Good Conversation

Some days your good news is found while talking about your bad news.

Yesterday afternoon we dropped the toddler off at my parent’s house for a sleepover. We brought lunch, ate, he played, and then I put him down for a nap before we left. What began as a drop off though turned into sweet conversation time with my parents. My husband with my dad, me with my mom.

My husband and my dad discussed politics and global warming and solved all of the world’s problems, as they do.

My mom and I actually hadn’t talked since my mother-in-law’s diagnosis, so naturally she had some questions and concerns. In the midst of having to dive into our bad news again, I was reminded how much my parents care. They care deeply about my mother-in-law of course, but also about the three of us and how we’re handling all of this news.

In the midst of questions with answers and questions with no answers, my mom assured me they are doing everything they can to take care of themselves so they can be there for us as needed. Now, my hope and prayer is that it will be so long until we need help with my mother-in-law that my own parents will be physically unable to help. But, the sentiment was there and I could almost hear the Lord whispering, “Emily, this is your good news today.”

I feel like I need to mention here that my parents were 40 and 45 when I was born. My brother was almost 13. So when I came along they literally had to do it all over again. Being 26 with a newborn was rough enough, I can’t imagine being 40 and handling middle of the night feedings. But they did it all – the dance rehearsals, the science fairs, the chorus concerts (can you tell I was a real athlete?), the graduations and college tuition.

Over the years we’ve all been fairly open and honest about the fact that they might not be around as long as our children’s other grandparents would be, and they’ve always been okay with that because they knew I married into such a wonderful family.

Now here we are in such a weird turn of events where my older parents have outlived my father-in-law and will likely be helping us care for my mother-in-law. To my parents, my in-laws are not just the parents of my husband or the family I married into, they’re their friends, and while there is a significant age difference, they’re their peers too. Because of that, my parents are acutely aware, maybe more so than my husband and I, of how limited our time here on earth may be.

More good news presented itself in this conversation as my mom talked about the cruise she and my dad are going on this summer and how they want to be intentional with their time together, especially after the year we’ve all been through. After almost 46 years of marriage, it is so sweet to know they want to continue investing in their relationship.

As if that wasn’t enough good news, we got in the car and my husband recounted the conversation he enjoyed having with my dad. And in about 30 minutes we’ll go pick up the toddler who I know without a doubt had a great time with his grandparents this week end.

I realize this is not typical good news, it’s hardly news. However, in the midst of discussing and sharing in our bad news, my parents were able to provide us with good news through their wisdom, comfort, and simple availability. I’m finding sometimes good news doesn’t come in the form of news at all, rather we find it through meaningful conversation with each other, even our own parents.

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