Friday, March 20, 2009

An Influence Like None Other

Ellie. She was soft, pink and had a long snout. Her ears were lined with satiny purple fabric that I would roll between my thumb and forefinger while I sucked my other thumb. She was the best elephant I ever had. I loved her in everyplace I could; home, grocery store, friend’s houses and even (GULP) at girl’s camp.

She was a memory for me. A memory I never actually remembered. A memory of my maternal grandmother. Being my last living grandparent, I hardly got to know my Grandma Pearl by age two when she passed. But I had Ellie. And she was a very real symbol of the love of my grandmother.

When I was close to 12, my dad told me about his mother, Grandma Edith. I will never forget that talk I had with him. I watched his clear blue eyes swell with tears as he spoke of his sweet mother and all her virtues. His speech broke as he told me how she had died in a terrible car accident on the way home from a trip when he was 15. He tenderly spoke of the souvenir that had been in her suitcase just for him. And then he told me I was just like her. From that time on, I always felt a connection to this grandmother I never knew.

I had two connections to my grandparents. One, a physical toy, stitched with love. One, an emotional bond, understood only to God himself.

There have been many times in my life when these connections to my grandmothers pulled me through. Especially when I was younger. I held Ellie close and cried through many childhood problems. Even some adolescent problems, seeing how I slept with that elephant until I graduated high school. She mended many broken hearts. As I grew and problems became more serious and too difficult for a plush elephant, I felt the Heavenly Influence of angels, and I am sure that Grandma Edith was there providing all the angelic support she could. Oft times I felt her close. Even though I had never met her in this life, there were definitely times I knew she was close to me, helping me through a rough patch.

These two grandmothers influenced my life -- even beyond the grave.

My sweet children are blessed to have two grandparents in their lives. My husband’s parents are both living, thankfully, and influence my children’s lives on a regular basis.

As I watch Grammy sit on the floor, so she can be eye to eye with her grandchildren, my heart melts. I see the good it does for my children to tell her, while she places a hand on their cheek and her eyes widen in anticipation, about the most important Pokémon card ever. Or how she claps for them when they perform a song or dance or even make her laugh.

I watch my children’s eyes sparkle with laughter at their Papa who, even as he ages, still dances like a monkey and tells the silliest stories.

Grammy and Papa are on the other end of the phone when my children go poopy for the first time and want to tell someone. They are at concerts, baptisms, church programs. They remember birthdays and get so excited with the children for Christmas. Papa helps Hubby with priesthood blessings. Grammy watches the little ones when another child is at the hospital. There are times when a child gets SO upset and just won’t calm down. After a while, when I am worn out of trying to figure a solution to helping this child feel better, we call Grammy. And she makes everything better. Just by talking to the child.

She is grandma and that is what she does. Makes things better.

And then there are the hugs. Warm grandparent hugs. The kind of hugs where you can get lost in. The kind that you get the air squeezed out of you.


If the influence I felt from grandparents was so real after they had passed, I can’t even begin to imagine the influence these angel grandparents have on my children here in this life. I really think Heavenly Father did a great job with these two. They are perfect for my kiddos and I am so thankful to them. For their earthly influence in my children’s lives.


Boy Mom said...

Grandparents are amazing! my older boys were blessed to have all but one great grandparent living.

Amazing how Grandparents make you feel so loved.

Erin said...

My grandma died five years ago. I still miss her. Thanks for this post!

Jill said...

Thanks for the grandparents post, it's a great reminder of how they influenced my life growing up and what my parents are doing for my children now.

Fiauna said...

I am blessed enough to still have living grandparents. My kids have actually been able to get to know their great-grandparents. Lucky them.

Kate said...

It sounds like your kids have great grandparents. My kids do too and I like you are so thankful for their influence. Great post.