Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grandma JoAnne

i think it's when your older that you really start to appreciate your parents and your grandparents for what they brought to your life. as a parent now, i'm starting to see how that delay in appreciation can be problematic as i look at my 4 and 6 year old with pleading eyes to please acknowledge all that i do for them. i imagine that this get's harder still as they enter their demonstrative teenage years where (from what i hear and personal experience) can leave parents scratching their heads and wondering, 'why did we do this to ourselves?'

multiple times in a week i'm compelled to call my mom and apologize for one thing or another, or to thank her for the immense patience and guidance she gave me. oftentimes I do, to which she laughs and asks what happened.

there is another woman in my life who from the day i was born (as I was her first grandchild) gave all she had to this new endeavor of her life. her and my grandfather never failed to make myself, my sisters and my two cousins feel loved. i think it's something special when you look back and ask yourself, 'what did this person do for me that stood out the most' and the answer be not of monetary value or a tangible object. now, let me not confuse you, there was a lot of that. whether it be the contribution to my education, a trip to disney world and washington dc, the multiple camping excursions, or bailing me out of credit card debt after college with a low interest re-payment plan.

what these two people gave me most of all, was time. memories of berry picking in their backyard, reading books, and taking walks. i have fond memories of my grandparents in black butte where we spent a week each summer. my grandfather had a story he'd tell that ended with a loud hoot that would send us all laughing. he'd teach us how to play poker and every year brought a giant jar of coins for the cousins to split. my grandmother could be found sitting by the edge of the pool at their beach condo for HOURS as we swam with this patience i am now mustering as my kids want to do the same. always with a good and gracious attitude, all because she loved us.

my grandfather passed away a few years ago and what has been left in this family is both a giant hole as we miss his presence dearly as well as this huge bucket of fond memories. my kids still talk dearly of my grandfather and mention him always in the long list of people they love at bedtime. my grandmother who despite her loss continues to show great love, and strength to this family and although i don't always have the time to tell her or show her, i am in such incredible awe of her.

in november (i'm behind here), i hosted a birthday party in her honor. we had a theme this year encouraging everyone to dress up. due to it's proximity to halloween, the party was a hit and my grandma was so pleased. the kids and i made a homemade birthday sign. this was important to me, and important to teach my kids that the giving of time is one of life's true virtues. we took great care in designing each letter as i told them all of my favorite memories of grandma joanne.

i don't really have words to express how proud i am to have this woman as my grandmother. an experienced author of a parenting book , who also runs a parent support center here locally, who still takes her daily walk, frequents weekly poker nights, sings in her church choir and still has the energy for her 4 great grandchildren. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and i love you.


JoAnne Nordling said...

Thank you, dear Carrie!

JoAnne Nordling said...

Thank you,dear Carrie!