Reflections about Being a Parent and Grandparent

Carol A. Hand

When my daughter was born,
my view of the world forever changed.

“To have
a child
is to decide
to have
your heart
forever
walk around
outside
your body.”
(anonymous)

Life was no longer something I peered at
from a safe distance
I felt it deeply – glowing in my heart
Powerful, shifting emotions
forced me to realize how precious
and precarious life can be

Holding each of my grandchildren for the first time
intensified my sensitivity and commitment
to do all in my power to be a loving presence
Watching them as they grow
amplifies both joy and pain
celebrating their accomplishments
suffering when they encounter challenges

Self-portrait by my granddaughter – July 7, 2017

***

Sometimes all I can do is
to simply try to be a loving presence

***

My granddaughter’s portrait of her Ahma – July 8, 2017

 

In times such as these it’s not easy
to believe the future holds bright possibilities
Let our hearts awaken and glow
with celebratory joy

***

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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38 Responses to Reflections about Being a Parent and Grandparent

  1. “Sometimes all I can do is / to simply try to be a loving presence”
    ~ As always, Carol, your reflections on life touches the heart.
    ~ I don’t have grandchildren of my own, but regard my neighbors’ kids as I would my own grand kids. I watch them begin to crawl and take their first steps. I watch them explore the world around them and exchange their first words with me, “the lady who loves gardening.” I try always “to be a loving presence.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. kethuprofumo says:

    Very emotional reflections, dear Carol! Anyway…we must be optimistic. The darkest time is always before the sunrise. And it’s on the way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful ‘portraits’ on life and living…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 😀 Powerful thoughts and beautiful artwork.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. hsampson says:

    Just beautiful Carol, Thank you!! Your words have touched my heart, as usual.
    I have got a big smile right now. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So beautiful. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. underswansea says:

    Carol, the future does hold bright possibilities. Your children and grandchildren come to you with problems. We have to admit we can’t solve some of them, but we can show them a path through what they are wrestling with. The world is alive. The rocks hold heat just like our hearts. The rivers flow just like our blood. We bloom and scramble for light and then we rest. I love your poem Carol, and your granddaughters portraits. You and I are so lucky. We get to see our grandchildren grow. They will be okay. Take care. Bob

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh my gosh, how I love this. Your experiences with having a child is so much like my own. She has been a great teacher and her lessons are always about loving and accepting! I had just about given up the thought of ever having a child as James and I had been married for 9 years and I had not gotten pregnant. Then they found a tumor on my thyroid and removed the benign mass and I got pregnant two months later. Nikki was born 5 days before I turned 30 and has been the joy of my life since the moment I knew I was carrying her in my body. Her dad adores her as well and so we raised her with great love! Sadly she miscarried the only biological child she would have, but she has been blessed to parent her husband’s daughter from a previous marriage and the two Guatemalan children they adopted. She too loves her little family and she and her husband have done a splendid job parenting their children. As for the future. None of us is even guaranteed more than what we already have. When I had a stroke almost 5 years ago now, that day could have been my last. But a surgeon managed to remove the two clots from my brain and here I am. So I just live one day at a time and try to serve the Lord and bless those around me. That’s all any of us can really do and worry is pointless and takes time away from loving and enjoying! Thank you for sharing your story. As always I find we have so much in common. Indeed I believe we are kindred spirits and am so glad to be your friend. Hugs, love, and blessings, Natalie 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A writer from the East says:

    This is a very beautiful post, heart warming and eye teary mood yet with a smile ❤️ 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. balroop2013 says:

    Wow! wonderfully articulated! I can relate so much to your reflections. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Alok Singhal says:

    What lovely portraits. The feelings are worth holding onto 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Even in my darkest moments, I continue to have hope for our children and grandchildren. If I can teach them everything I know about love, my hope is that they will build upon that education, teach others, and slowly the world will evolve into a kinder, more peaceful place. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  13. mistermuse says:

    As much as these seem to be dark days indeed (at least so far as our politics and culture are concerned), we see the goodness in our children and grandchildren, and we realize that for their sakes, things must not and can not continue down this path. Hopefully our love for them and encouraging them to think for themselves will show them the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. smilecalm says:

    they’re such beautiful
    continuations into the future
    guided by your beautiful
    continuations into the past 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Aquileana says:

    So heartfelt & beautifully penned:
    “Watching them as they grow
    amplifies both joy and pain
    celebrating their accomplishments
    suffering when they encounter challenges”.
    Love this post, Carol… sending best wishes & good vibes 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. These are such beautiful and reassuring words. To be a loving presence can perhaps be the most we can do. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of being there for our children and theirs. I am awaiting my first grandchild and I love the words that our heart is outside us when we have a child and we do all we can to protect but ultimately their lives become their own and we must just be loving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing such important insights, Navasola Nature, and for your kind words. How exciting to hear about your first grandchild! I send my best wishes to you and your family. ❤

      Like

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