Friday, November 27, 2009

for the love of gramma...

This week brought up a sore spot for me.
i ache to have family close.
Don't get me wrong, i have been more than blessed with amazing friends that i *know* i can call on in times of crisis, but most of our friends have families with little ones - who i don't feel like i should burden anymore than they already are...
On Tuesday night, in those moments of feeling torn - knowing that Neil & i would have to divide & conquer - me at the hospital, watching, waiting & praying in the waiting room by myself - & him taking over for my little hero Cairo who fed everyone supper, cleaned up & tucked the troops in bed... i wished that we could just call gramma.
i spouted off to someone - vented? whined? complained? that i wish that church felt like that. i wish that there were older couples, maybe who have raised their children - or whose children lived far from them, like we do from our parents - who would adopt us - & encourage us - & care so much about us that they would rush over & help us bear our burdens... i know - i sound selfish even to my own ears...
i remembered Gramma Ann...
i remembered that we each knew we could just pop in...
When i would pop in with my tiny preschoolers & my huge belly, i knew she would brew a cup of tea for me & would probably have something fresh baked that she'd share with me. Totally worth the walk across our small town to her house...
My little ones knew that they could climb carefully down the stairs to her basement to find the bins of toys that they could play with - & that if they made her a craft, it would be proudly displayed on her walls for months, if not years...
When she would pop in, she never noticed if my house, life, hair was in disarray... she usually had smarties, or vitamins, or tickles for my babies in her pockets... a warm hug for me... & when Neil worked late at night, i remember her phoning me & encouraging me to dig deeper into my relationship with God.
You wanna know how we met?
At church.
i went to church a lot without Neil in those days, when he was working shift - juggling my 2 sweet blond girls & oftentimes wondering why i bothered trying to go at all. She saw me in my need & came over sitting next to me, distracting my girls & cuddling them on her lap - stealing their 'buttons' & making them smile shyly.
She - though at first a stranger - became 'gramma ann' to my little ones - & to all the other little grandmotherless children who congregated around her, found solace at her home & warmth in her arms.
i remember crying when our moving truck pulled away from that little town... i felt that in that small town, we had found a little make-shift niche of *family* & dreaded the thought of being aliens yet again & trying to find our footing underneath us...
& so, there's my soft, vulnerable underbelly exposed for you today...
For those of you who live close to grandparents - regardless of their flaws & shortcomings - give them a hug & thank them for loving you & your babies & for being there when you need them.
It is a blessing.

10 comments:

Melissa said...

Oh, the memories of those days...

mamalena said...

Boy...that makes me even sadder not to live closer... But it is/was sweet to know that Gramma Anne was there in her sweet way to be an agent of God in your lives. God bless her and all others like her. (she is not bad at wordscraper either..haha)

Jen said...

maybe you should move back to that small town? ;)

Anonymous said...

You know, even if your parents were closer, they still couldn't always "be there" for you...

With mine an hour away, it is still too far to run over in a crisis moment (unless we are headed to the hospital in their town).

This post could be a signal to older folk with time on their hands directing them to a new sort of ministry. I know, I too, would love to have someone nearby to count on in time of need (or just for encouragement) but everyone seems so busy with their own lives that they don't have that same individual concern for what is happening in YOUR life.

And so we have to navigate our own uncharted waters -- like having to put on my own Christmas celebration for the four of us since my parents are heading to Cowtown for Christmas holidays. I'm scared that the kids won't have the "magical" time they are hoping for, but we have to do the best we can with what we have...

Glad that Cairo could help with the kids and that Neil wasn't too far away to be there for you guys when you needed to all pull together as a family. And glad Gage is getting better each day.

Saskatchewan Cousin

mamazee said...

i totally know what you mean. It was something i totally took for granted when we had Wyatt - we didn't need much help - i was so hepped up, but sometimes you do need help - and God sends it - but i do wish i had my own flesh and blood around me, very often...
We had Erna Windecker in Evansburg - she was probably the best thing about that town - we'd walk past and she'd flag us in for cookies and crabapple juice, I'd send a little to go sit with her in the tiny Lutheran church - she was just a good friend, who cared about us. I don't have that where i am now, and i so much miss it... I miss her.

The Nieboer News said...

I could have written that post :)

I wish we had a 'gramma ann' right now too.

Anonymous said...

I HEAR YA!, and have felt the same for a LOONNGG time now. But, I've come to just accept and really appreciate what we do have and the visits we do get. No, it doesn't take that longing away... But, maybe it is a good reminder for us when our children are grown and have families to remember how we felt and reach out. Also, there are a lot of lonely "gramma's and grandpa's" out there who are immobile or in nursing homes who would *love* company and affection and would greatly return it. I'm sure you know that, as do I. I guess it takes the time to go and find them and put ourselves out there:) Something, I NEED to do more.....
Thanx for the post, Carlee

Prvbs31Mama said...

'kay...I'm sitting here bawling now. I've never known what it's like to have someone I can call on like this. I didn't realize how so very deep this sort of longing was within me. And perhaps I'm so emotional about it simply because I just got back from a nice 5 day visit at my parents where I DID have help and could spend time with my sister knowing my kids were happy with gramma...I'm gonna run a bath and escape now..sniff
Emotions suck...

Stephanie said...

SO true. I am blessed to have both sets very close by.

Lesley said...

I struggle with this every day. In Swiss culture, a lot of families still live in a multi-generational household. There is a big house divided into a few apartments and the different generations live on different floors. It seems like utopia to me but some of my Swiss friends say they would never live that way. I am sure that it is a case of "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" kind of thing. In Canada, my sister and her family live very close to my mother and she helps them out immensely. I try not to be jealous but it takes all of my efforts and I usually fail miserably. If I truly didn't feel that I belong where I am, I would be back to her house in an instant. Being grown up sucks sometimes.

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