Wishing Her Peace
My mother, sister, and I are close, and my brothers and I talk on occasion. I have an aunt on the east coast that I talk to more than some family that live on the same coast as I do, but the rest of the family is not a tight-knit family (limited gatherings, holidays apart, birthdays not celebrated, no family reunions, etc.). In fact, everyone is somewhat scattered (it is what it is), but today, my 96-year-old grandmother passed away. She was the oldest person on my mother’s side. When I told my son, he just stood there and stared at me. I explained to him that she had been sick for a really long time and my hope is that she is no longer suffering. I am happy that my son had the opportunity to meet and know his great-grandmother. He has not had many experiences with death, and I’m not sure how I should handle it. Right now, I’m just observing him, just in case. I’m concerned about my mother too, but she, too, is glad that the suffering is over. As for me, I feel a little guilty because all I feel is glad that her suffering has ended. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through that. I’m sorry for my mother’s loss, but I don’t have that feeling of loss or that feeling that you get when you reflect on great past-time memories with your grand, but without her, I would not be who I am. It’s unfortunate that I never had the grandmother/granddaughter connection that most of my friends have had, and because of that, what I feel is a little sad. There has always been that lack of a connection between the two of us. My prayers are with her, and I know God is watching over her.
Update – Innate or Learned?
It’s been a couple of days since I posted the passing of my grandmother, and my mind has been constantly wondering, is mothering/grand mothering an innate behavior or a learned behavior? Does the grandmother that takes the grandchildren to the park/zoo/museum, or invites the grandchild over for movie night with popcorn, learn this from the experiences she has had with her grandmother or is it an internal factor that some people own while others do not? The grandmothers I have seen on television always spoil the grandchild. She blocks out time during holidays or during the summer that’s just for her and her grandchild. Is she emitting from her positive experiences and memories, or is she promoting what she has learned?
A few days ago, I had a discussion with someone at my job. We were talking about old-school parenting. I explained that I believe in some of those old-school ways, but I believe in explaining my decisions (instead of the “Because I said so” rule). I told my friend that I like to get books on certain topics (male puberty, raising preteens, etc.), that I am unsure of, in order to get another perspective on whatever I’m dealing with. This enables me with more options for handling issues that may come up. My friend was totally opposed to reading books for parenting advice. His response was, “Who wrote the book? Where were they raised? How many children do they have?” I must admit, I get his concern, but I am not trying to follow a book step by step. I just like to get information and if it’s good common-sense information and relatable to my needs, then I’ll take notes. I’m constantly trying to better my parenting skills. I don’t always get it right, but I try to figure out how I got it wrong. I hope that when I become a grandmother, I will still put forth every effort available to me, so that I can be the best grandmother I can be.
I believe my job as a mother is to protect, nurture, teach, and offer great childhood experiences and memories. I believe my job as a grandmother will be the same. I like the positive outlook from the stereotypical mother/grandmother that some old-school parents think is just for television. I wish that I had memories like those of my time with my grandmother. I hope that my lack of that stereotypical grandmother will drive me to try harder when it is my turn to be grandma.