How To Be A Good Grandmother

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard ….damn near impossible….a monumental task on the weekends..the biggest challenge of my life so far….can we just say only seven days left?…almost over and I have really, really run out of things to saybecome the bane of my existence…worse than I ever imagined it would be.


This week’s Spin Cycle is about Mottos. Which ones we would use as our life’s Book Title, if you will. I like that WWJD question, “What would Jesus do?” because it makes you stop and examine your motives. And also because I think that most people who claim to be religious ought to stop and ask themselves this question a little more often.

But that’s another post.

Anyway. My grandmother was such a fine example to me, such a positive force and so loving and forgiving that I have always wanted to be just like her. Not that I’m puttin’ Jesus down or anything. I think He would be pleased if I was more like Grandmama, too. So I like to ask myself this question: “What would Grandmama do?”

Because she got a lot of things right, y’all.

And now that I’m a grandmother, of a perfect, precious little girl named Freya, and also a tiny, soon to be born baby boy, this question becomes more appropriate now. I will be so thrilled if my grandchildren grow up to love and respect me even half as much as I loved and respected this grand lady.

IMG_0020 - Copy (3)

This here is a picture of my dear Grandmother, Gladys Parker, with my three sons. She was their great grandmother. They called her “Grandma Park.” This picture was actually taken in a park, about eleven years ago. This was before I got married the second time, before my son got married, before grandchildren started coming, before anybody went to college and before my grandmother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

I’ve posted this before, back in October of last year, right after she passed away. But it fits well for this topic, because it lists most of the tried and true saying that I learned at her knee. And she taught by example, not just by her words. Which is why I admire her so much.

Things I learned from my Grandmother

I learned that sometimes the best friend a child can have is her Grandmama…

For when all elase fails, ask her!

I learned that when you love someone, you make sacrifices

Lots of them, as many as you need to, for as long as you are able.

I learned that there is always a way to do something, if you “put your mind to it.”

I learned all the important things from her:

How to mix colors on a canvas, write a poem that will make people cry, cook collards, bathe a baby, load a washing machine, frost a cake, catch a crab with a chicken neck and some string and sit up straight!

I learned that a real lady is gracious and kind and speaks softly, never loudly

And makes sure she is dressed for the occasion.

I learned how to be polite and tolerant when people are rude and obnoxious

To people I dislike, or don’t approve of

And especailly to people I really do love, when they’re getting on my nerves.

I learned that charity begins in your own home

Then extends to your extended family

And that I have a responsibilty to others,

To my parents, and my ancestors, and my country.

I learned that alot of things are “too messy to fool with”

That it’s OK to get mad, but then you have to “let it go.”

That sometimes you have to lie awhile in a bed you’ve made

And some things in life are just pure wrong.

I learned that the best way to show love is by actions, not words.

That sometimes you have to stop and take a rest

But that it’s never too late to get started.

I learned that grownups can be alot of fun,

That childrens’ dreams really do matter

And that no matter how old you get, “You’re as young as you feel.”

I learned how to stop and let the ocean speak to me

And I never look at it without thinking of her.

I learned that you always, always, always defend the ones you love,

Refuse to listen to anyone criticize them,

And rush to help them when no one else does.

I learned that God answers prayers,

But not always right away.

And help often comes from the most unlikely places.

I’ve learned to never judge a book by it’s cover

That ordinary people can hide the greatest souls

And that poor people are sometimes the most generous, and the richest.

I learned that if you really feel like you should do something

Then you do it.

If you feel the need to say something

Then you say it.

But if it’s something “ugly” then you should probably bite your tongue.

I learned that you don’t say things like “pee” in front of the Preacher,

Or otherwise make a spectacle of yourself in public

And sometimes you just have to laugh.

I learned that it’s not necessary to tell everything

And to never be afraid to try something new.

To look at the clouds and try to imagine what kind of brush I’d use to paint them.

And always carry a light jacket if it looks like rain.

I learned that everything worth doing takes work

That some things are just out of our hands

And when something is finished, leave it be.

I learned that The Rock of Gilbralter

is sometimes disguised as a short, round, grey headed woman,

That talking things over with her

Could put anything into perpective

That no matter where I go, or what I do, or who I become

She will always believe in me and always love me.

I learned from her that family is the most important thing,

That children are to be cherished and protected,

And to be proud of the hard work of all my parents and grandparents.

She taught me that solitude can be a good thing

And no matter how alone I am,

I am never completely alone.

She taught me all about unconditional love

And, in doing so, the Love of God.

My greatest regret is not having a daughter to name after her.

My greatest hope is that someday

I will be as beautiful as she is.

And my greatest wish is for her to know

how significant she has been in my life

And how much a part of me she has become.


I should probably mention that I have another blog that is devoted to her memory. It is called The Rock of Gibraltar and I have posted many of the poems she wrote, as well as old photos and her life story. I really need to work on it some more, and I will, when I get finished with the Month From Hades.