a girl & her grandma’s

5 Oct

growing up i had a very special relationship with my grandma.  i only had one grandma, my mom’s mom.  my other grandma passed before i was born.  i would not be going out on a limb to say i was my grandma’s favorite (sorry cousins!)

my grandma (& grandpa) was very much involved in my everyday life.  when i was little my grandma babysat me a few days a week while my mom worked.  as i grew up, i would stay over at my grandparent’s house because i wanted to.  my grandma would call daily & we would chat.  when i got older & become more involved in sports & other activities my grandma was there.  when i moved down to purdue for my freshman year of college, my grandma was right there helping me move in.  once away, she would send cards, with an occasional $5, or we would chat a few times a week.

additionally, during my freshman year of college, my grandma, at the age of 70, was diagnosed with a then rare bone & blood cancer, multiple myloma.  her initial diagnosis was not hopeful, a few months, maybe until christmas.  however, she beat those odds & survived until july of 2000 – giving her approximately 10 months from her original diagnosis.  she even went into a remission for a short period of time.  during that year, there were many weekends when my mom was planned to come visit me at purdue & she would drove south to kankakee to pick my grandma up & then make her way east & south again down to purdue.  other weekends, my mom would drive down to purdue, get me & we’d make our way to my grandparent’s home for the weekend.

when my grandma passed in july of 2000.  i was devastated.  she was truly one of my best friends.  now, over 11 years later, i miss her like crazy.  i know that she would love to see ben & emilia.  in that, i am fully know that she would probably be living at our house for a few days a week because there is no way she could make the drive from kankakee to carol stream a few days a week.  i know that the love she had for me would be multiplied by one billion towards my kids.  i know that benjamin would make her heart melt with his little sly smile & silly stories.  i know that she would share sweet treats with emilia & it would be their little secret when it would be right after breakfast or before dinner.

…turning to my girl…i see the relationships that emilia has formed with both my mom & dan’s, her grandma & nonna respectively.  watching these relationships form over the last 3{ish} years is wonderful.  emilia is hard cookie to break.  she is friendly; however, getting her to open up, even to a family member, takes awhile.

emilia with my mom, her grandma

since benjamin has been a baby, my mom has come to visit every monday night.  she makes the drive after work.  she is not here to see me.  we make her dinner & she sits & chats and plays with the kids.  she will give them their nighttime bath, if necessary.  she leaves  just after they are in bed.  until about 7 months ago, emilia did not greet my mom when she arrived.  she stayed back and continued playing or watching tv.  now, she enthusiastically runs to the window to make sure it’s her then runs downstairs with ben to let her in.  if she doesn’t run down she is waiting at the top of the stairs with a huge grin and big hello hug & kiss.

emilia with dan’s mom, her nonna

with dan’s mom, her nonna, emilia will sit & color or read books when they are over babysitting.  it’s usually a division of boys vs. girls when they babysit.  from what i’ve been told, emilia threw a pretty mean tea party one evening that was full of delicious tea & cookies.  i have pictures from em’s first christmas with her just sitting on her nonna’s lap while everyone is opening gifts & both are just enjoying each other & taking in everyone else & the holiday.

over the weekend, we spent the afternoon with dan’s parents.  emilia was glued to her nonna.  they held hands as we walked through the fields, she asked to be picked up and even towards the end of the afternoon emilia sat on the car & twirled nonna’s necklace.  all afternoon, i watched this relationship grow even larger.  i watched emilia grab her nonna’s hand and she just chatted away.  about what i will never know as it’s between them.  i know i won’t forget the loving & content smiles both on their faces, just enjoying their time together.

i can only look back on my relationship with my grandma and hope that emilia has a similar one with hers.  though i am pretty sure she does.  once someone has gained access to emilia’s circle of trust they’re in.  break that trust and you’re out.  when it comes to her grandma’s, i think they’re in nice & tight.  i can only hope she can sit here, when she is 30 or older, with a smile a remember all of the wonderful memories she has with her grandma’s.  i can hope that she, one day, has children of her own & i get to form the same grandma-granddaughter relationship that her & i have done with our grandma’s.  because there really is no other relationship like it.

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2 Responses to “a girl & her grandma’s”

  1. Katherine October 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    I had the very same type of relationship with my grandma as you did with yours. She was one of my very best friends. She’s been gone 5 years now and I still miss her everyday. I wish my daughter would have been able to meet and get to know her. I named my daughter after her. I see my daughter with her grandmothers and they have a special bond…with my mom especially. I hope they’re able to have that continuing relationship for a long, long time.

    • jenlong1981 October 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

      before we knew our son was a boy, my grandmother’s name was a contender for a girl. then when we became pregnant with emilia, i fought for my grandma’s name…no dice. i like to think if we get pregnant again i will get my chance to include her name!

      i talk about & show pictures of my grandparents to the kids all the time. i want them, in a round about way, know who they were how much they would have been loved by them. :)

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