Exhausting Joy!

I am writing this sitting outside of the motorhome at a little past midnight, Texas time.  I am enjoying the coastal breeze of Galveston Island.  We decided to come to Galveston after all, and we are glad we did.  We had a rough day yesterday in New Orleans.  We were in New Orleans, but unfortunately, we did not “do New Orleans”.  It was a combination of bad choices and the limitations of the Uber system.  I will spare you the details but I felt bad that Allene did not get to experience Cafe Du Monde.  We tried to make it work, but it just didn’t work out.  So, on to Galveston.  We did have a good day traveling here and we had a good lunch at “Steamboat Bill’s Seafood Grille” in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It was a fun place and they had good Cajun food.  We like our spot at the Galveston Island RV Resort.  It’s not Destin, but it is nice and the resort is very nice.  We will check out the beach but probably spend most of the day later today, at the two pool areas here.  Today (Sunday) will be are last day of relaxation before the three long driving days to Prescott.

As I sit here feeling the cool Texas coastal breeze, I am reflecting on the trip overall.  It has been an amazing trip that I am so thankful that we have chosen to experience.  It has been exhausting at times.  Sebellah is a high energy child and requires a great deal of patience on our part. The driving has been exhausting at times but actually, not as bad as I had feared.  Of course, the longest days of driving are to still to come.  The crowds and heat of Disney World were exhausting as well.  Yet, without question, the experience of Joy has far exceeded the times of exhaustion.  The joy of the 11 days traveling alone with Sebellah is still the highlight of my part of the trip.  I enjoyed the time of bonding we experience during that part of our trip.  The joy of hanging out with Jeremiah, Kristen, Kamdyn and Evie was tremendous and well worth the Orlando humidity and crowds.  We had many moments of joy splashing around in the clear emerald waters of Destin.  One of the greatest joys has been watching Sebellah grow during these 22 days, today will be day 23.  It seems that she is at least six months older than when we first pulled out of our driveway on July 21st.

Raising a grandchild is exhausting!  More exhausting some days than others.  There are moments when it feels like, “I can’t do this for another 15 to 20 years”.  I know that the physical demands will diminish over time, but right now, physically, it is exhausting.  Yet, the joy and fulfillment still far exceeds the exhaustion and I have no question that the effort is and will be worth it.  I believe that it will be worth it for Sebellah, of course.  It will also be worth it for Allene and I as well.  We are no doubt, becoming better people through this process.  Sebellah does challenge me to continue to grow and develop and to become a better man.  She needs and deserves me being the best man that I can be.  I am working at it  and some days I am more successful at that than others.  I am reminded of Jesus’ message about how we treat “these little ones”.  There is probably no greater test of our integrity as a human, than how we treat our children, especially when no one is watching.

So, as exhausted as I am after 22 days on the road, living in our motorhome, I am so thankful for the opportunity and feel blessed.  I am also blessed to have a great partner in Allene, who is very patient with me, especially on those days when I am not necessarily the better man that day.  Say like, yesterday in New Orleans for example.  She is a woman of great patience and grace, and I am very thankful for her.

So, those are my thoughts during the early morning hours of day 23, from the Texas gulf coast.

Once again, Sharing the Journey,

Rich, “Pops”

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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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