Empty Nest

I knew that one day all my children would grow up, get married, and start a family of their own. Our youngest child married his beautiful bride about a week ago.

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This is the first time in 33 years that we have no children living at home— we have an “empty nest.”  Raising a family was not an easy task; our job was to teach by example, to show what a marriage ought to look like, and to demonstrate what parents should do for their children.

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Some of you might be struggling with crying babies, with toddlers in their “terrible twos,” or with high-maintenance tweens or teens. Keep in mind that this is all temporary. Your baby will stop teething and sleep through the night, your toddler will learn how to share and be kind, your tweens and teens will learn responsibility and care for others so enjoy the “now.” “Consider it nothing but joy…” (James 1:2, AMP).

When I look back at all those years that we invested in our children and then to see them with their family today, I know that we have done our job— “…with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NIV).

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Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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Divorce

I remember watching a movie where a man continued to see his stepson even though he and his wife were divorced. The man’s daughter asked why, and he said, “You divorce wives not children.” What a great statement.

I lived with my mother and stepfather so I didn’t get to see my father much. Looking back, I wondered what my father could have done to make me feel like I was still a part of this life:

  • He could have called me every day. I didn’t hear from my father much. Since he was in the Navy, he was transferred to various ports— San Francisco, Florida, then Italy. Not only did he transfer to different places, he also remarried.  It would have been great for him to call me for a few minutes—ask how my day was, tell me that he loves me, say “good night” to me, etc. If we still lived under the same roof then he would talk to me.
  • He should visit me more often or allow me to visit him. When my father was stationed in San Francisco, we saw him at least once a month but when he moved farther away I never saw him. We could have visited him during the summers, but we didn’t. I realize that after he remarried, he couldn’t leave his wife to see us but he could have paid for plane tickets for us to see him.
  • Even if he couldn’t call me a few minutes every day then he could have set aside time to talk to me every week. Even if we had nothing in particular to talk about, it would have been good to hear his voice and to hear him say that he loved me.
  • He could have sent me letters or cards with meaningful words. I don’t remember receiving any mail from my father. He would send gifts every now and then but it would have been more special if he had included a handwritten note with it. 

I am thankful that my children were raised in a home with both their parents, but having a home with both parents under the same roof is becoming rare; even so, children still need to feel loved by both parents. Divorce or remarriage should not prevent parents from expressing love for their children. Parents should never divorce their children. 

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Setting a good example

I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette—I was 9 years old. My cousin and I grabbed a pack of my grandmother’s cigarettes and ran to the woods to try them. I took a puff of it and started to cough—I coughed so much that I thought bits of my lung would come up.

When my oldest granddaughter was two years old we noticed that she would try to push our cats with her foot. We had no idea why she was doing this until one day we were trying to get the cats away from the front door and realized that we used our foot to move them out of the way.

It’s interesting how we try to imitate others. Sometimes we imitate others without even thinking about it.

I remember when my husband and I had a terrible argument when we were younger— we were both yelling at each other, and I threw dishes on the floor. It reminded me of the scene from the movie, The Godfather, when the daughter and her husband were arguing—cups and plates crashing on the floor.

I understand now that I only did that because that’s what I had seen whenever my mother would have an argument with my father, and later on, my stepfather—she would yell and throw stuff.

A lot of what we see in movies and in real life should not be imitated.

I think of the Scripture verses from Ephesians 5:1-2, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ…” (NLT).

Now that I am older, I want to set a good example for my children and grandchildren. I know that they will imitate me, whether they realize it or not, so I want them to imitate a godlier version of me. The only way to do that is for me to try to imitate Jesus.

The only way I can truly know how Jesus behaved is to read the Bible.

Even though my desire is to be more Christ-like in my conduct, I still struggle with my “old me.” I know that this struggle will remain for the rest of my life—all I can do is try and try again—keep reading His Word and pray.

My hope is that I will be a fountain of godly advice for my grandchildren; not only that, but that my words will match my actions. It’s funny, but my ultimate desire is to look like Moses after he talked with God:

“When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord… Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face…

… he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face” (Exodus 35:29-30, 34-35, NLT).

I’m not sure if people can tell that I have a relationship with God. I’m not even sure if I imitate Jesus very well, but that is my desire—to have a close relationship with God and to imitate Jesus so that it shows in my face.

I know that anything is possible with God, and I know that having a close relationship with Him and imitating Jesus is possible through Him. I just need to read His instructional manual more often than I do.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

My husband, the father

My husband and I became parents for the first time on August 18, 1985. Our first child only weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces because he was born nearly five weeks early. I remember feeling the first pangs of contractions as we entertained my husband’s friends from Miami, but he kept assuring me that the pain was only “Braxton Hicks.”

Throughout the night, as the pain intensified, I kept telling myself that they were only “Braxton Hicks.” Finally, after a fierce contraction that left me lying on the floor in a fetal position, I woke up my husband and said that I needed to go to the hospital. He called his mother instead. After 20 minutes or so, she showed up, touched my belly, and said, “She’s in labor,” so we drove to the hospital. After four more hours of labor, our son was born.

My husband was overjoyed. He literally ran up and down the hospital corridors to tell people that his baby was born. The nurses had never seen anything like it, and rather than take the traditional Polaroid picture of mother and baby, they took one of father and son. The nurses told me that they had never encountered a father so happy about the birth of his baby before and that’s why they took a picture of him.

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My husband was thrilled with the birth of each of our four children, and he has been a good father to them. Thank you for setting a good example for our three sons to follow— I hope they will be good fathers to their children as you have been to them.

Psalm 103:13, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Proverbs 20:7, “The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.”

Happy Father’s Day!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The worse Mother’s Day ever

Sunday was Mother’s Day. Instead of having a traditional meal with our children, my husband and I decided to go to a baseball game. We rushed out of the church in order to get to the ball park in time for the free tote bag giveaway (they were giving out a limited amount to women in honor of Mother’s Day). However, when we got to the ball park, we discovered that all the bags were gone. That was the start of the worse Mother’s Day ever.

Not only were the bags all gone, but the seats we had were not very good— I had an obstructed view of home plate. It was cold and windy, and the refrigerated lunch we picked up at the ball park was stale (my husband actually got sick from his food).

The day was terrible. Although I had a miserable time at the game, I realized that the problem wasn’t the ball park or the weather but that it was Mother’s Day and I was without my family. My children had lunch without us—they were like orphans on Mother’s Day.

Sometimes we do things that may initially sound like a good idea, but later we find out that what we did was actually a mistake—that was exactly what happened on Mother’s Day. The women at the game had their children with them—I was childless.

Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him” (NLT). Not until today did I realize that spending time with my children is almost like an act of worship to God—it is acknowledging that He has given me these children (and grandchildren) and in my appreciation to Him, I am enjoying my time with my family. James 1:17 reminds me, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father” (NLT).

I felt like I had taken my children for granted this last Mother’s Day. Time is short—I need to enjoy as much time with them as possible.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti