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This last week has been a busy one. I began by cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving and for family to come and stay.

Emily, Hunter and Charlotte arrived about 5:00 on Wednesday, and it seemed to be non-stop from there. We had three Thanksgiving meals at three separate places, did some shopping, saw a movie, babysat Charlotte, went to the UL/UK game, and finished Saturday night by having almost all our family together for a meal and a card game.

This morning, everyone left. There was the walk through the house to find all the baby items, breakfast was eaten, even a little laundry was done.

Kate left about 9:00 to go back to Indy. I stood at the door and watched her car until I could see it no more, a few tears in my eyes.

The Cantwells left about 11:00, after I had to kiss Charlotte a few more times and hug everyone again. Then once again, I stood at the door, wiping back tears as they left.

I wandered through the house, straightening up and getting things back to where they belonged.

I thought of my Grandma Lowther, my mom’s mom. She did not become a mom until she was 45 and a grandmother until she was 67, and my mother was an only child. That meant that we were her only grandchildren. She lived alone as a widow for almost 30 years and did not drive, so she led a very quiet life. I know it was overwhelming when we came to visit, but she loved every minute of it. When we left, she always stood at the front door to say goodbye, a tissue in her hand and a few tears in her eyes.

My other grandmother, Grandma Dorothy, had my dad while she was still in high school, so she was a grandmother at 44. She had a car and got around more, but she also lived as a widow for almost 20 years, so I am sure she had her lonely times. Again, we were her only grandchildren and we burst into her organized, decorated home like a bunch of little wild women, but she loved our visits, and she, too, stood and watched as long as she could see us.

We lived in Louisville and both grandmothers lived close to each other in West Virginia. Before I-64 came through, it was a long drive on crooked country roads, so we could only visit a few times a year. I can see now how hard that must have been for them.

Long distance charges kept calls at a minimum, and I know my mom wrote lots of letters.

My mom was fortunate to have grandchildren before all her children left home. We all live in town, so mom has always had one or more grandchildren at her house. My dad is still living, so she has never lived alone. Even so, anytime we leave her home she stands at the door and waves goodbye.

I realized today that I have become my mom and my grandmas. I have a husband and don’t live alone, but within minutes after everyone left, he was dead to the world in the recliner with football in the background. I cleaned up and caught up on a few things this afternoon in the “too quiet” house. This evening, the two of us will have fish for dinner, hang out a little, and head for bed early. I would not have traded this weekend for anything, but, well, they’ve gone……