AS MANY of you know in reading my bio that I am a grandmother of 4. When the picture below came to me through a friend, I cried, and I cried. Not because I am weak at heart, no, but because a personal pain I continue to work through, is present and this picture reminded me of that. That personal pain I cannot share right now, but because I know that I am not the only grandparent caring this pain, I want to share with the readers a story, a true story that I pray someday will make a difference.
”You may only be a memory for some people, do your best to be a good one”
I never met my grandparents on my mother’s side, and only once do I remember being around my dad’s mom, so memories of grandparents aren’t really there for me. I use to see kids with their grandparents all the time, but it wasn’t until I was living with a foster family that I understood the meaning of grandparents and all that they give to their grandchildren. The foster care home wasn’t the best, and it probably wasn’t the worse, I had nothing to compare it to at the time, but looking back, it was lacking in so many ways. The one true positive thing for me, despite all the dysfunctional memories that I have is that the two who ended up caring for me till I was 13 was grandpa Frank, and grandma Louise. Typical Italian New Yorker’s who they themselves had 8 children. I won’t go into the events surrounding my years with them but I will focus only on these two souls now gone.
Whenever I was hurting grandma Lou, as I will call her would have all the remedies to make things better. Grandpa Frank loved to play the accordion and in the evening after we would finish eating he would go into the living room and begin to play. He also would sit us down, as their were other children in the house my age, and he would teach us to pray and what prayers to say. By the time I was 10, I could recite them all and I could play a little on the accordion. (I wonder where it is today)?
I remember we would go to a theme park called Auction City on Sunday’s. It was the highlight of the week for me, and I remember one Sunday as we were driving I did not feel well, and when I went to lean over the front seat to let grandma Lou know, it was too late, and suddenly everything that was in my stomach was on the front seat.
Grandpa’s car was a long Cadillac, old and smelly, and tears in the seats, but for me, it was the best car I had ever been in, and it was his pride and joy, so you think he would have come unglued, but he didn’t’. Instead he pulled over and went into the gas station, came out with towels, humming away as he cleaned up my mess. Grandma Lou was concerned that I wasn’t feeling well, and she attended to my needs.
After a few minutes, I felt better and we proceeded to “Auction City”. Grandparents are meant to give the extra love that they perhaps could not give to their own children growing up. I know speaking for myself that at the age of 22, I was trying to raise a daughter, go to school, work two jobs, and always trying to be there for my daughter when ever there was a moment’. I did not have the luxury of my own parents to help.
Now that my daughter is grown and my son as well, I look at my grandchildren and it brings so much joy to be able to have spent time with them, teach them, share my life’s experience with them, hold a new born granddaughter when I wasn’t able to be present for the other three, and so much more. I have loved and acted in goofy ways with my grandchildren to get on their level, while always trying to respect the home and their parents. I have always given all I could to my adult children, what I did not have as a child.
I have let go of any guilt where failure or the “I could have done better” lurks, and now that I have had the chance to be part of my grandchildren’s lives, for just a little while, is a blessing. I am not able to see my grandchildren right now or be a part of their live but someday, they will know how much I loved them and how much I miss them. In one of the recent posts I read by Jane Anderson, called “What would your card say”. I know mine would surely say, She loved her children and grandchildren immensely and loved God even more.