Sunday, February 03, 2008

GUEST BLOG: A Grandmother's Perspective

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST BLOG BY A GRANDMOM, Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, author, "Miriam the Medium" (Simon & Schuster). Your comments to this blog are welcome, and may be posted below.

As hard as it is for a woman to admit she’s growing older, it seems even harder for a daughter to admit her mother is getting on in years. Last week, I took the train upstate to my daughter’s at a time of revolution. Her daughter, who had thought kindly of her baby brother when he was sedately swaddled, suddenly was faced with a sibling who crawled at top speed, knocking over her blocks, sticking her doll house figurines in his mouth. She now wanted to (and almost did) ring his neck. My daughter, holding her daughter back, called out “Get him, Mom,” as her son scooted under a computer table to yank the wires, as if I am still the young woman once again who could scoop up her ashy little brother from the fireplace. I did get him. I did everything that was needed and came home with vivid memories of snuggling my granddaughter, seeing my grandson’s gummy smile as I tickled his belly. But, although I didn’t tell my daughter, I also came home to Ace Bandages and heat packs and bed rest. My daughter loves me. She tells me so each time we talk. I can see it in the light in her eyes when she looks at me. If I bring up my physical limitations, it would be like bringing up the topic of my mortality. As grown up as she is, she’s still my child. So, even though I haven’t yet had the courage to broach this with my daughter, I want to share it with all of you. Perhaps I’m practicing for the next conversation I have with her.

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Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

Speaking as a mom who lost her mom (my mom passed before I got my son), I know that your daughter is grateful to have you, physical limitations and all. What is more important, I would think, is your heart and mere presence. What I wouldn’t give just to hear my mom’s voice again and have her hold my son even for a moment.

I often wonder if mothers who have their mothers truly grasp their good fortune. I find myself expressing that sentiment to certain mom friends of mine who complain about their mothers. In the meantime, the grandmoms offer all kinds of assistance and support, whether mental or physical and even potentially financial, and their child is lucky to have a relationship with their mother. How wonderful is that?!

Everything is relative. You can’t truly grasp the loss of a mom, if you had a close relationship, until you’ve had the sad, life altering experience. You shouldn’t fear having an open discussion with your daughter if you feel the need. Her love for you won’t change.

5:18 PM  

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