It's finally almost here. The day in some ways we've been waiting for our whole marriage. Our youngest child is leaving the nest in three days. I'm writing this on Saturday night, and she leaves early Wednesday morning.
There are a whole lot of emotions at this time. I'm excited for her. She is going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will be serving the Lord in the country of Brasil. There has been a boatload of preparation for this wonderful adventure. Of course, we will miss her. I'll do the same thing every night at bedtime that I did when the other kids served their missions. As I lock the sliding glass door, I'll look out at the stars and the moon, wish her goodnight, and ask Heavenly Father to watch over her. Then I'll express gratitude that she has this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
While we will miss her, there is something different this time from when the other kids left on their missions. This time Danny and I will be empty nesters -- alone for the first time in our whole marriage. I became pregnant with our first child two weeks after we were married -- so we've waited for the "alone time" almost 35 years. We start our marriage anew Wednesday morning.
We will miss raising kids. It was a fun period of our lives. It was also hard -- very hard. The best things in life are hard. No one ever said raising kids is easy. My kids may not know it yet, but we were pretty darned good parents. We made some enormous mistakes, but we did our best. They are terrific adults, and I'd like to think we can take credit for at least a portion of that. I don't think I've ever said that publicly before. People have told me over the years that we're good parents, and I shrug it off and tell them that we were blessed with good kids. We were blessed with good kids -- but even the good ones need some direction. So for the first time in 35 years, I'm going to forget humility and take credit for Danny and I being good parents.
It is with great anticipation that I look forward to the next chapter of our lives together. I love being Danny's wife. I'm going to love spending quality time with him every day. By nature, I'm a spontaneous person. I'm going to love waking up in the morning and being spontaneous about what the day brings. You can't do that when you're raising children.
Danny just had his 69th birthday. My father died when he was 64. For about a year before Danny turned 64, I could not stop thinking about that. It was then that I wanted to quit my job and stay home with my husband, but financially, it was not in the cards. I'm grateful that Danny is still in good health. I'm even more grateful that we will have this time together. I just quit working, and I won't be 57 years old for another couple of months. Our finances would be in better shape if I kept working a few more years, but money isn't everything. There are some things that are just too important to wait. At some point, I may end up working again. As long as I can still type, I can work. The arthritis in my fingers will just have to understand that!
I love being a granny, and Danny loves being a grandpa. We look forward to the opportunity to be better grandparents.
Sitting in this seat tonight feels pretty good. All is well with the world. We're healthy, we're happy, and none of the kids are in therapy from our parenting (yet). All five of them (my stepson included in that number) have served missions. Three of them have marriages sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. We have every reason to believe that my youngest will come back from her mission and find an eternal companion. And someday, hopefully, my stepson can be sealed to his wife in the temple by proxy. After all the years of parental worry and sleepless nights, I think we're seeing the light at the end of the temple -- and all is well.