Posted by: Kathy | September 9, 2010

The Gift of Grandparents

My parents couldn’t wait to become grandparents. It took me a while to have my son, but my parents were there the moment he came into this world. They were there for a lot of my son’s “firsts” and took many pictures. We spent birthdays and holidays together as a family. My mom had a little over 9 years with my son. I wish it could have been a lot longer, especially since my mom’s dream was to dance at her grandson’s wedding. But the relationship my son shared with his grandmother was special and I am grateful for the time they had together.

Grandparents can play a very special role in life. My mom’s parents, who I called Mom Mom and Pop Pop, were a big part of my life and I can’t remember a birthday or a holiday without them. There are little things you remember about people. My grandfather always got on my case about what I was wearing and the fact that I never wore shoes (I still don’t). He loved to joke around with people and was an extremely talented artist. Pop Pop liked to putter around their house fixing things. My grandmother refused to use the dishwasher, insisting that the dishes be washed and dried by hand, and my grandfather always helped. She only wanted the best for her family and always put others before herself. She had a kind and gentle nature and was very dignified. I remember their house and can still tell you their phone number. When I think of my grandparents, I think of cupcakes with different colored frosting, lollipops, walks with my grandmother, riding the train to visit them or go into Philadelphia, and eating at a restaurant called Williamsons. They were both strong in their faith and went to church regularly. All that I remember of them is good.

I know my mom wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and play an active role in my kids’ lives and she did. I just wish she had been given a longer amount of time in their lives. My daughter doesn’t really remember spending time with my mom, as she was only 2 when my mom died. But she constantly talks about “Grandmom Angel” and everything that my mom gave her or Matt is special to my daughter. I know my son misses his grandmother too and feels her loss. He also understands how much my mom is missed by all of us, especially when his heartfelt gift, a school project, was to have my mom with us again. Sometimes at night when we are watching TV together, Matt will talk about his grandmother or ask a question about her.

I wish my kids could have had the same amount of time with their grandparents that I did with mine. Pop Pop died when I was almost 31 and Mom Mom died 5½ years later. Both were 92 years old. It seems unfair to me that my mom had such a small amount of time with her grandkids, especially since she wanted to be a part of their lives and loved them so deeply. I know that not seeing her grandkids grow up was something that really bothered my mom when she realized she was dying. Grandparents are a gift. I’m grateful for the time my kids had with my mom and the time they still share with my dad.

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