Accepting the Paradoxes of Life

I like to say that maturity, is accepting the paradoxes of life that come our way.  As we make our journey through life, we learn that life is not “black” or “white”, but is both.  We do not experience “joys” or “sorrows”, but both.  We do not experience “opportunities” or “challenges”, but most new experiences or forks in the road, involve both.

There is no greater example of that, than the experience of parenting a grandchild.  I like to tell people that in my experience of providing a home for Sebellah, our granddaughter, “The joys outnumber the challenges, but the challenges are great!”  It is challenging to gear up to be a parent again, and to face all the decisions and sacrifices that come with that responsibility.  It’s challenging to have to plan your day around the needs of a 3-year-old.  This is definitely not the plan for my life in my 60’s.  This is not what I envisioned my “retirement years” to look like.  Yet, I do experience tremendous joy in spending time with our new family of three, four counting our Havanese, Maddi.  I do enjoy playing with Sebellah and watching the excitement on her face as she discovers new things and new experiences.  I melt when she says, “Pops, I love you so much!”

I also believe that this new opportunity that Allene and I have been given, does offer the chance to find new purpose and meaning, as we enter our “golden years”.  I know that many men in their sixties, struggle to find meaning and purpose, as they wind down their years of employment and achievement.  I feel a sense of responsibility to be a healthy and effective man during these upcoming years, because, Sebellah needs a healthy and effective man in her life.  A man who will provide a healthy and safe environment, in which she can explore and discover the wonderment of the person that God has created her to be.  She is a “Gift”, and my role as her “Pops”, and adopted father, is to simply create a safe environment, so that giftedness, can be unwrapped, received and experienced.  So, I am thankful for the gift that her presence presents to me, and know that the experience will make be a better, man, husband, friend and “Pops”.

So, life is full of paradoxes, and it is in the experience of those paradoxes, that we find the treasures of life!


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I have been involved in the field of Human Services for 30 plus years. I teach in the field of Human Services for Purdue University Global. Allene is a stay at home "Lolli", after spending many years in the Healthcare field. We have 3 adult children and in May, 2018, we adopted our granddaughter, who is 6 years-old. We have had her since she was 5 months old. At the end of 2019, we moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, as a part of a plan to downsize and give Allene the chance to retire, and be at home full-time. We are devoted to making a difference in Sebellah's life and also in the lives of other grandparents raising grandchildren.

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