What constitutes a “great” grandma? Besides watching over the three generations below her, I think it has something to do with creating an impression in your grandkids starting when they are young.
When I was a kid, I remember traveling to New Jersey to visit Grandma Helen and Granddaddy Spike. My siblings and I were both excited to see them and a little nervous too. Grandma was a no-nonsense kind of gal when dealing with young children. There were places in her house that were off limits to us and she laid down the law enough that we were hesitant to break the rules. There is something about being told not to do something that makes a person want to do it all the more. I’m sure I got in trouble more than once for playing in an off-limits room! Even though it instilled some fear in us, it also gave us a lot of respect for her. She knew how to handle the three of us!
Helen’s whole life’s purpose has been about family. She grew up in West Virginia with her grandparents, married a pilot, devoted everything within herself to my mom as she was growing up and right up until today. She settled in New Jersey with her second husband, Spike, and the two of them provided us with some unforgettable memories.
When my brother, sister and I were born, Grandma came and stayed to help my mom. She also took two weeks to help each one of us when her great-grandchildren were born. That’s ten times! We called what she did during each of those two-week stints the “GG magic!” She was able to soothe and quiet all of the babies (except Bekah who had fiery red hair and the attitude to go with it!) What a treasure she is!
This past weekend, we celebrated her 95th birthday. She was the center of attention at dinner and the next day we all learned how to paint daisies at a learn-to-paint place. We were a big group comprised of four generations! I’m sure that doesn’t happen very often!
Shown here with great-granddaughter Julia.
At dinner with me on her birthday.
Being creative at the painting place!
Grandma… your family loves you! Thank you for being the example of what “being family” means. We are looking forward to many more birthdays. Happy 95th! You are truly a Great Grandma!