Macaroni and cheese with a side of applesauce. Family beach trips every summer. The GOOD high heels on our small feet, and beach towels draped around our necks. Living room forts built lovingly with blankets, chairs, and pillows. Sunday dinners. Holiday get-togethers. Leisurely strolls with a loyal dog. Cousins. Family. Laughter. Love. 

When I get to the end of my life or am ever asked to look back on my grandparents, these are the memories I will cling to and will wrap around me like a blanket to bask in the warmth. 

RELATED: Dear Modern, Busy People: Bring Back Family Gatherings

I know I am lucky. This is not something I say lightly, I am well aware of just how lucky I am. Not only to have the family I have been blessed with and have created with my husband but also to have living grandparents at my agetwo beautiful grandmothers who look half their age, one each on my mother’s and father’s sides.

Two sides of my family coin who still anchor me, guide me, and serve as examples of what a strong, resilient woman should be.

They’ve both faced tragedy, grief, and loss and fought through those smoldering ashes onto the other side more beautiful than before, like a Phoenix emerging from the ashes. Likewise, they have had love, sunshine, and family legacies to guide them on their way. 

I never knew my maternal grandfather, he tragically passed away from an accident when my mom was still in early elementary school. I’m told, however, that I have inherited his eyes and that my laugh is an echo of him. I wear that knowledge like a badge of honor to know I carry pieces of him with me throughout my life even though he was gone long before I was ever born. 

Sadly, I lost my other grandfathermy paternal grandfatheron Christmas Day of 2021 after having him in my life for over 40 years. Luckily, we got to send him to Heaven and into the arms of his loving, departed son while he was surrounded by the love of his entire living familychildren, grandchildren, and wife . . . a human picture book of sorts of his best accomplishments in life.  

I wasn’t prepared to lose him that day or any day, really, in the 41 years I was able to love and have him in my life.

He was one of the smartest men I have had the pleasure of having in my life, he just knew things with a lifetime of knowledge to guide him. I find myself in awe looking back now at all the things that came so easily to him. I wish I had had the foresight to write some of those things down because I still want to go to him for things that trouble me or that are over my head. He was my go-to guy, and I knew I could count on him to come to my rescue any time I called (which was, to be honest, a lot). He loved his family with a love that even death can not diminish. 

RELATED: Grandparents Give Us Bonus Love That We Should Never Take for Granted

Grandparents are doorways to our past and lifelines to our future. They are the ties that bind families together. Memories of your younger days spent with them will swirl around you like a warm, comforting breeze throughout your life, and time spent with them nowif you’re lucky enough to still have one, two, or all of themis truly a gift that you can cherish the rest of your life. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Miranda Hawkins

Miranda is a full-time, licensed insurance agent with dreams of becoming a professional writer in her spare time. She is married to the love of her life and together they are raising one son, two chihuahua mix dogs, and three cats.

To the Great-Grandparents: Thank You For Loving Us So Well

In: Uncategorized

Can we take a minute to talk about the blessing of great-grandparents? Grandparents (i.e. your own parents) spoil your kids, of course—it’s a time-honored tradition, really. The reward for surviving parenthood with your own children is spoiling your grandchildren with abandon. All that spoiling prompts the inevitable wondering, “Where were these people when they were raising me?!” Your parents limited television and junk food. They enforced rules and consequences. Who are these pod-people who’ve invaded your parents’ bodies and are now spoiling the living daylights out of your children? This question doesn’t exist where great-grandparents are concerned. You know exactly...

Keep Reading

I’d Give Anything For One More Day With My Grandparents

In: Grief
Grandma and Grandpa pose by birthday cake

1942, Valentine’s Day: my grandparents were married. Having both grown up in difficult situations, I always thought it was so sweet that they chose this day to marry. They had one son. They ran a cotton farm and later lost it. They moved to town and my grandfather ran service stations up until he had a stroke, losing the use of half his body and slurring his speech. He was often frustrated that he couldn’t communicate with us or move easily. I remember that this made me uneasy and often scared. His frustrations interpreted by a child seemed mean and...

Keep Reading

Here’s To the Strong Women Who’ve Come Before Us

In: Motherhood
Two men and woman smiling, color photo

The story goes that the neighbors would leave food out by the mailbox near the county road and then run. It was the late 1920s, and the polio epidemic had struck a tiny Midwestern town. My pregnant great-grandmother suddenly found herself in quarantine in her own home with her husband and children. She had to send her little boy, my grandfather, to a hospital in Omaha when he had difficulty breathing. She stayed behind to care for her family. She was a mother, farmwife, and homemaker. She was expecting twins when polio arrived. She was a pioneer who had amazing...

Keep Reading