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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lessons from Grandma

When I was very, very pregnant with our oldest son, my grandma came and stayed with us.  Hub and I were both 25.  I can't speak for him, but I had no clue what it was going to be like.  None.  I had read all the books, but you just can't begin to grasp parenthood at all until it happens to you.

Thank God my grandma was there.  She was there when my water broke in the middle of the night.  Hub and I had been up so late, watching one of those crazy double-overtime hockey games.  We were exhausted.  Hub took me to the hospital, and my grandma stayed home and prepared for Scrappy's arrival.  When we got home, she held him, and rocked him, and convinced me I had to sleep.  Just like me, my grandma has never been a great sleeper at night, and she was up anyway, so I thought I might as well let her snuggle a little baby.  So I did, and she was so good to me.  She made me food, and made me drink water, and just loved my new little family.

A year later, I was pregnant with Funny, and my grandma was there, again.  She kept Scrappy and took care of him while Hub ran back and forth to the hospital.  She stayed for a few weeks afterward and helped us all adjust.  I remember sitting with her during one of Scrappy's nap times watching Bridget Jones' Diary, and she just was laughing and laughing.

My grandma has a great sense of humor.  She isn't easy offended, and appreciates an inappropriate joke.  One of the times I remember seeing her laugh the hardest was at an SNL skit starring Justin Timberlake.  (I'm a lady, so I'm not posting it.)  She loves to laugh.

My grandma taught my mom how to cook.  My mom and grandma taught me to cook.  We are connected through food, and I think that's the main reason why I love cooking so much.  I feel connected to my family and to my past.  Grandma taught me to make an awesome southern breakfast.  I can't make a biscuit without thinking about her hands, showing me how to be gentle with the dough so the bread would turn out right.

I remember when my grandfather was sick with cancer, and how my grandma took care of him.  My mom told me that it wasn't the first time my grandma had nursed the dying.  My grandma always took care of everyone.  She has taken in members of my family who needed a place to live.  I've moved around a lot, and wherever she was, was home.  I still look at her house in West Virginia as the place where I'm from and where I can always go.

In her younger days, she worked at the library.  She used to know mobsters when she lived in Chicago.  She grew up in a coal town in West Virginia, and my grandfather used to follow her around trying to get her attention.  They had 6 kids, including a set of twins and a special needs son.

I have never seen my grandma cry. But I have seen her laugh, and put others first.  I've seen her take care of things just because they needed doing, without complaint.  I have seen her love her family.

My grandma has been very sick and in the hospital for a few weeks.  I'm going down to see her next week, and I can't wait to tell her how much I adore her.  Thanks for letting me share it with you, and for letting me "think out loud" about her influence in my life.  I'd love to hear a stories about your grandparents.


5 comments:

  1. Sounds like a precious woman. I'm glad you get to visit her soon.

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  2. This is precious. You are blessed to have such a woman in your heritage. :)

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  3. You should definitely share this with her. It's beautiful, and not too sappy. I think she'd like that.

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