My dear kids,

I am so thankful that you have 3 grandparents living and participating in your lives. Grandparents can teach you so many things – they have wisdom from long lives and many experiences. They can spoil you when your parents have to say “no,” and set some boundaries your parents don’t.

My dad’s father died less than 2 weeks before I was born. He had emphysema from lifelong smoking and working in the tire factories. My mom’s mother suffered from multiple sclerosis and died when I was an infant. My mom’s father was also a lifelong smoker and died when I was 3; I can barely remember him. I have more memories of my dad’s mother, who died of a stroke when I was 8. She sometimes served as my babysitter, and we spent time at her house for holidays and other family gatherings. Your Aunt Cathy probably doesn’t have even that much, though; they were all gone by the time she was old enough to remember.

Sadly, my own mother died shortly after your father and I became engaged. I know she would have loved to meet you and watch you grow. My dad lives far away in South Carolina, but comes to visit 2-3 times each year and we occasionally manage video chats, too. You spend much more time with your dad’s parents. Your Lola takes care of you regularly, and she truly dotes on both of you.

I pray these three will remain healthy and vibrant for a long time, long enough for you to store up plenty of memories, build relationships, and absorb many of their stories. Your lives will be richer for it.


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