Mission – Grandparenting

So what if my pajamas and items from my make up case and toiletry bag had to made two trips through the airport security scanners in Kansas City.  And so what if the rental car agent didn’t know if the freeway to Nebraska City had re-opened after being flooded a couple of weeks ago. And who cares that it takes a full day to arrive and a full day to return home after visiting our three grandchildren. After all, we are grandparents on a mission.  And we’re happy to say, in our visit last weekend – our mission was accomplished, till the next time.

It’s been seven years since our daughter, Corinne, died of breast cancer and left three children for her husband, Bill, to raise alone.  We, her mother and step-dad, the grandparents on her side of the family, have extended offers to help our son-in- law but he assets that he does not need our help. So since we need to feel useful we have given ourselves an assignment, one that only we can fulfill– to help our daughter’s children stay connected to her.

We’ve always lived a long day’s drive, or at least one plane ride away from this family, but now it takes two planes and a three hour rental car ride from Kansas City to visit them. But for grandparents with a mission, these are just small inconveniences.  During last weekend’s visit we were able to accomplish some of the more traditional grandparent things, as well as some things our daughter would do herself if she were here:

– Cheering for our grandson and his father on senior night at the high school football game. And we were the first, (perhaps the only people), to ask for an autograph on our grandson’s official football player portrait.

-Photographing our granddaughter and her girl friend’s French braiding lesson and posting it on facebook.

-Holding a discussion with our granddaughter and her girl friend about “boyfriend troubles” where we were able to tell the story of what our daughter did when she was a young teenager and a boyfriend broke up with her. The girls especially liked the part where the boy wanted to get back with her and she told him, “Sorry, you had your change. You don’t get another one.”

-Shopping with the three teenagers to get a late Father’s Day (or early Christmas present) for their Dad.

-Taking our eldest grandson to the Lincoln Foundation to help him understand about the memorial fund we started on behalf of our daughter, a fund he and his siblings will be taking over once they are old enough.

3 thoughts on “Mission – Grandparenting

  1. Shiela, I’ve been reading your stories and really enjoying them. I think all these short pieces collected together would make an excellent book. But you probably already thought of that. Thank you for sharing them and for all the good work that you do. Hello to Rich.
    gh

  2. Grayson,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. You are one of my most admired artists, so any praise from you is a great compliment. I am still working on the manuscript about my experiences with my children through their illnesses and deaths and I’m determined to get this out in 2012. I love the idea of a collection of short pieces after dealing with this whole manuscript. The blog pieces are a way to stay fresh and conduct a writing practice on the topics of the soon to be published book.
    Love to Toni,
    Sheila

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