A Question For Grandma

I have seven grandchildren; six grandsons and one granddaughter.  The six eldest are now teenagers ranging in age from 17 to 13.  Our youngest grandson turned 5 this past July.

When the six older grandchildren were little, I started calling them all Roy, including our granddaughter.  I told then I was doing this in case I became forgetful as I got older and couldn’t remember their names.  The boys thought it was hilarious that I also called our granddaughter Roy.

The fun thing was that when all the grandkids were at the house playing outside I would just yell Roy and they would all come running, laughing like crazy.  I thought of it as something special between us.  When our youngest grandson was born he was known as Little Roy.

Something else I always did with my grandchildren was to randomly ask them “who loves you”.  Their answers were always “you do”.  I realized the other day, after a conversation with my youngest grandson that I haven’t asked that question of my teenage grandchildren in a long time.

I will have to remedy that.

I have never seen myself as a very demonstrative person.  I always knew my parents loved me but I don’t ever remember hearing the words.  Saying “I love you” is not always easy for me.  With age sometimes comes wisdom and I’m working on that, consciously saying the words, especially to those who are important to me.  I don’t want them to assume, like I did, I want them to hear the words and know they are loved.

Unfortunately old habits and patterns are difficult to break and my most recent reminder came from Texas.

Hubby’s cousin, Patsy, moved back home with her husband, Len.  They are two very kind, thoughtful and caring people.

Patsy’s mother, Aunt Marian, was such a loving, kind, thoughtful woman who loved freely and shared that love with everyone.  The first time I visited Aunt Marian and her family as a young bride, I remember feeling so uncomfortable.  They were not the cause of my discomfort, it was something within me.  You see, Aunt Marian and her family hugged each other just leaving and entering a room.  “I love you’s” were said like “hello’s” and you knew they were genuine.  Aunt Marian was always telling someone “you’re so special”,  “you’re so wonderful”, or “you make me so happy”.

Patsy reminds me of her Mom and has also reminded me that the words are just as important as the actions.

The other day Little Roy was riding along with me as I drove to finish my last errand, and as always he talked about everything.  the changing colors of the trees, the shapes and colors of the clouds, what his brothers did, how he cracked his Mom’s cell phone and was grounded.

We were chatting along and I asked him “who loves you”.

“You do” was his immediate reply.  He then started talking about how he won’t be going to kindergarten because he doesn’t like school and his next questions was “Grandma, will you love me when I get big”?

“Of course I will” I told him, “just like I love your older cousins”

“Will you love me when I get older” I asked him.

“Grandma, you’re already old” he calmly told me.

“Yes, I know I’m old but hopefully I’ll get older.  If my hair turns white and I get wrinkles (luckily he let that go by), will you love me then” I asked him.

“Yep” was his short and sweet answer.

He changed the subject to where we were going next and we talked about that; one question leading to ten more.

“Will you love me forever, Grandma” he asked out of the blue.

“Yes I will” I told him.

“Forever is a long time Grandma” he reminded me.

“Yes, I know.  That’s exactly how long I’ll love you”.

Three little words, so very important to say.

 

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Just For Today

Driving home today I noticed that the leaves are starting to change colors.  I actually saw some leaves turning yellow with hints of orange.  It seems like just yesterday school was ending for the summer.  Now it’s August and time to think about going back to school in a few short weeks.  Seeing back to school commercials on the television I mentioned to Grandson #7 that he’d being going back to school soon.  “I’m not going to school” he told me and the look on his face spoke volumes.  I just laughed thinking that will be Mom’s battle when the time comes.

July was a month of heat, humidity and celebrations.  Sister #5 hosted a 4th of July picnic, we attended a nephew’s wedding, and our youngest grandson turned 5.  “A whole hand” as his older cousin once said.

I hosted our monthly sister meeting which was rather low keyed.  There were no games or disagreements,  just conversation and being together.  I did try a new recipe, BLT pasta, which was good but nothing that would tempt me to make again.

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No garden was planted this year as hubby wasn’t feeling it.  He said it was good to give the ground a rest. I told him that excuse worked for me.  However, our daughter-in-law discovered tomato plants growing among the weeds in hubby’s raised beds so she got busy pulling weeds.  It was a pleasant surprise to find several nice cherry tomato plants growing from last year’s tomatoes.  A little gardenner helped her with the weeding.  I asked him about the winter boots he was wearing.  “Grandma, the snakes can’t bite me when I wear my boots”.

When we bought our home in 1981 my Dad gave me a cutting from a wild rose bush that he let grow beside a shed.  The words “let grow” are important because Dad was not a flowery kind of guy but for some reason he liked that rose bush.

Hubby planted it for me and it took root and grew.  It has always been a tempermental rose bush, blooming like crazy some years, not flowering other times or only sharing a few roses.

Last Autumn, my youngest sister decided to sell the family home and she told me to take Mom’s rose bush which was planted in the front yard.  Last summer Mom’s rose was a cream colored flower with a salmon color around the tips of the petals.  In years past, when the petals would drop after blooming, a few weeks later, another rose would bloom.  It wasn’t always the same color, it might be a solid cream or a solid salmon color.  This didn’t happen every year but when it did it was special.

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Again, Hubby planted Mom’s rose bush for me next to Dad’s rose bush.  “I can’t guarantee this will take root” he told me and I told him not to worry, it would grow if it was meant to grow.  Well, I’m happy to say Mom’s rose bloomed this summer, just once, and Dad’s wild rose bush was full of roses.  It was kind of nice seeing them bloom together.

August began with expectations of Hubby’s surgery on the 7th to correct a very painful large tear in his shoulder.  The insurance company, however, decided that it wasn’t medically necessary and up until the evening before his scheduled surgery I was discussing the matter with “advocates” at the insurance company.

To say it was frustrating is an understatement.  I realized it wasn’t the advocate’s fault but knowing the conversation was recorded for review I politely stated that it wasn’t as if Hubby decided he had nothing better to do on the 7th so lets have someone cut into his shoulder.  I also pointed out that we pay for Medicare and the Medicare Advantage plan we have yet a “for profit entity” is determining what services we can or can not have.

His surgery was cancelled.  I was very frustrated and angry and I held on to those feelings much longer than I should have.   My bad but typical for me.

While driving home from the store this afternoon the phrase “just for today” popped into my head.  I thought about that as I drove, wondering where it came from.

Thinking about it for a while, I realized I wasn’t remembering the important moments.

Mom and Dad’s roses blooming.  The little gardener pulling weeds to help his Mom find the tomato plants.  The beautiful, sunny summer days full of bird song.  The music the trees make as the summer breezes blow through their leaves.  The beauty of a clear, brilliant, blue summer sky; a beautiful canvas for the cotton candy like white clouds as they slowly drift along.  The sound of thunder as it rumbles across the hills surrounding our home during a summer storm.  Joining together with family to celebrate life’s moments.  Visiting with Hubby’s cousin Patsy and listening to the music they created, he  on his guitar and she on her ukulele.  The sound of their voices blending so wonderfully as they sang together while we sat together on her porch on a warm summer evening.

The fact that each morning I wake up is a gift, to be enjoyed and cherished.

Someone was reminding me that I needed to take a look at what I was allowing to be important in my world.

I have said before that I tend to hold onto stuff when I should be letting it go.  I work daily on changing how I react to things and not let myself go into the land of “what if”.  Sometimes I win and sometimes that bitch, anxiety, wins.

I constantly remind myself to believe that what is meant to be is what will happen.  Fretting and over thinking won’t stop anything from happening.

Three little words.

Just for today, I will treasure each moment, great or small.  Just for today I will let go of all that belongs to yesterday.  Just for today, I won’t worry about what tomorrow might bring.

Every morning I’ll try to remind myself to think “just for today”.

 

All rights reserved.  I hope you enjoyed my story but please remember it’s my story so no using or copying any content in any manner without the express written permission of the owner….me.