“The Gift of Grandparents – My June 2020 Trip to Tennessee”
My Tennessee Grandparents
I grew up in Northeast Tennessee in a town called Kingsport. It was a fairly small town, but I really enjoyed living there. I lived about 15 minutes from my mom’s parents so I got to see my Tennessee grandparents a few times each month, and it was such a blessing.
I remember many sleepovers when my TN grandma and I would play card games and then I would always get a bowl of delicious ice cream. My grandpa had a shed in the backyard that housed all of his yard tools, and I was always fascinated by what I could find in there.
Being able to go over to my grandparents was like a little vacation each time I visited. I lost my grandpa on my 21st birthday in 2013. Although his health had been failing for some time, losing him was so very sad, and I think about him often.
My grandma has been in and out of different independent living/assisted living/nursing home facilities since then. With COVID-19 going on, I knew it would be much different seeing her when I went back home. The good news is that the nursing home where she is right now recently opened up so that residents could come outside and sit at a round table with a glass wall between them and their visitors. We were also required to wear masks, but finally getting to sit with my grandma was such a blessing.
It was such a gift to be able to be there with her in person and tell her I love her. Thank the Lord too for technology as she also has a “GrandPad” which is like FaceTime allowing us to talk even when I am six hours away here in Myrtle Beach, SC.
I truly believe that technology is a gift from God because He knew it would be a great way to communicate with our grandparents and the parents/family members that are in nursing homes and places on serious lockdown during the extremely difficult COVID-19 times in which we find ourselves.
My Indiana Grandparents
Because I grew up in TN, I did not get to see my Indiana grandparents nearly as often as my TN grandparents. My dad’s dad passed when I was very young, and I didn’t get to know him very well. My main connection with him came through the great stories my dad and family would share about him.
My grandma remarried though, and I felt as if my step-grandpa filled the void beautifully. My Indiana grandparents would typically come down to Tennessee every spring at least once to watch me play a baseball game.
No exaggeration at all! For like six years in a row, I would hit a homerun every single time they came and watched! They were my good luck charm during baseball season, and if they could have attended every game, I know for sure I would have made it to the Big Leagues!
My grandma celebrated her 90th birthday a few weeks ago, and I was able to FaceTime her. Getting to wish her a happy birthday and having the privilege to tell her one last time how much I love her is a memory I will treasure forever. Technology was once again is a huge gift from God.
In June, I was able to visit my family in Tennessee and spend some time with my parents. During that trip while we were fly fishing, my dad got a text that my grandma had fallen and her health was failing very quickly. She got to meet Jesus face to face on Sunday, June 14th, and I know I will see her in Heaven one day.
The Gift of Grandparents
Two of my Grandparents are still here, and the other three are in Heaven. I thought the only reason for Jana’s and my trip home was to see my Mom and Dad and my Tennessee Grandma, but God’s purpose was so much bigger – as I visited one grandma and said goodbye to another, I appreciated so much the gift of grandparents.
Many of our amazing clients are grandparents and from the perspective of a grandchild, you all are absolutely amazing. I am so thankful for every single day, every conversation, and every thought that I have had associated with my Grandparents. They are all such a blessing to me and have enriched my life so much. I will be forever grateful.
Psalm 103:17 “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children.”