Realizing a new stage of life

By Christine Bordelon

The other day, my son called from out of town to say hi and talk about his daughter – my granddaughter – starting eighth grade in high school. Does she have everything she needs? Could I pick up pre-ordered shirts and her sweatshirt?

It got me contemplating this stage of my life as a grandparent.

For the first time, I’m not so worried about the minutiae that goes into the new school year. (Although I just donated a trunkload of elementary school uniforms last week!) 

As a parent of adult children and one that helped a lot with my first granddaughter, I’ve always kept track of what’s needed to be done. That’s not the case now. My children have found their strides in life, and I am so thankful to God that everything is going smoothly for them.

So, where does that leave me and my husband? It’s hard to shut down, seemingly overnight, that anticipation of a new school year with the anxieties that change brings and the joys of new experiences for your child that were ever present for three decades.

People ask me all the time what it’s like with just the two of us home now. My life is always so busy with work, trying to stay physically active and faith fit, that it’s hard question to answer that question directly. 

It’s definitely afforded time for my husband and I discuss our life together – how to spend extra time, when to tackle house projects and formulate a retirement timeline based on our savings. (Don’t ask about our 401ks in the toilet right now.) 

Just recently, a few minor health issues brought a realization that we are not here on earth indefinitely. I can trace my first inkling that life was fragile back to elementary school when we wore ID bracelets for a classmate whose father was a Vietnam War POW. But, now in our 60s, it’s front and center.

We’ve planned a 40th anniversary trip to France and are excited about getting away for a few days. 

But what’s next? Attending a new 7 a.m. parish Mass and joining a Bible study are tops on my list as well as continuing to be a strong presence in the lives of my grandchildren. For my husband, it’s returning to painting.


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