The Blessing of Great Grandparents

June 23, 2014

With a death in the family it gives you time to reevaluate your relationships and the time you have invested in building loving relationships. The only family members that I have lost have been both of my grandfathers. I was seven years old when my Popo Ramirez passed and I am great full that I still have the best memories of him. I wish every single day he was here to see us grandchildren grow up and spoil his great grandchildren just as he did us with trips to Dairy Queen for the biggest dipped cone they served. I was 20 years old when I lost my Popo Smith. Him and I were like two peas in a pod. The relationship I had him with him reminds me of how my stepdad is with my kids. My son was four months old when my Popo Smith passed and in those four months my Popo Smith was head over heals for my son. After having two granddaughters he finally had a boy to spoil rotten, and he did for a short time.

With these losses there is light at the end of the tunnel. My children still have amazing great grandparents that are present in their every day lives. And it makes me beam from the inside out to see the relationships and memories they are building with my Momo and my two Mimi’s.

When I was a little girl and would spend the night with my Momo I can remember being so thrilled to sleep in her super sized King waterbed, say our nightly prayers and wake up bright and early for breakfast. My Momo still does this with my daughter. They work on crossword puzzles together and go shopping for fancy church dresses, just like I did with her. I can remember crawling into my Momo’s lap while she was sitting in her recliner watching her soapies and rubbing my back. I may be too old and too big now but my daughter gladly takes my place. They are building a relationship similar to what I have with my Momo and it makes me so incredibly happy.

My Mimi loves estate sales and I have always loved going with her. My son loves going to estate sales with his Mimi too. I can also remember when I was in high school my Mimi would stop at a mom and pop corner store to get a scratch off, she would let me scratch one but preface it with “If one of us win then we can split the winnings!” We hardly ever won anything. Last summer my son was with Mimi for the day and they went to some estate sales and she stopped and purchased a few scratch offs. When I picked my son up he had a few items he found at an estate sale and some cash. Mimi made it clear that my son reminded her of the ‘if one of us wins we split the winnings’ deal. She was the one that won big. I don’t think she was too thrilled when my son wanted to cash in the joint jackpot. I couldn’t help but laugh. Mimi soon realized she was creating a little monster and put a stop to the assistance with her scratch offs. Now, she treats my son to his favorite, chapter books. My son loves his Mimi and going to her house and if our schedules weren’t so busy I am sure he would be over there every weekend just like I was as a kid.

Although gatherings at my other Mimi’s house are far and few between, I am always glad to go visit her. Mimi may be my step grandmother but she has always made me feel like I was hers. I think it’s a special gift that her and my stepdad possess. I can remember spending weeks with her during the summer- running around her land, riding bikes for hours on the back roads and picking eggs and other stuff from her garden. My children aren’t able to spend weeks with her but they sure do enjoy going over to her house and running around. Mimi always makes it a point to come to gatherings for sacraments, birthday parties and deliver gifts for Christmas. Now, it’s not the gifts that matter but the time that she takes to think about my three kids and the time she spends with them when we see her. To this day my kids don’t even know that she is their step great grandmother, and the fact that she has never clarified it shows her love for them.

I have wonderful memories of my great grandparents from Kenedy- she was always cooking and he was always in his chair rolling his cigarettes while us great grandkids and cousins ran in and out of the house playing. And even though my kids may not have all of their great grandparents here with them, they are super lucky to have as many as they do. I cherish seeing the memories my children are building with my grandparents. I think it’s funny to see that the things my grandparents did with me, they now are doing with my kids.