Happy 2016 Global Grammas! Grammas are wonderful people. You don’t have to actually have grandchildren to be a Gramma or even be old or female for that matter. Grammas are those people we find in life who make things happen. Some are BIG things like raising millions for charities, some are small things like helping a child understand how money works.
Grammas are the people who are kind, teach important lessons and move their communities forward. Grammas sit with the dying and offer comfort; bake stuff for schools or meetings or funerals; knit warm hats and mitts for the homeless; make quilts to send overseas; put boxes of stuff together for poor children or send letters to military members serving away from home. Grammas also take time to help with homework, play hide-and-seek, play in puddles, go for haircuts and all sorts of really fun things that parents never seem to have the time or energy to do.
I work with an incredible group of Grammas at a hospital auxiliary thrift store. Some of these Grammas have been showing up two or three days a week for over 40 years to sort through bags of donations and get items ready for sale in the store. Some of their names identify them as “women of a certain age”…Myrna, Grace, Ellen…the names given to girls born into farming families in the ‘40’s or 50’s who have lived their lives working hard for long hours. These Grammas bring their considerable energy to volunteering for the good of the community. They inspire me.
Grammas all over the world inspire me. Grammas who take over the care of grandchildren when the parents can’t or won’t care for their children themselves. Grammas who create informal orphanages for children in the community who need a place to be loved and nourished. The Grammas who can be relied on for love and discipline.
For me, being a Gramma means making sure my one grandchild stays connected to her family even though she lives far away and had limited contact. For me, being a Gramma also means being responsible for helping to shape the community I live in.
If I want to live in friendly community, I need to be friendly with my neighbours. If I want to live in a clean community, I need to pick up garbage when I see it on the street. If I want to live in a community that is inclusive of all its members I need to I make eye contact and say hello to people when I pass them on the street.
It’s sometimes funny how surprised the homeless woman or the tough-guy teen is when a Gramma says hello to them. Try it. It’s fun!
Make a point of reaching out to people. You might be surprised at some of the reactions!