“Can you fix it, Grandma? It’s one of my favorite stuffies. Please!”
Can you fix it grandma? I glance down into the deep brown eyes of my grandson, as he thrusts his little pink stuffed pig closer to my face.
“Right here. See! A hole, and here and here!”
His fingers quickly found each little hole in the matted and well-loved body of this beloved toy. His fingers so familiar with the surface he can find them in his sleep. The holes are small – almost invisible to my old grandma eyes – but huge in his mind and heart. How many nights had he clutched this little toy to his chest, his fingers blindly exploring the holes; making them bigger with his love? Comforting and familiar. It’s a big job for such a little toy.
“Yes”, I say. “Grandma can fix it. Just leave it here with me, and I’ll have him all fixed up when you come to visit next time.” Relief flooded his face as he quickly hugged me.
“You’re the best, Grandma,” he hollered as he ran out the door; off to his next adventure.
So, today, I sit in my sewing room, the little pig in one hand, and a needle and pink thread in the other.
I think about my grandchildren. Each of them is a special and unique love of my life. For me, it became so clear to me with each stitch I made, that this…this is what Grandparents are made for. To fix things for those we love. Like it says on this cup, “if Grandma can’t fix it, no one can.”
Unfortunately while my heart is full of love, it is also a bit sad. Already some of my grandchildren are facing the heartbreak of life; growing up in a world where not everyone is a nice person. While, they are all happy, healthy, wonderful kids, sometimes life is just hard when you’re a miniature person trying to navigate your way around bullies, academic struggles, friendship issues, and sibling dynamics.
Today, I can fix it.
I can carefully stitch up each little hole making it almost brand new. But, there will come a time in my life as a grandma, that I won’t be able to stitch up the holes. I won’t be able to make the hurt go away. I can’t change their heartbreak. But oh, how I wish I could just hug them and make it all go away; because that’s what Grandmas and Grandpas do.
I feel the same way about my grown-up, all-on-their-own kids. They have long since left to start and build lives of their own – but it still breaks my heart when they call to share things they are struggling with. The death of a beloved pet, the loss of a friend, the injustice of work related struggles. It’s the same as holes in a stuffed pig. It’s not right – it hurts. Only this time, I can’t fix it with a needle and thread.
All I can do is:
- Listen – with an open mind and heart; being thankful that they are wanting to share their struggles with me.
- Support – them with kind words and encouraging thoughts; and advice if they ask.
- Love! – Love is a verb in my world. It implies action. It conveys consistent acceptance and support for all.
- Pray – always pray!
Prayer is the action that I can do, when I know not what to do. Prayer is love in action. When my heart is breaking for those I love – I CAN PRAY!
However, while I’m at it – on my knees – I will cast my prayers into a bigger net. A prayer for the hurting world and others struggling around me. A hurting world that also breaks my heart.
“Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace.” (The Book Of Common Prayer, And Administration Of The Sacraments, And Other Rites And Ceremonies Of The Church. New York : New York Bible And Common Prayer Book Society, 1841. Print.)
And again I say:
Thus, prayer is the action that I can do, when I know not what to do. Prayer is love in action. When my heart is breaking for those I love – I CAN PRAY!
And so can you! Listen – support – pray – love! Together, all the Grandmas and Grandpas, Moms and Dads, kids and grand-kids; our love will make a difference.
“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” I Corinthians 13: 13 (The Message Bible)