Friday, September 28, 2012

My Search for Significance

My whole life I have felt like I had a purpose; I just never knew what the purpose was exactly. I have talents and abilities that may or may not distinguish me from my neighbor, but what are those talents and abilities actually worth in the bigger picture of my life? This feeling of having a purpose for my life has been the driving force behind the my lifelong quest to better myself, my character, my knowledge, my understanding of the people around me, and to learn what loving someone really means.

As an empty nester; a time when both of my parents had passed away, and my husband and I both were struck with life altering illnesses, I really struggled to find meaning in it all. I was left with unanswered questions about my life and if, other than my wonderful children I had raised, was it all just emptiness and for what? I am not a person who lives my life to full fill my dreams and desires, my joy has been in helping and teaching others and seeing them succeed. I attempted volunteer work in a variety of areas; thought about starting my own non profit organization at one point. Yet I couldn't see where I ‘fit’ in any of this. Then……. I had grand children!

Oh how it all quickly fell into place! At the time my first grandchild was born, I began to see what I had not been able to imagine before, having been wrapped up in my grief over the loss of both parents so close together, and our altered life styles due to our illnesses. I began to see where I could be a helper to my children again. A teacher to my sweet grand babies, a giver of love with the learned character of patience I had not owned when my children were little. I realized that somewhere along the journey of my life I had gained a lot of knowledge and had a lot to offer these precious little lives that had been given to us. I had found the purpose for my life. And that purpose is being a grandmother! Oh how wonderful to finally feel that I have come into my calling.

With the holding of that new tiny life in my arms for the first time, a whole new journey began for me. It has been exciting, wonderful. Most of my free time is spent planning, doing, preparing (or cleaning up after) for my grandkids. Do I mind that I have almost no time for myself? Absolutely not! I feel the ticking of the clock in my body each day, and I know that one day I will have to slow down more, and one day someone will take care of me. I don’t have a minute to waste, there is so much to do, to say, to give, to teach, so many things I want to sow into each child’s life. How could I think of myself at a time like this? I am needed, I have something to offer. These children need to know who they are and where they came from, they need a strong family to turn to when times are hard for them. Each day I am working as hard and as fast as I can to wrap them in a cocoon of love that will hold them all through their lives.

I remember my grandmother as a woman who contained more love and patience than anyone I had ever met. I thought her eyes must be just like the eyes of Jesus. I saw my grandmother less than a dozen times in my childhood. And those times were filled with cousins, aunts and uncles, in whirl wind visits that were miles and miles away from my home. Yet my grandmother made an impact on me that has stayed with my whole life. My grandmother was love as purely as any human can be, and I want to be that; a grandmother who loves so completely, that my grandchildren will never forget it as long as they live. Am I accomplishing that goal? Perhaps not, but it is what I strive for.

Are you a parent or grandparent? Did your life focus change or shift after the arrival of children?

I have had a lot of content theft lately. If you are reading this post anywhere else but at Family Home and Life then it was used without permission! Copyright© Family Home and Life 2012 All Rights Reserved


  1. This is beautiful, Connie, with absolutely adorable photos. First, I'm sorry for the loss of your parents and the sadness that accompanied that. I've yet to know what that's like, thankfully. You are such a strong and vital force in the lives of your grandchildren. You have done great and wonderful things with your life and found your true calling in grandmahood!

  2. My life runs close to yours. I lost my parents 2 years apart 8 and six years ago right around the time I became a grandmother for the first time and as our youngest daughter was leaving home. I ended up quitting my job to take care of my granddaughter because I realized watching my parents die that family was what was important. No empty nest time here. Then my husband got sick and had to go on disability and is home full time. We have recently even become foster parents. It's my purpose

  3. Wow,Connie sounds like you have a beautiful purpose. I too am sorry for your loss of you parents and also you illness. I lost my dad 11/2 years ago and I also was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I have 6 wonderful grandchildren that I love so much. Unfortunately I live in pain and have limitations so I can't do what I truly want to do with and for my family. I m still struggling with, (what is my purpose). I am happy you found yours.

  4. Connie, this is so beautifully written and so heartfelt. I read it with tears in my eyes. You have gracefully conquered every obstacle you've encountered and I admire your strength and unselfishness. I identify with much of what you said. While I was "okay" with an empty nest, I also lived with this feeling that I was "done" with my life's work. Like you, the grandchildren refreshed my purpose and now I am needed again, helping them grow up in any way I can - with lots more patience, too, than I had with my own kids! Your family is so lucky to have you. I know too many grandmas who declare these years "my time" and don't get involved with their grandkids. Sad.

  5. I love being a grandmother although I am not as hands on as you are as the kids are scattered over the country. I can relate to the need to nurture that you express as your life's purpose, though. In actuality, it was my grand father and then my own father who were the nurturers.
    Your grand children are absolutely adorable. They--and their parents--are fortunate to have you in an active role in their lives

  6. Connie what a beautiful and moving post! Your heart is full of love and no wonder...look at those darlings! Wonderful photos...they are all so darn cute! :)

  7. This is a wonderful post with wonderful pictures. I understand exactly how you feel, too! Being a Grandma is the most wonderful experience! Now we just have to keep you healthy enough to really enjoy it!


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