Tag Archives: smile

Being Gramama

          It’s cold outside. The frost blankets the ground like tiny diamonds, glistening in the morning sun. I walk around the concrete abutment so as not to impair the new, Spring grass budding beneath the minuscule icicles hanging from the blades. As I approach the rose bushes, I realize how long they have survived in blistering heat, drenching rain and heavy snow throughout the years. I look at the cross behind the roses, worn and weathered from the same elements that have spared the roses.

The cross was fashioned from a pattern my son had made in the shape of a sword he wanted for a costume. I had helped him cut it out of the thin press-board after he carefully drew the pattern, free-hand onto the wood. The following week, we made a cross for the side of the road where my son was killed instead of a sword for his costume.

Three years after setting the cross on the side of the highway, we moved out of town. I could not bear to leave the cross as it was something my son had painstakingly created on his own. Therefore, it now sits in my backyard, transplanted into a bronzed container, surrounded by the roses we placed in the church for his funeral.

My son was 20 years old when he moved to Heaven. I no longer had the opportunity before me to watch him grow into a man, to walk with him at his wedding, or attend the birth of his children. The realization of this lost future was devastating to me.

I was blessed to have had two beautiful, amazing children. My son was born just after my 24th birthday and my daughter was born shortly after my 26th birthday. I initially did not want children when I was younger, but having my children changed me and brought me love I never knew I possessed.

Losing my son so tragically, I tried my best not to lock my daughter in a closet. Although she was 18 years old when her brother left us, she was still my baby girl. When she moved out of our home a short time later, I sincerely felt I had lost both of my children. She had moved a whole three hours away and I felt like I had lost my world altogether!

I was so very grateful that my daughter moved back with me for the birth of her first child. I hadn’t really thought too much about grandchildren before that as my children were still young, mostly in my mind. Yet, being with my little girl during the blessed moment she had her son was beyond belief!

I am in no way saying that one child can replace another, but it felt like a new start for me. Although a grandparent’s role is far different than that of being a parent, I felt it still afforded me another chance at being a part of a future I had been denied with my oldest child.

I thought about my grandmothers and how they were an integral part of my life. They were the patience, reasoning and wisdom that young parents have yet to learn.           They were always a safe haven when “Mom/Dad doesn’t understand!” To me, my grandparents were angels on earth.

I count myself so very fortunate to have experienced a long life with my grandparents. In fact, I’m 52 years old and still have one grandmother living!

I know there are many people who’ve not grown up with grandparents and I’m so very sad they never knew that special love only a grandparent can give. Fortunately, technology has afforded us with Surrogate Grandparents to help connect families who live too far away, or simply do not have a grandparent in their lives.

Being Gramama to my grand-babies has made my world so very amazing. I love to watch them learn while they play, I love the “out of nowhere” hugs, kisses, snuggles and I love you’s that pop up so randomly. I love the fact that as I’ve grown and matured, I have achieved the kind of wisdom and patience that makes a grandparent who they are to a child.

If you are a grandparent and your grandchildren aren’t close, become a Surrogate Grandparent to a child or children close to you who do not have their grandparents with or near them. The benefits and rewards are so very amazing to both the children and the grandparents who pour out their love to each other, regardless of kinship.

Have a blessed day and remember to share your love and blessings with others!!!

Happiness

 

Happiness is the key to a prosperous life. I’m not just talking about money either, although having money to pay bills and enjoy some of the finer things life has to offer can be very nice. Some of the other ways of being prosperous include having a loving, personal relationship with someone special; having a loving relationship with your children and other family members; having a job that doesn’t feel like “work”, yet still easily covers your financial obligations; being healthy; and having trusted friends who are willing to always be by your side no matter your financial, physical, or emotional situation at any given time. These are just to name a few of the ways that prosperity can manifest.

So, if happiness is the key to a prosperous life, what is the key to happiness? My grandmothers would always tell me, “Smile, no matter what. If anything, it will make people wonder what you’re up to”, or “Smile and the world smiles with you”. In essence, they were telling me that being happy was infectious. Just like the old adage of “Misery Loves Company”, where miserable people want to surround themselves with other miserable people, happy people want to be around happy people.

These were wonderful little sayings, but how can you be happy when you feel like the world is falling apart and nothing is going your way? My grandmothers had excellent points, but it still never really sunk in until I was watching a TV show one night. One of the characters was going through an extremely traumatic time in her life. One of her co-workers asked her how she could even smile much less seem to be happy in light of her struggles. She answered very simply that with all the trauma and drama, she chose to be happy because being happy was easy. It’s been a very long time since I saw that show and I don’t remember the exact words, but I do remember her specifically saying that “happy is easy”. Apparently, her statement was so poignant in my life, that I remember it decades later. I don’t remember the character’s name or much of anything else about the show, but I think about her statement of being happy all the time.

Since that time, I’ve realized that no matter how bad circumstances or situations are in my life, there is always something positive that comes out of the turmoil. Therefore, I choose to be happy in the midst of tribulation, not just for my sake, but for the sake of others around me. Now, I didn’t say this was always easy. Sometimes you really have to work to find that happy place during extreme emotions. For example, one day I was becoming increasingly frustrated at my 18 month old grandson as he rolled around like a crocodile while I was attempting to change his dirty diaper. I finally used my grumbly voice and told him to stop squirming because he was making a mess. Out of nowhere, his three-year-old brother tosses a neck scarf over his little brother’s face and yells quite dramatically, “Grab on, I’ll pull you out!” as if to save his little brother from a terrible fate. My mood instantly changed from frustration to downright belly laughing happy. Additionally, the baby quit squirming and let me finish changing his nasty diaper.

So, choose to be happy. You’ll thank yourself and so will others around you. In fact, you just might influence the happy in those who are having a difficult day. “Smile and the world smiles with you”!