There are things in life that you know on an intellectual level, but never fully recognize in the midst of living. I would have always told you that my kids loved their grandmother completely; and anyone who spent five minutes with my mother could have told you how much she thought of her grandchildren. These are things I have always known.
It was not until I watched as the grandchildren told my mother goodbye for the final time that I fully appreciated how naturally and wonderfully my mom had filled the role of grandma. Between the grandkids and great-grandkids nearly three dozen deeply personal relationships existed with this woman.
Each of my children connected to her in the way that fit their personality. My oldest shared a louder, more boisterous relationship than her more reserved sister. My youngest was mom’s youngest grandchild. Their’s was a playful and nurturing relationship. Each of my children was given what they needed within the bounds of their relationship.
The presence of a caring grandparent in a child’s life tethers them in an unsteady world. It teaches them who they are, from where they have come. A good grandparent is a source of wisdom, guidance and unconditional love. My children have been blessed. There was nothing in this world that my mother did better than being Grandma.
By their example, a caring grandparent quietly reinforces the values and lessons that parents attempt to teach their children. Enough distance exists between the generations that the grandchildren can accept guidance from the grandparent when they would fight the parent. Conversely, a grandparent need not worry so much about behavioral issues as a parent and can buoy a child with a constant stream of unconditional love.
I wish I had consciously appreciated my mother’s gift before she was gone. It makes me sad that I never thanked her properly. Still, I think she knew. I think she saw it reflected time and time again in her grandchildren’s eyes.
Missing my mom this week. My Simple Moment.