This week we are talking about Grandmothers, and by that I mean Grandmothers of girls with Rett syndrome. I’m lucky enough to know so many fabulous Grandmothers now, most of them through facebook. I know I can’t speak for every relationship, but I can speak for the ones I know.
Here’s what I love about them, they are active, they are never scared or intimidated to ask questions, whatever they may be. Speaking from experience, they get involved, they open chats to me and send me pictures, give me ideas, it is truly wonderful. In may cases it’s the Grandmother who reaches out first, that’s because she’s looking. Looking for you, because you matter.
They are amazing, they are the rocks that support you when you get the diagnosis, they pick you up off the floor, they hold you as you cry. For many, they are the first person that is called whenever you need help. They are always there, a great big blanket of love and support.
At the same time, these wonderful women are dealing with their own grief, the grief of their child and the grief of their Grandchild, like every parent and Grandparent they long for the things that they can share with their grandchild, great Mothers become great Grandmothers, with dreams hopes and desires for their Grandchildren too. On that horrible day, she becomes the eye of the hurricane, the eye of calm, at the same time she is wrestling with all the same emotions. She is also struggling to understand what this means and what the future holds. There is only so much I can say about this, I’d rather let the words of people who the support most talk about it.
“I sat in the lounge with my mum and sisters and we all wept, but Mum wept the hardest because she grieved for two people. Her daughter and her grand daughter.”
Regardless of where you are.
“I remember seeing a consultant who told me something was seriously wrong with my child and that she may die young, my mum literally picked me up off the floor outside the hospital, even though crying herself, and held me till I stopped shaking.”
Over time as your strength grows, she is always there to hold you and stop you shaking. She is there through regression, she is there for all appointments. She is there to make sure you can go out to dinner and have a date night. She encourages you, she protects you. She tells you, you’re equipped, that you can do this.
At some point she becomes more than just a Mom to you, her empathy allows her to help others, her compassion that helps to build bridges, she cares, because it is in her nature.
“What makes my mom awesome? she talks to anybody and everybody, makes friends anywhere she goes. Her willingness to help and reach out without knowing who is she helping out.”
When you need those moments to crumble and cry, the moments where you can let down that wall of strength, your Mum is there to look after your child, and then she’s there to look after you, to help you find that inner strength again.
She is your respite.
“My parents have been invaluable – they periodically step in and hold the fort while we take a few moments to crumble.”
She is your right hand.
“I wouldn’t know where to start with my mom. She attends meetings with me, hospital appointments, researches equipment, medical problems, social care laws, she is my right hand.”
Through everything, most importantly, she is a Grandmother to your daughter, there to laugh, cry, share, to look after, nurture, protect in every way she can. To share that special bond with your child that only Grandmothers can.
She stands there hard and unbent in the face of the hurricane, she is wonderful, she is your rock.
“My mom is my strength when I do not have anymore to give, she is my smile on days I can’t find my own, but most importantly my amazing mother has become an even more amazing grandmother! She’s my daughters biggest cheerleader and biggest hug giver and one of the best friends we both have!”
She is your rock.
I realise that it is not only Grandmothers that do these things, there are substitute Grandmothers (Fairy Godmothers) who do all these invaluable things too, there are fabulous, Grandfathers, Sisters, Aunts and so many others. Whoever that person is in your life, send me a photo of them with your daughter and we can add them to the Album.
The new Album
Thank you to Bon, Donna, Kelly, Kerry, Heather, Yazmin and Faith, for letting me in.