Song: “Amazing Grace”
When I was growing up, I believed that what Barbie said was true — “We girls can do anything.”
In case you’re wondering, Barbie lied. I have a really hard time being a mom who also runs and serves as the handyperson, cook, bread winner, etc.
I also wanted to be like my paternal grandparents. My grandpa knew how to fix anything. My grandmother is a domestic goddess and very artistic. They both were great singers. I thought they could do anything. I now know it was because they were one of the best parenting teams ever.
Their house was the one everyone — my mom’s family, church friends, extended family — visited. Their house was happy and filled with happy memories.
It’s been about a year since my grandfather died. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my kids down to see him. My oldest, Samantha, often asks about what life was like — and what my grandparents were like in particular — when I was younger.
Throughout my life, my grandparents have found some way to say they care. I got boxes full of cookies in college. When they got a computer, they’d send emails. Some times I was so caught up in my own life I didn’t thank them — I regret that.
I remember squeezing my grandfather’s hand the night he eventually passed. It wasn’t the hand I remembered from my youth, but yet it was. I felt his quiet strength like he knew all I needed was a firm grip to reassure me that everything was OK.
After his passing, I began to reassess where I was and where I was going. Eventually it led me to the doctor’s office I mentioned in part 1. I wanted to make sure I was in good working order. I know that if I played my cards right, I could be as cool as my grandparents were to me.
I saw what my kids thought of me. My kids drew a picture of the family. They started giggling in delight as the big black-marker-created oval started filling my face. “You’re always yelling mom.”
Is that what they’ll remember me as?
I still need to work on the screaming. I’ve replaced some of that screaming with stroller runs of the rail-trail, hiking in state and national parks, and walking downtown to window shop.
I hope the next family picture has me doing something like reaching the top of a mountain or winning a medal at a race.