Tag Archives: grandmother

On Being a Grandma

Scan_20150909Today is my granddaughter, Brenna’s birthday–she’s eighteen years old–Yikes! It seems like only yesterday that we were meeting her for the first time when we took her brother, Christopher to the hospital.

Christopher, who was two and a half, was anxious to get to the hospital,  but his first few moments with Brenna showed he had some doubts about this new family member.

Being a grandmother has been the source of some of my greatest joys in life. Before Christopher was born, I was given a book entitled “Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother.” It is a fun and engaging book and I related to it very well. The first chapter is about naming grandmother. The author points out that you won’t get to name the baby, but you will be able to choose what the baby calls you.  At first consideration, it doesn’t seem that important, but to someone used to calling an old person grandma, it is cause for concern.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about being called grandma, but I didn’t especially like any of the alternatives either.  Of course, it would be some time before that would actually be a concern. And what I learned is  you don’t name yourself, your grandchild decides what you will be called.  At first Chris called me “Ama.” Because my niece still calls my mother “Bema,” I figured that would be my name from then on. But by the time Brenna was old enough to talk, I was Grandma and my husband was Papa. We have carried those titles proudly ever since.

I have cherished every moment I have been fortunate to spend with my grandchildren, and look forward to any time I have with them.  When my grandchildren are staying with us, I put everything else aside and spend my time with them.  That time is too precious to waste on housework or other chores that can wait. There are better things to do, like hide and seek, or dress-up. I had a box full of bead necklaces. One of our favorite things to do was to hang them from the ceiling fan. Then we would turn on the fan and hide under a blanket while the beads flew around the room. It was great fun!

At one of their birthday parties, as they opened gift after gift, I came up with a idea. For the next birthday, we would spend a day with that grandchild. At first it was a day–a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, or a movie. Eventually, it grew into a short trip. We traveled to Tucson to see Kartchner Caverns and Old Tucson. We even hiked to the bottom of Havasupai Canyon. The gifts we have given them are long gone–broken, out grown. But the memories of the times we’ve spent with our grandchildren will be with them forever.

I want to close with a poem from “Funny You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother.”




China cupboards filled with cups of memories,

A piano’s tune that sang its note before me,

Secret drawers that hold my parent’s past,

All these are here for me to see

And so piece together what has gone before

To understand the people who once walked these halls.


For in the home my grandmother created,

I find the beginnings of the love I have inherited.



The night God erased my manuscript

miracle mileI had been working hard on the second Handy Helpers book all day–first making some important revisions and then focusing on chapter ten. After dinner, I returned to work on it again, eager to finish the chapter. With chapter ten not quite completed, I was forced to quit as my mind was shutting down. Suddenly, the computer screen went blank. I stared at the white screen for a few seconds before deciding that I must have hit a function key and opened a new file. When I clicked the x to close the file, I was asked, as usual, if I wanted to save the changes. Just as I clicked “yes,” I realized I had not opened a new file, but I had actually deleted everything–thirty thousand words gone in an instant!

My initial shock was eased a little as I remembered that every night at eleven o’clock my writing was automatically backed up on a thumb drive. I hadn’t lost everything–only my work from that day. Still feeling the loss and wondering if I would be able to recall all that I had written that day, I went to bed.

The next day I was able to retrieve my backed up work and  easily return to the parts of my manuscript where I made changes. With all the changes completed, I turned my attention to the part of chapter ten I had been working on but my mind went completely blank. Try as I might, I could not remember any of the words I had written. As I struggled to think of something to write, it seemed as if a wall had gone up, blocking my thoughts. Finally, in frustration, I gave up.

Later that night, I was reading my homework for an apologetics class I was taking at church. It was a long reading assignment and not terribly interesting, and I was struggling to stay awake. Determined that I was going to finish, I pushed on through the sleepiness. At last, I completed the assigned reading, but for some unknown reason, I continued to read on. My eyes came to rest on a scripture passage–Ephesians 2:8–“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is a gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”

It was at that moment I recognized God’s hand on my writing. I had been working on a part of the book where Beth Anne asks her grandmother to tell her what grace is. Apparently, I hadn’t done an adequate job the first time. Now I had a second chance to get it right. Focusing on the scripture I had been given, I wrote the following:

“There’s one part I don’t understand,” Beth Anne said seriously. “Who is Grace?”

“Grace isn’t a person, honey,” Doris explained. “Grace is . . . grace is . . . well, grace is a gift from God.”

“A gift from God? You mean like a present?”

“Yes, kind of like a present, but the very best present you could ever imagine.”

“If I’m really good, do you think God will give me a present?”

“God doesn’t give us his gifts of grace because we’re good. No one could ever be good enough to earn God’s grace.”

“I don’t understand.” Beth Anne shook her head.

“Let me see if I can explain it.” Doris hesitated for a moment, thinking. “You are holding a gift for your mother, right? Why are you giving her a gift?”

“Because it’s Mother’s Day and I love my mother.”

“Exactly.” Doris let out a sigh. “We give each other gifts to show how much we love each other. But no matter how much love we have, we can never equal the love God has for us. That’s why we can never earn his gifts of grace. He gives us those gifts out of love.”

I’ll never know what words I had written originally. Those words are gone forever–erased by the hand of God. But in their place are words he wanted me to write. I’ll be forever grateful for his gift of grace.