Growing up, I didn’t have a close
relationship with my grandparents. I had one nearby granny, who we visited in
her retirement home on occasion. The rest of my grandparents either died before
I was born, or lived overseas. My grandfather in England was just a voice on
the telephone, and a kind note in the regular birthday cards. As a kid, I never
really figured what I was missing out on. Then I had my own kid, and realized
what an incredible blessing grandparents are.
Grandparents are the greatest gift, to
children and parents
My daughter has grown up with her grandparents as an
every day part of her life. It ultimately saddens me that she never got the
chance to sit upon my dad’s lap and listen to his stories, but it’s sometimes
quite strange for me when I realise how much of him I see in her facial
expressions. He died just three weeks after she was born. My mum played a big
part in her life, and although we didn’t see enough of each other before she
died, she’s in my daughter’s thoughts and conversations every day. EveGranny,
as we call her, is someone she still speaks of, and I will never forget the
final moments my daughter had with my mum – lying cuddled up in bed together,
holding hands and talking.
And then, we have her other grandparents –
her father’s parents, who have been with us and in her life, all the way
through. They are stalwarts of her existence, and they devote their lives to
her. They’re involved, they’re listening, and most of all, they’re loving. They
take pride in her every step through life, and they’re right beside us as we
take on each challenge.
Finding someone you can trust
For a single parent, one of the biggest
challenges you’ll ever have to encounter is the issue of entrusting anyone with
your child. We’re lucky…so lucky in fact. I realised, recently, that we’re
truly surrounded by people who love us without boundary, and who I can trust
with her precious life.
Nothing brought this more home to me, than
just the other day. There we were, at lunch, with my magnificent boyfriend’s
parents. Due to see friends shortly afterwards, my daughter decided she’d
rather stay with the magnificent boyfriend’s parents, than go off with “boring
old” mommy. She had so much fun with them. That night, as I was putting her to
bed after a long day of fun and love, she said, “Mama,
I’m lucky. Most children get two pairs of grandparents. I’ve got three. Mama, I’ve got so much family and love my
heart feels hot”.
walked out of her room, I held back my tears. I’ve never been more grateful for
the gift of grandparents – the ones we have, the ones we’re given and the ones
that have become.
Read more by Cath Jenkin.
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