A Tribute to a Beloved Grandma- My Source of Spring

Written by Hannah Henthorne…amazing daughter, accomplished student, avid runner, food nut, and blogger extraordinaire…

It is in those first few days of Spring that I think about her most. I’ve never given much thought to this seemingly strange occurrence; for there is no tangible reason I should think of her during this time. My grandmother was of a rare kind, increasingly difficult to come by these days. As most grandmas are, she loved her grandchildren and family endlessly. That love evident in the genuine smile and words she emitted when around us. She radiated warmth.

img009

As the years progressed, her health deteriorated, but her spirit for the simplicity of life around her blossomed. I looked forward to sleepovers at Grandma’s, but not because she spoiled me with gifts or took me to dinner at a restaurant that mom and dad never did. Instead, we stayed in. Comforted not by television, but by board games and laughter around grandma’s four person oak table. Standing in her retro orange-carpeted kitchen as she diligently taught my young and wandering mind the kitchen basics. Using windowsill herbs and garden fresh vegetables to teach me the best stuff comes from a bit of patience and a genetic green thumb.

One instance in particular stands out in my mind when I reach to recall a memory of her. It was the end of the night at one of those sleepovers; time for bed. We trekked up the stairs together, and began performing my pre sleep rituals. Grandma never left my side. I jumped in bed with as much energy as I could feign, telling grandma I wasn’t tired yet. She sat by my side a few minutes, tucking the blanket in on either side of my body, securing me in a sleep cocoon. Thinking back to that moment now, I felt as secure in that bed, warm and worry-free, as I do with the memory of her today. For it was that mere gesture of protection and love that defined her whole being.

Easter_with_Grandma

But that is not the memory I conjure up. It is what happened immediately after, as she was leaving my room. Just before she closed the door, I remembered to call out the words, “I love you.” I wasn’t sure if she heard, but I wanted to say it anyway, as a way to seal this perfect night. My answer was received as I heard the door quietly creak back open and the comforting sound of grandma’s voice reply, “I’ve been waiting all day to hear those words, I love you too.”

It is that simple yet slam-packed sentimental statement that has stayed with me all these years. Not only the memory of this moment but the moral as well. I learned the power of words, the power and rarity of pure love. This sentiment, something I thought Grandma knew, was enough to make her day as well as mine.

I’d like to think this moment we shared resonated with her as it did with me, for I lacked the courage to bring it up in person to her, out of fear it was a dream.

This memory gives me promise. It gives me hope during moments of doubt. Promise that souls like Grandma’s do exist in this increasingly insensitive world, and hope that I can one day grow to be the gentle, graceful woman she was.

It is the culmination of Grandma’s most gracious traits—her warmth, her ability to make a flower sprout from the smallest of seeds, and most importantly, the promise and hope she emitted—that have helped me conclude that she is my Spring. Her attributes are synonymous, if not identical, to the characteristics of springtime.

My winter can be warm if I so desire. All I have to do is think back to that night at Grandma’s, her smile, her hands, and the snow brightens to fresh grass; the crisp air no longer burns but warms my cheeks. All from the comfort of knowing Spring—and Grandma—is never too far away.

Written by Hannah Henthorne…amazing daughter, accomplished student, avid runner, food nut, and blogger extraordinaire…

The Glory of Grandma

As I have “matured” (ok, sounds  better than aged) as a mother, the beauty of becoming a grandmother is becoming much clearer. Perhaps parenting the teenage years and the mental anguish from raging hormones is sending me back to the glorious, sweet and simple days of babyhood… sleep, feed, change, cuddle, REPEAT….

Young mothers would argue these are not the simple years, but for those of us who have been there, we can honestly say it is so. In the midst of diapers and temper tantrums, all we wished was for children who could talk, potty and tie their shoes without our help.  Fortunately, those things do happen. However the temper tantrums continue on in more complicated ways, and there is a growing uncertainty that all the “right” things we’ve done are not a guarantee the end result will be an amazing young adult we’ve dreamed of. As our children grow there are too many unknowns, too many temptations, too many mistakes and any of them can turn everything on its head.

With mothering there is so much angst and dare I say, regret? Wanting to do our best each and every day, at the job we were blessed to be given. Loving so completely at the core of our being, yet falling into bed many nights berating ourselves for not being better…more patient, more available, more loving, less hurried, less negative, less stressed.

That’s where I see the glory of being Grandma. There is no self-loathing, second guessing… regrets. As a mother, you did that, you’ve been there. You did the best you could at the time. But now there are these sweet little babies you get to hold and try again without the familiar angst.

Sure, you absolutely worry about your grandbabies (don’t nobody cross Grandma!) but this time you are more patient, more available, more loving, less hurried, less negative and less stressed, at least when it comes to their day-to-day lives. The little things stay little and the big things matter. It isn’t because you are a better person than you used to be, you’re just not MOM. Perhaps its nature’s sweet reward.  Or as I like to say, grandkids are like a great, big, fat, delicious dessert- saving the best for last!

To recognize the hard earned role as Grandma, these are a few thoughts I jotted down one day. I think they speak to the essence of  what it truly means to be a grandparent.

That old on the outside, doesn’t mean old on the inside.

The answer to seconds is “yes”.

The best gifts are hand drawn and heart spoken.

Simple walks make great moments.

A heart has super human powers.

A dandelion is not a weed, it’s a flower.

Puddles do not have “no jumping” signs.

Fingerprints on glass are stains on the heart.

It’s OK to eat a little dirt occasionally.

“Why” is a perfectly good question.

Naps are good for your mood at any age.

Comments about body parts aren’t mean, just honest observations.

The best compliment is grandkids fighting over who sits in your lap or who gets to hold your hand.

 

I’m sure you may have a few favorite gems yourself, so feel free to share.

In angst for now-

Teri

 heirloom photos 1 006kids2014

…….2003     …….10 years later….                                                2013