Circumstances in my childhood life put me into precarious situations. There was little that was stable or predictable. I was unsure of where I belonged and confused about my worth as a person. Enter the grandmothers 🙂
I wasn’t able to spend much time with my maternal grandmother, because she lived in Hawaii, and most of the time I didn’t. I was fortunate to be living in Hawaii during a particularly rocky time in my young life….divorce. My Gramma Weir was a cozy and nurturing woman. For the two and a half years that I lived near her she gave me affection and made me feel looked after and safe. We left Hawaii when I was about eleven years old and I never saw her again. She died a few years later.
My paternal grandmother was completely different in her personality. She tended to be stiff and straight-laced and not at all demonstrative. I loved her completely. She was the most dependable influence in my life. Always. She lived in the same house, had the same phone number, cooked the same foods, fussed about the same things forever. No matter where I was or what was going on in my world, Gramma Herman was still there in that house, making Harvard beets and apple pies, and worrying about something or many things. Although she wasn’t very outwardly affectionate, I knew that she loved me and my siblings and my cousins. Her death was painful for me.
Now it’s my turn to be the nurturing grandmother who is always there. I’ve built strong relationships with most of my grandchildren. I love all of them, but haven’t been able to spend enough time with some so we haven’t developed strong bonds. I’m sorry about that, but it wasn’t my choice and I couldn’t change it. In recent weeks there have been some events occuring in this family that have caused turmoil, worry, fear, anger, just insert your emotion here___________. My job during all of this is to be a stable rock, a dependable listening ear, and sometimes the voice of reason. My grandmothers taught me how to do this job. From the moment I laid eyes on my first grandchild I knew what an important role I would play in the lives of my grandchildren, and I began to realize the special kind of love that grandparents have for their grandbabies.