NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Kindred
I have always known that I’m blessed to have all my grandchildren living close to me. I know grandmothers whose grandchildren are spread out across the United States and a few who have grands in other countries. I’ve talked to them enough to know that it isn’t easy being so far away from those you love. They connect with them via FaceTime and make the best of it, but it’s very challenging for them.
Now I have an even deeper appreciation for these grandparents because, for over three months, I didn’t see my grandkids but a few times. While my husband was fighting COVID, I stayed with him in the hospital. I came home a handful of times, and once or twice near the end of his recovery I did get to run home for a little longer. The rest of the time, I only saw my grandchildren on FaceTime.
We missed celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and some birthdays. There wasn’t anything I could do about it, but it taught me a few things about my grandchildren.
5 Things I Learned
Nothing compares to human touch—especially with grandkids. I absolutely adore the feeling of my grands’ arms around my neck, holding their hands and their sweet kisses. Not being able to touch them for months was torture!
We can still find ways to connect and keep up with them. Not a day went by that I didn’t think of them, pray for them and most days I made sure I talked to them. My oldest granddaughter is 15 so I could text with her. I might have been out of their sight, but I didn’t want to be forgotten and I sure didn’t forget them.
The youngest grandchild is saying a few words—yes, she can say Nana!—and at night my daughter would FaceTime me during her daughter’s bath time. She loves her bath and I loved being a part of her joy as she splashed and played in the water.
The sound of their laughter is music to a nana’s ears—even when it’s miles away. When I had a bad day (and there were lots of them) just hearing their laughter could lift my spirits.
I was surprised how much I missed them. My grandmother used to say, “You never miss water until the well runs dry.” I was homesick for many things while we were at the hospital, but missing my grandchildren was like a knife in my heart.
I’m even more thankful now that I live close to them. There may be more times in the future when for one reason or another I can’t be with them, but I hope not. They are my sunshine and not being near them takes my sunshine away!
Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother, from which this article was adapted. She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to seven precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at NanaHood.com.