Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bella Ella

A year ago my oldest son and his beautiful wife ripped my heart right out of my chest and took it with them to live in Tennessee. They stole my granddaughter, Ella. Okay, perhaps "stole" is too strong a word, she is their daughter after all, and they had an excellent reason to go. They went in search of a more peaceful way of life, and of course they took their daughter with them.

At first, I held out hope that they would come to their senses and realize they just couldn't be happy living so far away from us. While being outwardly supportive, I found myself secretly exulting with every hardship and difficulty they encountered. Aha, I would think, now they are going to realize the mistake they've made and head home. But no. They are happy and thriving in the South. My little family has been "mountain folk" for just over a year, and now a serious development is unfolding. They are buying a house. So. They are not coming back.

My son and his wife moved to Tennessee for a variety of reasons, all of them compelling. They wanted warmer weather, mountains to bike, rivers to swim, a simpler life-style close to nature. I understand completely and am overjoyed that they have found contentment with a slower paced life centered on their family, but sometimes I am so lonely for Ella I can hardly breathe.

I can't remember what I did for fun before she came along. Being with her makes me appreciate God and this wonderful world he made for us to play and live in. For such a little munchkin she certainly has taught me a lot and reminded me of things I hadn’t thought about since her daddy and uncles were little. Things like-

Being outdoors is always more fun than being inside.

Admire the sky least once a day, it's an ever changing masterpiece.

Dance barefoot in the grass.

Hugs, kisses and smiles should be given freely and often. They make both the giver and the receiver feel good.

Anything and everything can be taken to God in prayer:
"Lord, please bless these ladybugs and help them find their way out of Nonni's house, before we have to send them to Heaven through the vacuum cleaner..."

It’s nice to sit on the floor with dogs.

Smell the flowers, even the wilted ones.

Remember to kiss your pony after you ride.

Gaze around in wonder.

It’s okay to cry when you feel hurt or disappointed.

Hold your hands up in the air and feel the breeze.

Get down really close to bugs and stare hard at them.

A nap always helps when you feel cranky.

Look for fun, it's all around you.

And just like gems, you can never have too many interesting rocks.

God bless you Ella Belle, thanks for the life lessons little girl.

My new reality, Ella in my life at Christmas and summers. That's not going to be enough. It looks like I will be burning up the road between here and the Smokies on a regular basis. So Ella and I won't have the casual, see you everyday relationship that we have enjoyed. But, we'll make it work.

Our visits will be precious. Our time together condensed to it's essence, like coal compressed till it's a diamond, and for that, it will shine all the more.


ttcrook said...

aww that was sad, but very cute. I'm no ella, but I want to come over soon.

Carly said...

I'm with TTCrook...this is beautiful. I'm sorry that they aren't coming back -- Ella is a very lucky girl to have you.

And I'm really happy that you write too; I think that it is really cool. :-)

M & N said...


It almost made my cry to read your feelings on Ella. Your writing is so eloquent and really has a way of making a person feel your emotions. I knew when I had asked Bob about the kids and he said they were thinking of buying a house a piece of you would be very sad. I felt like that when the business moved away from your house. I will always fondly remember those times. Oh those boys! What a treasure to really get to know that at that stage in their life.

I will have to read more when I have time but I love this. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I thank God for putting you in my life. I love and pray for you and your family each and every day.


tori said...

Sad is good... and so is this. don't worry about what people say or worry about changing what you write to please others. your writing is beautiful.

ttcrook said...

I agree with "tori" write for yourself and no else. But that last analogie was AMAZING