“When the grandmothers speak the earth will be healed.” I read this on a card today. Grandmothers hold a power of greatness unlike any other. Perhaps that’s where the title GRANDmother (or father) began. These elders are privy to a deeper sense of life because they understand generation, a legacy to their love. There is passion in the melding of change, a shift from mine to theirs and back to mine again. We embrace a conviction we can impart more wisdom in young lives. Is it possible we also bear a hope of absolution for the mistakes we made as caregivers to their parents?
I have three remarkable children — all adults — all active, caring and promising in their self discovery. Their expressions in the world are as individual as they are: determined, sensitive, pragmatic. As parents we like to believe their successes have been a product of our dedication to them. Conversely, we reason their shortcomings are a fluke of nature, not our own misguided efforts. In reality, they are the sum of what we did or didn’t do, their own process of self-actualization and a seed expanding into the mystery.
“Human beings, vegetables, cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune.” Einstein fuses ALL in the ambiguity of life.
In my personal realm of grand-parenting, I stand with a handful of close friends who also hold the esteemed title. We all treasure the offspring of our own, now-grown children. I watch in awe my friend who tenders deep affection and care to her two little ones, through sharing her family homestead. On their mountain they explore, taste, smell and breathe nature in all its beauty. Another friend recently moved back to the city where her daughter and granddaughter live. When they shared the trimming of her holiday tree, I wonder whose enchantment was more apparent. No doubt it was equal in joy and delight. Unlike my friends who live close to their grand darlings, I have recently left the immediate area where mine reside. In absentia, I remain their “grammy” in new ways. We travel to see one another; we write letters. One evening I listened to my granddaughter read through the marvel of a webcam. We are surely connected by our hearts.
The stories we pass long continue to be written. As matriarch of family near or far, we hold a space for abiding love — with zeal, time, guts and a bequest for the tale to go on. Of course these some-tiny and all youthful loved ones will carry the torch long after the grandmothers and fathers have gone. Our hope is we’ve made a difference in their lives, left them with beautiful memories and trusted lessons. Our gift is the sacred place they occupy in our hearts — our children, their children, generations of a soul team.