Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Message from Meemaw

What a privilege to be asked to contribute to our children’s blog.  I have laughed and cried along with them as I have read each entry.  My message is from the perspective of “Meemaw” and to discuss some ways that Bob (Papa) and I have tried to come-alongside Jeremy, Christy and their children in the midst of what will be a lifelong trial – one filled with many joys but also with many frustrations and things that are just down right hard.

Meemaw and Jo in the snow.
How are grandparents to help?  By all means the worst thing you can do is say, “I’ve raised my kids, now they can raise their own;” or, “I am just too busy to help.” Everyone can do something! Thankfully, we live near our children which affords us the privilege of seeing our children and grandchildren often and allows us the opportunity to be of help to them.  Let me give you some concrete ways that I believe have proven helpful:
  1. Pray often for your children and grandchildren.  This can be done no matter how far away you live.
  2. Don’t be quick to judge!  Bob and I are not living the minute by minute trial that has been entrusted to our children.  Our policy is to offer advice when asked!  
  3. Be sensitive when Mom and Dad need a break.  Let that break be what helps them most and not what might be most convenient to you.  We’ve found that Saturday mornings seem to work best and do our best to offer that at least once per month.
  4. In the words of my dear mother, “Open your eyes!”  In other words, be observant to ways you can relieve stress  - wash a load of clothes, clean the bathrooms, pick up toys, pick up siblings from school, wash the dishes, clean hand prints off windows (unbelievable sometimes!), provide a timely meal or money for one, etc.  You get the idea.  Those day to day tasks that can seem so overwhelming when you are at the end of you rope both physically and emotionally.  
  5. Be a sounding board!  Sometimes Mom and Dad just need to unload, and it may not always be pretty. Let them blow-off without judging.
  6. Have a sense of humor!  (I have to admit that can be difficult when a “Poo Digger” was not worn and should have been!)
  7. Love those grandchildren!  They are each a precious gift from the Lord whether typically developing or not.  Find ways to spend time with each to show them that they are special to you.
  8. Thank the Lord for each grandchild you have!  Each one has been equipped to do God’s will and serve the purposes He has planned for them.
  9. Recognize that God in His sovereignty has given these precious children to all of the family to display His glory and for our eternal good.  Pray that the Lord will further His Kingdom through these special children.
  10. Hold fast to each moment you have.  None of us is promised tomorrow.  Treasure the time the Lord gives you with your children and grandchildren.
These thoughts have been somewhat random and certainly not exhaustive.  Hopefully, they have provided some ideas to those of you who may be grandparents of special needs children to begin thinking of ways to encourage your children and grandchildren.  How we praise the Lord for each grandchild He has graciously given to us!
Meemaw with Jay back when you could hold him still.

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