What is a Grandparent?

I was having my Girlfriends gab session with Kelly my Hairstylist/Girlfriend and we started to talk about Grandparents.  She summed it up beautifully.

“A Grandparent is someone who will take time out of their day to make glue!” ~Kelly

Isn’t that just the truth!  I have been hearing inspiring stories lately about Grandparents who do just that and are remembered for it everyday.

I recently did a post Love is Forever… by Lawrence Thomas who also has written a beautiful book about his Grandparents I Remember December.

Vilma Jensine AndersenAfter reading Lawrence’s story it made the memories of my Nana flood my thoughts with our time spent together.  Vilma Jensine Andersen.  She was the Best Nana anyone could ever ask for.  She spent time with me.  Which is all grandchildren really want when it comes down to it.   I spent a  lot of time with my Nana and enjoyed every single moment of it!  She was an independent woman who lived her life authentically!  She was a single mom raising two boys while making a living as one of the first women Bus Drivers in Vancouver.

She never judged me even when I might have given her reason to.  She accepted me for who I was and I loved her deeply.  She is still a big part of my life although her role has changed from Nana to Angel.  My kids and I are certain she changes red lights to green for us when we are running late.  Shortly after she passed, my daughter at the innocent age of 3 said to me “Do you think Nana is looking up at us smiling?”  I laughed out loud while replying ” I hope she is looking down at us!”  That was when my daughter began her release of all helium balloons to Nana so she too could enjoy them, a 3 year old way of saying hello to the Angel in the sky.

Jj & Nana Nunu

My Nana was a pack rat and for kids that is pure heaven!  Her basement was a maze of pathways that were heaped to the ceiling with cool nick knacks we got to go poke through.  My brother Chris always led the way.  We had such fun.  As soon as we arrived at her house and had our Nana hug and kiss and a piece of fudge, we asked politely if we could go down to the basement.  Yes was always the answer.

She was every little girls dream, a Barbie collector!  She had tons of them and they were on display in party mode on top of her piano every time we went for a visit.  It was one of many hobbies she loved that we could share.  She had every Barbie accessory available to girl-kind so I was in Barbie heaven.  Now my daughter has carried on the Nana hobby and plays with them with her in mind.  My Nana had the greatest sense of humor as well.  My Dad used to put her Barbie display into, lets just say uncompromising positions.  One time she had an Insurance man come to her home to renew her policy.  She told us she thought he was such a nice man who seemed really interested in her Barbie collection.  She hadn’t noticed until the man left what my Dad, her son, had done.  She laughed at the thought of what he must have been thinking as he did her renewal.  She checked them every time he left from that day on.

When I sit and think of her I can still smell her skin when she leaned in for a kiss and snuggle, it was fresh loose powder.  She had her powder compact sitting in the bathroom which I would try as soon as I locked the door behind me.  She always looked so pretty and put together to me from her lipstick to her beautiful scarf wrapped gently around her collar.

When Nana couldn’t keep herself safe at home independently anymore we had no choice but give her the help she needed in a home.  She hated that she was not independent but she settled in after time.  She had the company of my other Grandmother so she had a slice of history with her.  I loved my Grandmother Jeannie Robertson too but unfortunately I did not spend the time with her as I did with Vilma so my memories are with Vilma mostly.

Tracy & Nana at GradWhen your growing up and have time with your Grandparents it is a gift that not every child receives.  I am so blessed to have had the time I did with my Nana because she is part of who made me the person I am today.  She was a strong, independent woman who could survive on her own.  She was a giver not a taker.  She made my childhood that much more memorable which I am grateful for.

My Nana had Alzheimer’s in her later years so you had to remind her kindly every so often who you were and how you were related, but it was worth it for the moments she did recognize you.  My last visit with her before her passing she said to me ” You haven’t changed since you were 12 years old”  I still cry when I think of those words because when I was with my Nana I was still 12 !  I miss her terribly and love her with all my heart and soul.  I can only hope I will be as wonderful a Nana as she was to me!

If your kids don’t have Grandparents who live close by there are Grand-Parents out there who would love to enrich your child’s life.  I came across this site that looks interesting.

Grandparents.com

Surrogate Grand-parents

Tracy

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3 thoughts on “What is a Grandparent?

  1. Just a beautiful story about your Nana. That’s exactly how it should be. I didn’t have any grandparents growing up, and enjoy watching and hearing stories from my kids about their grandparents, and their visits. My husband and I feel pretty much, anything goes at Basan and Gigi’s house(Japanese = Grandma & Grandpa). Which reminds me – we are overdue for a visit!

    I also heard that Seniors homes or Lodges enjoy children volunteers to come in and visit. Check out the local homes/lodges in your area – I believe the love of a “grandparent” has no limitations. I might just have to go and get me one of them 🙂

  2. …. Meeting your grand parents is indeed a true gift… Unfortunately I never met any of them and what was passed on to me about them never seemed to satisfy my curiosity and my need for a stronger connection will always remain. If you can…. spend as much time with them as possible, at every opportunity…don’t wish you had when they have passed… Learn about their lives…and you will likely find a connection you will wish you had made stronger effort…

  3. picking blueberries, riding downtown on the bus, and getting to sit in the front seat of his old car are some of my favourite memories of my granndpa

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