We knew we might have to nix our plan if the weather didn't cooperate. But the reality of canceling our trip was more painful than we imagined. I was incredibly disappointed, and so were my grandparents. I found out they were even planning to wait to open Christmas gifts until after we arrived. Instead, the unopened gifts for our children would have to be mailed. The delight of celebrating the holidays and his 90th birthday with exuberant little voices became a dream unfulfilled.
In hindsight, we should have been ready to go whenever the road conditions were favorable. In this case, that would have meant leaving two or three days earlier, and we weren't prepared enough to do that. Winter travel is not something with which we have much experience; we prefer to avoid it altogether. But we'd rather not avoid it the way we had to this time.
I have enough confidence in my grandparents' love to trust that our relationship is not irreparably damaged by this great disappointment. Still, it is hard to talk with them on the phone, not knowing when we can manage to arrange another trip. And we also don't know how many days they have left on this earth. Still, I remain thankful for the many wonderful times I've shared with both sets of grandparents in the past. My husband had far fewer happy moments with his grandparents before they were gone.
So in this new year, I resolve to be thankful for God's abundant gifts to me, past and present. Remembering His past faithfulness helps me believe that His goodness will continue, even when events do not unfold in the ways that I might hope or expect.