It doesn’t take distance

I recently traveled with my boys on our first “real” vacation. It was a blast, and I have to thank Miss A for planning 99.9% of it. I seriously do not know what I did to deserve her, but I thank God every day that she’s been in our lives.

A vehicle of love and fun...no matter where we're going!

A vehicle of love and fun…no matter where we’re going!

After returning, I started thinking about the trip and what it meant to my family. And then a comment was made to me that really got me thinking – do we really need to get away to love each other?

Now, hear me out before you judge what I’m saying.

I love my boys dearly. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. And they knew that, whether or not we went away on a vacation. Our relationship did not improve, nor did it change, just by leaving the farm. All that the vacation did was give me some amazing memories and removed a few distractions. It didn’t strengthen my love. It didn’t change how I felt. It wasn’t a magic cure-all.

Because it doesn’t take distance to know how you feel. Your heart knows…whether you travel a mile, or 1,300 of them.

The same can be said for anyone in a relationship, whether it be husband-wife, sisters, friends, etc. You don’t have to go anywhere to make someone feel loved. Does it feel good to sometimes “get away” from it all? Sure. But it shouldn’t change your feelings towards the people you’re with. No, going on a vacation just relieves a few of the pressures. It eliminates that nagging feeling that there’s something else you “should” be doing. It makes it easier to just enjoy the moment. But it doesn’t change the heart.

Do I love my boys more now that we’ve returned? Nope. But I don’t love them any less, either. My love was never based on the place where we were located.

Because the distance between two hearts is no greater than the space you allow.

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The power of Grandmothers

An amazing woman recently passed away. She was not only a caring wife, mother, neighbor…she was, by all accounts, an exceptional grandmother. And although I know that she is now without pain, and no longer trapped by a crippled body, my heart aches for those left behind.
Her passing hit close to home for me; not only because she was a neighbor, but my own grandmother passed away Aug. 11, just a short three years ago. I still miss her so much, and I still catch myself dialing her number when something is going on and I need to talk to her.

Valerie Lynn Brandenburger and Vivian Lorraine Brandenburger - peas in a pod.

Valerie Lynn Brandenburger and Vivian Lorraine Brandenburger – peas in a pod.

And so, today, I’m writing a list of things that only Grandmothers know how to do…at least mine, anyway.
1) Grandmas know how to make the world go away. It may take a homemade cookie, a walk in the garden or a “job” that needs to be completed. (Sweeping out gutters, anyone?) She knows that sometimes we just need a mundane task to work out our aggressions, or a simple snack to give us a second to think. Somehow she just knows.
2) Grandmas know how to keep secrets. Whether it’s a cookie too close to meal time, staying up too late, or the name of a crush that’s been on your mind…when you tell Grandma not to tell anyone, you know her lips are sealed.
3) Grandmas make special moments even more amazing. Going shopping? Take Grandma with, and it’s always good for a few amazing memories. Especially if your Grandma is anything like mine. She loved clothes. LOVED. In fact, for her 80th birthday she wanted a pair of leather pants. It was my mission to find some for her, and to this day, one of my favorite pictures of her is her standing in her yard, all decked out and ready to rock bingo. That lady had an amazing sense of fashion.
4) Grandmas know how to be brutally honest, all while having your best interest at heart and making off-handed compliments that could be taken in several ways. For example, my husband would always chuckle over stuff my Grandmother would say, that would probably land him in the doghouse for a few days. Such as, “That outfit looks much better than the one you wore yesterday,” or “Do you have a recipe for this? If not, don’t bother writing one down.”
5) There isn’t a problem in the world that doesn’t seem less daunting when you’re holding Grandma’s hand. Whether it is crossing the street for the first time, healing your first broken heart or saying good-bye…there is powerful medicine in those fingers. It’s the one thing that I miss the most.
I’ve heard many people comment that the reward for having children is getting to be a grandparent one day. I look forward to that opportunity (many, many, many years from now!), and hope in my heart that I am at least half as good at being a grandmother as mine. Although, I’m pretty sure I won’t go through a leather stage…
Or maybe I will.