For some reason, I've developed an interest in the Jewish faith. I think some parts and prayers are so symbolic, I have no idea why we gave them up. In picking up books here and there, I came across this book pictured above. I love it. I'm reading it the second time through. Rachel Remen is a doctor, in her sixties, who shares the impact and blessing of a beloved grandfather, who only lived until she was seven. It's quite inspiring.
Awhile back, before I found this book, I had an interesting conversation about quantity versus quality of time spent with little people. The person I was conversing with shared that she had a grouchy grandma she spent lots of time with and a sweet grandma she didn't see as much. Now that she and her siblings are grown-up, they prefer to spend their time with the sweet grandma.
This conversation caused me to really examine why I so want to spend a lot of time with my gramerlings. Was I investing into the lives of these little ones so they would grow up and want to spend time with me? Was this simply a selfish pursuit? I didn't exactly know. I hadn't thought about it in that light.
Somethings I did know. I knew I wanted to be a grandma just as soon as I realized there would be no more children. I also knew I wanted to be an Auntie Mame type of grandma. It was a surprise to me still the depth of love I feel for them. I really didn't think it was possible to love like I loved my own three children. It is a wonderful and terrible knowledge. Wonderful in the way your heart swells when they reach for you, or tell you they love or miss you. Terrible as you have the same fears for them as you had for your own, only you have no control or say. Thankfully for me, their parents love them so, and want to make an abundant, happy life for them. I know many grandparents who lack that luxury. I also knew I wanted them to know how important they are to me. I don't think that's an easy task unless you give them a lot of your time and attention.
In the book, Dr. Remen talks about going to her grandfather's everyday after daycare and then school. Each day they shared tea in just the way he took tea with adults. Hot tea in a glass, sipped through a sugar cube between one's teeth. After tea, he would place his hand on her head and pray a blessing, mentioning all about her that was right as well as concerns she expressed in their time together.
She says, "These few moments were the only time in my week when I felt completely safe and at rest. My family of physicians were always struggling to learn more and be more. It seemed there was always more to know. It was never enough. If I brought home a 98 on a test from school, my father would ask, "And what happened to the other two points?" I pursued those two points relentlessly throughout my childhood. But my grandfather did not care about such things. For him, I was already enough. And somehow, when I was with him, I knew with absolute certainty that this was so."
When I read this, I cried, and I knew the answer to the question I posed.
"And somehow, when I was with him, I knew with absolute certainly that this was so."
That's it. That's why I want to spend time with my grandchildren, and that is exactly how I want them to feel with me. Fifty plus years later this doctor is unconcerned with the caffeine or sugar she ingested, she just knows how that great love made her feel.
So, I now know, I'm not interested in spending time with them so they'll love me when I'm older. I don't know if I'll even get to be an old person. I want them to know, as often as possible, that for this day, I just think they are wonderful, practically perfect in every way, beautiful, the joy of my heart, and that's enough.