GRUBBS NEW YEAR LETTER FOR 2018
Lessons learned in 2017 include this lesson about being grateful. Now in our mid-seventies, we have had some time and experiences that gave us “depth” in life’s inequities, and they have taught us to take nothing for granted; nor let “face value” influence us. Perhaps it is why we have survived the onslaught of political unrest and strife with our mental health challenged, but still intact.
While our world, and country are not what we expected them to be near the end of our journey, and that “pie in the sky” plan we had about all that we would leave for our children and grandchildren, is in complete disarray, nevertheless, we find ourselves realizing it is “their turn”. It is for them to do what we could not. If we taught them well, they will survive, or even better, they will win.
The most important “truth” we have siphoned out of the sludge of chaos is that as the meme suggests, we are all just walking each other Home. With that thought in mind, I believe the whole tone of this letter changes. It becomes one of realization; that we are just walking each other Home and that should be a happy thought. It should bring to us a sudden realization that we are NOT alone. We have a destination and it is a better place. Our only sorrow is that we cannot all make it there together, at the same time. Rather we will all arrive in that time that is ours alone, that is meant for us. The others will follow in due time. So as we make the journey, we can choose to hum, whistle, skip, race, jump, twirl, and be as festive as one would be expected to be when going to a party or “our happy place.”. For us that place is Heaven.
We’ve just been blessed to spend our 56th Christmas together. Believe me when I tell you that part of the journey had valleys, mountains, and finally a small piece of home for the last 46 years on a funny little curved road known as Ricker Hill Road, in Davenport, Iowa. There we raised three incredible children and in turn they gave us 11 grandchildren without a throwaway in the bunch. Then a year ago, we got our only great-grandchild (and my namesake) Riley Joyce. Let me tell you that while life can pull and tear at your very fiber during the hard times, there is nothing to compare with what life has given you when there is a family, and it is yours.
This may seem like a strange letter to write for a New Years letter, but it is coming from the heart. One that is full of memories, love, and yet wearing out. As a writer, I cannot be held accountable if I let my craft take over in expressing what is uppermost in the hearts and minds of my hubby and me. We are almost incommunicado except for the social media (mainly Facebook) Our family, including grandchildren, insisted we must join “to stay in touch”, then promptly used their “tools” to keep the majority of my posts from reaching them as I seem to exceed some mythical rule about number of posts I should put on per day. (Again I plead the “writer rights”clause).
Let me take this opportunity to just say that if you received this letter, it is definitely a sign you are valued and loved and that we want to take this moment in time to say “thank you for showing up in our lives and touching us.” In what has become a “season of loss” we have found that death has no rules about age. We lost friends younger by far than us, classmates of our children who used to wreak havoc on our trees with toilet paper, and those who were treated like our own and valued as family. We lost some that were our peers, and some that were hometown neighbors and college classmates. We don’t want to risk missing any opportunity to tell you “you are loved and a gift in our lives.”
We leave you with the parting knowledge that we shall leave the world with few regrets. Those regrets were a part of our “learning curve” as we went through life. But as we are both “Okies” we will, like our favorite statesman Will Rogers, leave you with the knowledge that while unlike Will, (who never met a man he didn’t like) we confess to meeting a few we didn’t like; but we NEVER met a man, woman or child we could not LOVE through Christ. That’s how we know we are going to rock 2018.
ONWARD. Herman “Jim Kent” Grubbs and Joyce Godwin Grubbs