Hello Everyone! So much has happened in the last two weeks that I have mixed emotions about sharing. Happiness about Ollie’s journey and an update on my Grandma. On the last post I asked for prayers for our family as my Grandma went into the hospital. Last week she went to be with Jesus.
I’m not even sure where to begin this week to be honest. So bare with me. My grandparents lived in upstate New York, where they retired to permantly after many years of service in Mali, Africa. Summers were spent picking berries, hauling fire wood from the forest and spending time with cousins who traveled the globe to be back for family reunions. MomMom and PopPop, as we call them, have always had an open door policy. If you needed a place to stay, there was always a bed and nourishment available, both for the body and soul. They never stopped preaching the Word of God wherever they went and were a prime example of servant hood.
PopPop passed away the week Ethan and I were married. We spent part of our honeymoon in New York saying our final goodbyes and reconnecting with family. This time was no different. So many of our family were able to make the journey to say our last goodbyes. For us, it is only a 12 hour trip. For many, it was much longer than that. The boys were amazing and did far better in the car than Ethan and I could have imagined. For me, car rides were all about the destination, now that we have little men that need to wiggle, it is all about enjoying the ride.
But isn’t that what it should always be like? If the ultimate destination is to arrive in Heaven, we don’t just want the quickest way there do we? There is so much more to enjoy in the mean time, so much life to be lived. Make the stops along the way to make the journey the best journey that it can be.
This particular journey to and from New York was a learning expereince for me. It was all about making the journey memorable and enjoying the time we spend as a family. On our way out to New York we didn’t make it to too many places. But there is a rest stop just into New York that has a bridge over the thruway. This place has always stood out in my mind as being special. So we stopped there for snacks and stretches. We watched the semi-trucks fly under the bridge, racing from one side to the other to see the cars continue on their journey. We listened to The Chronicles of Narnia and ate junk food!
Once we arrived in Perth, New York we were able to stay with an old family friend. Her name is Miss Grace and we could not have felt more at home. With jars filled with snacks, a complete play room and beds just for our boys, we knew this place was meant for us. Miss Grace is a true servant and went above and beyond to take care of us.
On our last day in New York, the family gathered around MomMom’s grave in a circle. We shared memories and said good byes. None of us knowing when the next time we might see each other again will be. MomMom and PopPop were the glue. The glue that kept bringing us back to the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.
After braving the cold, we jumped in our car to start the next part of our journey home. To the giant waterfalls or bust! We made it to Niagara Falls at the golden hour. What a beautiful time it was. The boys were in awe of the sounds, mist and overall grandeur of the falls. How fun it is to see a sight through the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time.
We traveled on to our hotel in Erie PA where the boys were able to swim and drop into bed. Ethan and I had a make shift picnic as we watched our boys drift off to sleep. What a day.
The next day we woke up and jumped back into the car to sail through Cleveland and Toledo. We made a quick pit stop to take a picture at the Duck Tape World Headquarters, because, how could we not? The boys might think we are crazy but they will always remember.
So the next time you feel the need to blaze from one project to the next without a care. Stop and think about what you are missing. Take the 40 minute detour to see something one of a kind. Stop and have that conversation that you have been putting off because we never really know when our journey will come to an end. MomMom had 95 years to enjoy her journey but my sister Julie only had 7. Take the time.
*Short update on Ollie*
We have an appointment date! We will be heading back out to Boston at the end of January. Our appointment is for January 31st. Now we need to figure out housing and transportation! Thank you so much for your prayers!