Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Why Grandmas are important.

Grandma had stayed with us for three weeks, and it flew by like three days. On Sunday we took her to JFK and said our good buys.

When I was a little girl I never knew my grandmothers. My Grandma from my Mom's side had passed away almost immediately after I was born, and my Dad's Mom I remember like in a blur. I have some recollections of her wrinkled facial features. I vividly remember,though, her having a long braid, the color of dry ashes, sometimes having it tidily arranged into a bun in the back of her head. I remember her wearing long dresses with big, deep pockets.

And what comes to my mind almost instantaneously when I think of my "Granny Nastja" is the mint candy. Every time she saw me, her slim and aged hand dove into her seemingly bottomless pockets to get me a treat. It was a mint candy, that had been living in that pocket for a few days, may be weeks, melting overtime, picking up the lint and fibers from the fabric and dirt from other things that had found home in Grandma's pocket. I did not want the candy, but I remember that I had no way to say "no, thank you", as I didn't want to upset her. That was all she had for me and I felt obliged to accept the treat.

The only other very precious memory that I have after my Grandma Nastja, are the golden earrings that she had given me on my fifth birthday.

In my opinion, that is so little to remember about her, that I truly believe that I was robbed of the experience of having grandparents. I don't know what it means to have that special cuddling time that only grandmas can offer. I don't know how it feels when grandma reads you a book or tells you stories about her childhood and her growing up. I don't know the sensation of grandma's hands holding yours trying to teach you how to knit, or crochet, or sew, having all the patient in the world. I don't know the thrill of staying at grandma's overnight and listening to her humming, or singing. I will never understand a strong bond that some people have with their grandparents and love they share. I will never be able to learn the wisdom from them, I will have to figure it all out on my own.

That's why I feel so happy for our girls, that they have the chance to experience all the wonders of having a Grandma. It was so wonderful to watch them play, read together, do silly things, hold hands. Thanks for being in our family's life, and thank you for your love!

1 comment:

christinemm said...

Hello! I really enjoyed your post. I also feel grandparents are very special and important.

Every grandparent is different. I didn't have the experiences you dream of like being read aloud to or being taught to knit. I had other, different things that were good and special. Due to the fact that my parents were 20 and 22 when I was born I had 2 grandmothers, 1 grandfather and 1 great-grandmother.

And at the time my children were born they had 2 great-grandmothers and 4 grandparents who were still married to each other. (There is something to be said for that as well.)

I am so sad to think of all the children who move all around due to their parent(s) job transfers who are uprooted from their grandparents.

I also wonder what this American society will end up being like if all the women wait until age 35, 40 or closer or over 50 to have their first child. If everyone did that very few children would even have a grandparent alive when they were born.

My grandparents being alive while I am an adult is even more special and important than in my childhood. I am blessed now at age 40 with one grandmother at 89 and another at 97!

I am glad I am not the only one who appreciates grandparents. I hope your mother can come visit again soon!!