The Story of Grandma’s Heart

My story started with this…

A poem called “Grandma’s Heart.”

These words penned nearly 20 years ago have shaped my life and led me on the path I have walked since then. And who would have known.

I was a newly-married wife, preparing for a family. My mom was a new Grandma, thanks to my sister, and was ready to enjoy the fruits of her labors. (4 labors to be exact!). A Grandma’s gushing, turned into a suggestion to start a business- a business that would be all things “Grandma”.

But what would those “things” be?

T-shirts, mugs, toys?

Not really what I had in mind. What I had in mind was capturing the “heart” of Grandma. What I had in mind had to do with the sweet memories I had of my Grandma. The little love pats, the candy dish, the Christmas’ and summers spent at her house. How do you bottle that?

My best bottle came in the form of words and eventually things that captured and held those words. Words which over the years have resonated with many who share the same thoughts about grandmas, moms, babies and family.

I initially wanted to do a children’s book with Grandma’s Heart, but in those early days, lack of experience and resources forced me to think of other alternatives. The first product was a matted print we sold to a few children’s stores. The feedback and reorders allowed us to eventually offer frames and greeting cards and a entire collection of “Heart” poems.

Grandma’s were crying and buying!

In addition to the poem, we added other features to the mats and frames, like sweet organdy ribbons and our special envelope to hold a letter from Grandma stored on the frame back.    (20 years ago, this ribbon thing was really new!)

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The envelope on the back of the poems was a sentimental touch that allowed each Grandma to really make this gift to her grandbaby her own. The envelope had a little poem and Grandma would write a letter from her heart and store it on the back of the frame. Those first Grandma’s who wrote these letters, now have grown grandchildren with handwritten words they will treasure. Customers have shared stories with me about how special this part of the gift has become. One young mother lost her mother several years after her first child was born. She was so thankful to have that letter written to her child from her mother- a memory beyond words.

GMHEART-letter

 As the years passed, the market and product demands changed. As saving and displaying ultrasound images became popular, we added Grandma’s Heart ultrasound cards and frames. We also found many Grandma’s buying Grandma’s Heart for themselves and their grandma friends, so we added a home decor styled frame. We also coupled Grandma’s Heart and Grandpa’s Heart poems for a single frame for baby’s room.

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The latest introduction has been framed prints with a more current nursery theme and ones that can also be personalized with Grandma’s own unique name…Mimi, Gigi, Gran. We can customize the name, as we address the gift needs of today’s Grandmas.

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As we near the 20th anniversay of Grandma’s Heart. I am reflecting on the journey.

So much has come from Grandma’s Heart. Much has changed in the world, and in my world yet in some ways… nothing has changed. Changing design trends, marketing, competition, the internet, these things have changed. I’ve changed too. Over two decades, I have gone from that newly married young woman to an experienced mother of 4 growing children. Ironically, I am still not a Grandma much to people’s surprise! (oh, we thought you were a grandma to write all these things!)

There is one thing that hasn’t changed.

Grandma’s Heart

The sentiment written nearly 20 years ago still captures the heart of grandmas. How fortunate for all the grandbabies and the grandbabies to come that they will still enter a world with grandmas. To celebrate the past, present and future, this year I am working on my dream of a children’s book and a few other special products to share with grandmas everywhere.

Another chapter being written…

Teri

Do you have any ideas for Grandma’s Heart gifts you would like me to create? Do you have a story of Grandma’s Heart to share? Share with me on Facebook, in comments or email info@grandparentgiftco.com.

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Give us your input in our Grandma’s Heart Giveaway, March 10-31 by following this link here

A New Mom’s Ah-ha Moment: A Mom’s Love

I still remember a telephone conversation I had years ago with one of my sales reps. We were talking work and the conversation turned to babies. She shared with me a conversation she had with her daughter, a recent new mom.  A conversation she will never forget.

It impacted me deeply, so I chose to write about it.

New Mom. Orange Slice. The Grandparent Gift Co.

This is her story…

One day her daughter called her out of the blue…sobbing. Not a little choked up, but bawling. You know the sniffling, stuttering, impaired type of crying.

Of course, her Mama Bear instincts took hold and in a brief second, her mind filled with terrible things. The new grandbaby was terribly sick. Her husband was in a car accident. She was calling with a devastating health diagnosis.

Is it only me, or does your Mommy brain work this way too?

Well, happily for her, none of her fears were realized. When her daughter gathered herself enough to speak, she told her Mom, she finally “got” it.

Yes she finally GOT IT.

She got the depth of how much her Mom loved her. It dawned on her that the indescribable love she felt for her baby, her mother felt for her. It was a moment of total clarity and understanding.

She got all the sacrifices, all the worry, ALL of it. To her core she was honored, humbled, amazed and profoundly changed.

I wrote, Mom, Now That I’m a Mother because I thought what seemed at first, to be a very personal revelation, was actually quite universal for those blessed with a loving mother.

I share it with you here and hope you can find a way to tell your mother you GET IT.

AND YOU LOVE HER!

 

Mom, Now That I’m a Mother…

Until I became a Mother,

I did not understand,

The profound sense of love,

in a Mother’s heart and hands.

As I whisper, “Mommy loves you”,

I rock my precious child to sleep.

Small perfection in my arms,

sweet breaths, slow & deep.

I now see me as a baby,

you’re rocking me to sleep.

You whisper, “Mommy loves you,

my heart is yours to keep.

At last I recognize your love,

as a Mother I now see.

As I hold and love my child,

you feel that love for me.

I will always be your baby,

despite the years that pass.

You have given me my life,

and a mother’s heart to last.

The greatest thanks I can offer,

more than words could ever say

is to give my child the love,

you have given me everyday.

copyright Teri Harrison

FIND THIS POEM in a card and frame on my website www.grandparentgiftcompany.com

What has been a profound realization for you when your baby was born? How has your relationship with your mom changed as you became a mother?

 

Pet Loss Poem: Pawprints Left by You

I wrote Pawprints Left by You, a pet loss poem, after my husband and I lost our first “baby”.  Kip, a German shepherd was our first parenting experience. You know what I mean. He lived until our first two boys were 3 and 4 years old. They don’t have too many memories from that time, but we certainly do.

His distaste for the UPS man, but his love of ripping open the boxes he delivered. His obsession with frisbees, his fear of the hose and loud noises, and the way he turned his head when you were talking to him. Like he understood everything you were saying- as pictured below!

Pet Loss Poem: The Orange Slice

 

What struck me the most after Kip was gone, was the silence.

I understood the contradiction of “deafening silence”.

When coping with the loss of a pet, I think the lines, “I still listen for you, and miss you everyday.” ring so true with pet owners and address the loneliness when the pets sounds and warmth no longer fill a home.

No human will ever greet you at the door like a pet. On your worst day, they love you the same.

I  have found my words of sympathy have struck a cord with  so many grieving the loss of a pet, whether dealing with the death of a dog or a cat. For National Pet Month, I share my words and hope they will bring comfort to those remembering a beloved pet this month.

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Visit our website to see all our Pawprints Left by You gifts.

Do you a pet loss story to share? Please comment on our post.