I am a Grandmother

Amidst the book reviews, the art shows, the teaching, listening to live music, learning more about humanity, dealing with dark days of struggle and being elated by utter joy…2017 saw me swooshed into the beautiful experience of being a grandmother.  I’m surprised that I haven’t written about that magic up until now.  There is something very holy…something very sacred… about finding myself being the matriarch…in finding myself in this role in my family.  For some reason, this morning, I take pause.

It is both Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day…an interesting combination of the giving of oneself and the pouring out of love.  It’s a good day for this writing.

It was a challenge for me for several years, watching my daughter struggle with fertility issues.  Even as I type those words, they seem to minimize the challenges and heart ache that are at the root.  They do not capture loss, waiting, intervention, hope, and hopelessness.  But, there you have it.

I watched as other grandmothers scrolled photographs of their grandchildren.  Admittedly, there was a strange experience of feeling that heart-warming beautiful awe of lovely babies, while in a secret place, there was pain, sadness and longing.  I wore a big smile.  I laughed and cooed and celebrated through those challenging years, at the joy of other parents and grandparents.  But, always, I felt protective and hugely sad and worried for my child, my baby girl, my wonderfully prepared daughter.  I also swore that I would ‘never’ flaunt my good fortune if the tides should turn and I should be that woman who found herself a grandmother. (how wrong I was on that)

My daughter and I, together, in Henderson Park, Lethbridge 1980.

Kath and Erin 1980

But, all of that waiting, years of waiting, was to come to an end!


I became a grandmother!  I do not take any of that for granted and not a day goes by where I do not think about the blessing that came to all of us in the form of my grandson.  I lit this candle as I headed over to hospital, in anticipation of his birth.


We were all pretty bagged…Nanny, Uncle, Auntie and Gramma.  We had been pacing and waiting and napping and praying for some hours…but the morning of the miracle, we looked out on this sunrise and were blessed.


Even as I look back at these images, I weep.  Love is a miracle. Life is pure and utter grace.


I became a grandmother, that day.  And…everyone was going to know it!


Life is about cliche, really.  The journey IS marked by the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’…the ‘happy’ and ‘sad’.  It’s that simple.  When given a blessing, celebrate it!  Hold on to the memory of it.  Never let it go.

In moving forward, I feel utter responsibility to my grandson.  When I feel his small hand circling my wrist, in the dark, I sense that he is trusting me to his tender care.  That sort of vulnerability is so inspiring.  I can not fail this child.  With every single good intention, I want to be here for him…whatever he may need from me.  I want to support his parents in all ways.  I want to share nature and stories and history and family with him.  I want to giggle and celebrate and oooohhhh! and AWE!!  with him.

How quickly the time flies by!



Steven David Barns 15 Days Old