While my parents have been here, I've been cleaning/decluttering/organizing some areas in my home. My husband found a book I had forgotten about that was from my Grandmother, who passed away about 6 years ago. Her death was particularly difficult for me because I was scheduled to go visit her just 2 weeks later with my oldest daughter who was just 13 months old. It would have been the first time she'd have seen my first child. And her death was so unexpected. Yes, she was elderly, but she'd never had any health issues to speak of. But, she thought she had a flu and my uncle took her to the hospital where she passed away in her sleep. As difficult as it was, her worst fear was of having to be placed in a nursing home or to require someone to take care of her. So, it was the way she wanted to go.
Grandma was amazing at doing little things. I grew up in Oregon and she lived in Iowa but we saw her almost every summer for a month at a time. For all 9 of her grandkids, she created a book for us called "Bit's O' Wit & Wisdom" that she created throughout our lives. She'd find little quotes or poems that reminded her of one of us and she'd cut it out and put it in our book for us. Each one of us received it upon high school graduation. I remember my sister getting hers 3 years ahead of me and I couldn't wait for mine! It's another book I treasure.
Anyway, the book she gave me is called A Grandmother's Journal, and it's a memory book of her life. She talks about what she remembers as a child growing up, what dating was like, etc. I've read parts of it, but not all. In the back I found this note she had written and wanted to share it.
Having grandchildren is a God given blessing that grandparents are able to enjoy at a time in their life when the financial strain and busy times are not as great as when they were raising their own children. To me, I feel honored to know that I was trusted enough to have the great privilege of babysitting and caring for my grandchildren. To have been denied this opportunity would have hurt me deeply. There is a bond of love and understanding that has grown over the years that we have shared, and a closeness that is rare, which nothing could ever replace.
As grandparents, we have many fond memories of the times we have spent with our grandchildren and I am sure this is a heritage that they will always remember. When I call them on the phone, or they call me, they always greet me iwth a sound of joy, when they hear my voice, as I do them. This really makes my day.
Next to having and loving my own children, I thank God for my grandchildren, and the privilege of being able to babysit or have them in my care. I have never had plans that were more important than spending time with them.
My only regret is that my two granddaughters (that is my sister and I - all the other grandkids were boys) lived in another state, thereofre I was not able to babysit very much for them.
Grandparents who feel that they are "expected" to babysit are missing out on something very special that passes this way only once. I wouldn't have missed the time spent with my grandchildren for anything, and each one has a special place in my heart.
My grandma was all about family. She loved nothing more than when all 3 kids, their spouses and all 9 of us grandkids were crowded in her small home. When she passed away, my Uncle kept her home. It's hard to go visit in a way, because there's just so many memories, but at the same time, that home is like an icon in my life and I could not imagine it NOT being in the family.
Rest in Peace, Grandma. I'll see you again one day in Heaven. I thank God for you being such an influence in my life! I only hope and pray that one day I can be the kind of grandma you were to me.