy when she comes on.”

* One day when I picked Jayden up from school I asked him if he had been a good boy and he said, “Well, I was only a little bit bad, but I was a lot good.”

* The other day I was watching both Jayden and Mia. Usually Jayden has a very hard time sharing his toys with Mia and he will usually take something away from Mia and hurt her feelings, and she ends up in tears, we’ve been working on this and for the past few weeks Jayden has been very good to Mia. Yesterday it was Mia that wouldn’t share with Jayden and she squeezed his hand to get the toys from him, he let her have the toys and he didn’t do anything back to her, he just came to me in tears. I told him I was proud of his self-control and apparently he was proud of himself too because when my sister-in-law Susie walked in the door he had to announce to her “This time it wasn’t me who was the bad one, it was Mia!” And he kept reminding me that I had to tell his mother and Mia’s mother what happened when they came home!

* Today while getting ready for school Jayden wanted us to play with his little super hero figures, I told him we didn’t have much time but that I would set the timer on the microwave and we could only play for that amount of time, as soon as the timer went off we would have to leave for school. He agreed, but when the timer went off he started whining, and he said, “How come the timer takes so long when I am in time-out but it goes too fast when we are playing?”

* Mia picked up one of Jayden’s toys, it was a little green character, she asked me what it was and I said, “I’m not sure, I think maybe he’s The Green Goblin” and she said, “I think maybe he’s Tinker Bell.”

* My husband and I were away on vacation for a week, when we got back I asked Jayden if he missed us and he held up all ten fingers and said, “I missed you this many days.” I said, “But we were only gone seven days”, and he said, “I know, but I missed you ten days worth.”

* The day before my Dad passed away Jayden said to me, “Pop-Pop is going to Heaven.” I had been talking to him about it as my Dad was on hospice care, so I said to him that was right, soon Pop-Pop would go to Heaven, and he said to me that Pop-Pop was going to Heaven tomorrow. I asked him where he heard that and he said to me, “Mom-Mom told me and Far-Far too.” Mom-Mom is what my Mom was called by the kids and she had passed away over a year before, and Far-Far is what my husband’s Dad was called by the kids (it’s Swedish for grandfather), and he had passed away before Jayden was born.

I have so many of these moments that are so precious to me, these special little gifts from my grandchildren that amuse, amaze, inspire, and uplift me. And there are so many more joyful times spent with family and friends that I cherish. So is my life really all that melancholy?
No! It is not. To some it might not be an exciting life, it might not be thrilling or electrifying, but what others might find boring and mundane, I find stirring and fortifying. And I think that my life is amazingly wonderful, it is more than gratifying, and despite some bumps in the road, my life for the most part is exceptionally happy. And that is something I resolve to focus on. Truly, it is a Blessed, joyful life I lead.


  1. Katie (Umma's Favorite Child)March 27, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    According to Mom-Mom, we're Irish, so we're 'supposed to be depressed'! So stop being so cheerful and get back to being melancholy!

  2. Oh, I forgot all about her saying that! Thanks for the reminder.

  3. This was so darling and I couldn't comment because my keyboard was being Irish (melancholy and would not cooperate). Yup, we Irish can be melancholy but also bright and cheerful that's why we have the song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". By the way, I wanted to surprise you and find the melody to your Irish song, but i searched and searched on You Tube and never found it, rats!
    blessings always,

  4. Thank you, Marcy!
    That was so sweet of you!
    But that Irish Lullaby is so old, it took me awhile to find just the lyrics awhile back, and the lyrics I found were a little different from what my Mom sang to me anyway. Mostly, I found it on some Irish websites, but unfortunately they didn't have the tune. I'd be interested to see if it was the same as my Mom's tune.
    Thanks so much for trying!