What I Wish I Could Give the Son for His Birthday

Ron Jr. and Becky, Memorial Day 2009,jpg

This is me with my son.  My baby.  Oh, I know that he’s not a baby, really.  He’s actually my oldest.  He’s a husband and a father, a provider for his family.  But he’s my baby, my one and only son, and it hurts my heart sometimes when I can’t see a way to give him what he wants.

What he wants is for his dad and me to move back to Ohio.  He has wanted this for a long time.  When what he calls our Edsel of a computer boots up, we have to click on a screen that asks us to move to Ohio.  Nothing like not-so-subliminal programming, is there?  It’s been there since 2002.

The original idea was that the hubby and I would move near the son once the hubby retired.  That was two years ago.   I have to tell you that the hubby and I envisioned retirement being in Ohio.  Really we did.  We prayed about it.  We looked at houses.  Not one door opened up for us.  Not one.

In addition to the son, we have, of course, the wonderful, fantastic daughter-in-law in Ohio.  She and the son have blessed us with two handsome grandsons.

RJ and Tony, camp edge

They alone are reason enough to move to Ohio, don’t you think?  I do.

Yet here we sit.  In Indiana.  Three hours away.  You can go to the son’s house and back in a day, but that doesn’t get you to the grandsons’ activities or let you get them off the bus or…. (Sigh).

I have to tell you that Indiana is not a bad place to live.  I love my job here.  I’m sure I have mentioned that a couple of hundred times to anyone who would listen.  And the hubby has filled his retirement with building for Habitat (well…building for anyone who lets him make sawdust) and the Gideons and bridge and the men’s Bible study at church…  He’s pretty happy.  Still, there are periods of time when the two of us pray because we feel so strongly that we could support the son and daughter-in-law if we were closer.  And we get a no.  Both of us.

So, you may wonder, why am I writing about this now?  Well, next Tuesday is the son’s birthday.  We have to wait until the weekend to see him, and we plan to take him and the boys shopping and out to dinner.  He and the daughter-in-law are selling their home, and we were talking about the houses he was looking at.  He told me that he saw some that were just perfect for his dad and me.

This is what he said: “Just think, Mom, we could come over and have Sunday dinner like we used to do with Grandma and Grandpa.”

Don’t think I haven’t dreamed about that, son.

Then he told me how nice it would be to have us there to be with the boys to watch them grow.  How he and the daughter-in-law have to hire babysitters while everyone else has family.  Now he’s really not being being mercenary here.  He  just wants his kids with someone who would care for them as if they were their own.  And we would.

My heart was breaking when we were talking because, well, the hubby and I WANT to be there, in Ohio, ready to help.  As many times as we have prayed about the situation, the only conclusion I can come to is that the time for us to move is not yet here.    But I want it about as much as the son does.

So…the hubby and I will call the son on Tuesday, his birthday, and sing to him as we have for…let’s just say a few years now.  On Saturday, we’ll head to Ohio and do our best to make him feel spoiled.  But when the time comes for us to leave, to come back to our responsibilities here, it will rend our hearts a little.  It always does.

But maybe it won’t forever.  We’ll keep praying, son.  He who hears our prayers is probably waiting for just the right time.

There’s always your birthday next year.

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3 Responses to “What I Wish I Could Give the Son for His Birthday”


  1. 1 Carol J. Garvin August 21, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Oh, how I can relate to your post! This past weekend our three children and their families arrived to surprise us with an early 50th anniversary celebration. There were 16 of us creating happy chaos here for three days. Now that they’re all gone again we’re suffering serious family withdrawal pangs. I’m thankful for e-mail, web cameras and telephones but the children grow up so quickly and we don’t see them often enough. Although they all live within the same province, none are within a single day’s round trip commute of us or of each other.

    We live on rural acreage and when the day comes that we don’t feel like maintaining the property anymore we’ll face the dilemma similar to yours. Do we stay in this area where we are known and have many friends, or do we relocate? And if we relocate, in which direction would we go? So far God isn’t prodding us into a move. When he does, I hope he also suggests the direction!

    • 2 Becky August 21, 2009 at 5:41 am

      Congratulations on your approaching 50th anniversary! Fifty is a milestone you don’t hear about much any more. How blessed you are to celebrate it.

      I can only imagine how you must have felt when your family left. The distance factor for you is much greater than it is for the hubby and me. I hope the time when you cannot manage your acreage is very far away. Maybe when the time comes for a decision, you can get an RV and go see everybody. 🙂

      God’s blessings on your weekend.

      • 3 Carol J. Garvin August 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm

        Thank you, Becky. And would you believe we do have an RV? We’ve had different ones over the years and have a good-sized camper at the moment. We take it most times when we’re visiting family although they all have guest rooms we can use, too. The problem is more the time it takes to get to their homes… they live many hours away, east, north and west of us, so we don’t go often. We thought it would be different in retirement but we still seem to have too many demands on our time to get away very often, so it’s especially nice when they come to see us.


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