We all have read or heard or used the above sayings about what grandparents mean to our grandchildren. When I was asked to write this column, I decided to write about what grandchildren mean to grandparents.
In June of 2004, when my beloved husband of 45 years, Sid, passed away after a very brief illness, my world stood still. Breathing was even something I had to remember to do and thinking of the future without him was too much to bear.
Within hours of his passing, my grandchildren were arriving at my home with their parents. Their hugs, their kisses, their needs helped me to live through my despair and realize that they needed me and they were watching me to see that I was okay in order for them to be okay. It was truly an amazing time. I always knew how lucky I was through the years to have these six delicious young people in our lives (now, I have eight, with one more on the way), but at that moment in time, I realized how much they give to us.
They fortified my resolve to survive. I spoke at the funeral and directly to them. I held their hands when I needed the strength only they could give and, yes, I learned to breathe, again…to share their joys, to console them, to know that they are Sid and Sid is within each one of them. I even had my knees replaced to enable me to be whole physically for them because I knew they needed the complete Grandma.
I always adore my children but even more, now, because they have given me these outstanding, precious little people….each with their own personalities and each so special in their own ways. Any of you who have visited my Legislative office know that I have one saying all over the office, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove….but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” I would sincerely hope that our grandchildren realize as they grow up how important they are in our lives. We should tell them, always, so they never feel we take them for granted.
In the depths of despair they can make us smile…..give us purpose…..give us strength…and in the heights of joy they bring us laughter, joy and, of course, pride.
We are so lucky, my friends!!!!!!
Please note: This article by Legislator Jacobs was printed in “Grandparent News” a publication of the Child Care Council of Nassau.