We lost my Poppa a few weeks ago. It was expected as he had been sick for quite some time. He was diabetic and in all honesty hadn't taken the best care of himself. But... who can blame him? A life without cake? No thanks.
I expected to be extremely sad, but was surprised at the other feelings that arose. This was my last grandparent. I am officially grandparent-less. I felt this overwhelming sense that the generations had officially shifted. I have been an aunt for a few years now and my mom has been a grandparent for a while, but she was still some one's daughter and I was still some one's granddaughter. Now that the top of the family is gone, we have all officially shifted up. Now my mom and her sibling are the top and my sisters and I are officially the middle. That is so weird to me. I knew it would happen some day, but I guess I thought that the shift would happen when Jay and I had kids.
Ever since I've been alive there have been three generations. Grandparents, parents, and kids. That's how it's supposed to be, right? Now, for me at least, there are just two. I have nephews and nieces, but I have no kids. I have no third generation. I am a middle without a bottom. Why does that feel so wrong? Why does it feel so imbalanced?
I hope and pray that children are in God's plan for us, but can only operate with what we have been given so far. I've learned in my young life that children are not a promise or a guarantee. I've known too many women who have struggled with infertility and loss. More personally, I have a medical condition that will make it more difficult for us to become pregnant. We have no idea what our journey will look like, as we have not yet started, but I'm trying to re-orient my thinking so that I no longer believe that children are a promise that has not yet been fulfilled. I've been forced to wrestle with the idea that we may not have our own biological children.
I firmly believe that God has set the desire in my heart to be a mother. That is all I have ever wanted. While my friends have dreams of climbing the corporate ladder or pursuing big dreams in the city, I have always dreamt of having a house full of children. Preparing big meals for my family to sit around the table and share our day. Watching football games and dance recitals. Cleaning cuts and scrapes. Making crafts and telling stories. Those are the deepest desires of my heart and, quite frankly, where my talents lie. I believe that God has equipped me to be a mother. What that looks like though, I have yet to find out.
With this generational shift and the passing of my Poppa, I have been contemplating my legacy. What will I leave behind at the end of my life? What will the generations of my family look like? Will my dreams be fulfilled? My hope is that no matter what our journey looks like we will have thankful and faithful hearts. That I will accept the blessings we are given, even if they don't look like what I thought they would.