So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Today my children visited their grandmother, or as we call her Memeré (French for Grandma).

It wasn’t like most visits with a grandparent. This one was at the cemetery.

This is the place we must visit her now. She’s no longer on Earth blessing us with her joy, love, and cuddles. Instead of packing the car to head for a weekend of fun with her, we come here, to the cemetery, with broken hearts and tearful eyes.

The sight of my children visiting my mother’s grave is heartbreaking. It’s a pain so immense that it’s practically debilitating. Watching them talk to her, pray for her, and remember her knocks the wind right out of me. It doesn’t feel right, and certainly doesn’t feel fair. It brought more tears than I was prepared for, and trust me, I was prepared for a flood.

Through the pain, heartbreak, and harsh reality of her absence, I started reflecting on all of the memories my children have with my mother. All of the precious moments they now carry in their hearts and will hopefully carry in their minds, forever.

I drove home crying . . . thinking about all the times I harped at my mom for giving the kids too many sweets, or letting them stay up too late, or buying them too many surprises, or giving in to their every wish, or just doing anything that grandparents do.

What I wouldn’t give to go back to those moments and soak them up instead of roll my eyes.

Why on earth did I ever give thought to how many treats they enjoyed, or how late they stayed up? This is what grandparents are made for. My mom used to remind my sister and me that she LOVED being a mother and that she loved us more than anything. She’d follow that with, “But there is just something SO SPECIAL about being a grandmother!”

We knew she loved us with every ounce of her being, but there was no doubt a special spark that ignited in her when she became a grandmother. It was like everything she was as a mother amplified times a million. If parenting is like regular season football, grandparenting is like the Super Bowl, where you win every time.

Now, I sit here missing my mother more than anything. Wishing my kids would have had her for so many more years. Wishing my new son would have had the chance to meet her and be blessed by her love. Not having her here is a nightmare.

Unfortunately, it’s a nightmare that is our reality.

I wish I would have done so many things differently.

If you are lucky enough to have parents around, this is my advice to you:

Let your parents soak up every moment of being a grandparent, even if that means going against every parenting rule you’ve created. One day you’ll still have your rules, but what you won’t have is someone there to break them and you’ll miss that. Trust me.

Let them fill your children with endless sugary treats. Why does it matter if they eat three cookies instead of one or get a double scoop of ice cream? Truth is, it doesn’t. Instead of sweating the sweets they’re passing out, soak up the “sweet” memories. It will be something your kids never forget and talk about often.

Let them go on the field trips, even if that means you have to sit one out.

Let them be the favorite. I was always a little jealous every time my son would say, “I love Memeré more than anyone in the whole world!” Now, I get it. Heck, she was my favorite, too.

Let them take a backseat in responsibility and become the driver of the fun bus. Then, let them drive that bus wherever the wind takes them because it will be full of laughter, joy and moments your children will never forget.

VISIT and visit often. Invite them on your vacations and adventures. Keep them close, always.

Take pictures and lots of them! I’m not talking about the posed pictures, although those are nice, too. I’m talking about the times where your mother is on the floor playing Guess Who with your children, or the time you look over to find her wearing a Power Rangers mask but acting like a pirate, or the time she cuddled up and read books for over an hour, or any other moment that at the time might seem insignificant. One day those simple moments will be all you have, and the pictures will make you smile.

Plan for the day they aren’t with you anymore.

Inevitably, it will happen. Hopefully a very long time from now, but one day you’ll wake up and they’ll be gone. Prepare yourself. Ask them EVERYTHING you’ve ever wanted to know. Ask them all the parenting questions, baking questions, life lessons, and anything you’ve ever wondered about. One day they won’t be here to answer the questions you held in your heart, and it will nearly break you.

Never take them for granted. Love them and appreciate them. Most of all, remind them as often as you can what a blessing they are and how grateful you are for their love. 

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

You may also like:

Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

Don’t Take Your Mom For Granted—I’d Give Anything to Have Mine Back

Grandparents are truly a gift! Return the love with something just for them. Here are some of our favorites.

Spend some quality time together by assembling a jigsaw puzzle customized with a photo of their grandchildren.

Shop Online

Email photos in real-time with a digital picture frame, that auto updates. Grandparents can keep up with their grandkids without having to worry about keeping up with technology too!

Shop Online

Create a custom calendar to showcase their grandchildren every month! They will enjoy seeing how much the kids grew throughout the year.

Shop Online

Gifts from the heart are the sweetest kind, and what’s from the heart more than something handmade? Grandkids will love gifting their grandparents with stepping stones made by them!

Shop Online

So God made a grandma to snuggle and to spoil, to teach and to love. This cute tee is soft and lightweight, and let’s Grandma display how loved she is!

We’ve got tees for Gram and Mimi, too!

Shop Online

So God made a grandpa to spoil his grandkids. To hold them in his lap, tell them stories, and teach them life’s most important lessons. This tee lets Grandpa proudly display how loved he is!

Shop Online

Light up the grandparent’s lives with a unique lamp. It’s an easy way to connect long-distance. With two or more lamps connected with WiFi, let them know you’re thinking of them simply by touching your lamp—which then lights their lamp in your choice of color.

Shop Online

With 3-heat settings and 3-hour Auto Off, this heated blanket is perfect to keep grandma and grandpa cozy and warm. Super soft and machine washable—relaxing made easy!

Shop Online

This little book contains fill-in-the-blank lines to describe why your Grandma is the greatest. She’ll love reading these handwritten notes again and again.

Here’s one for Grandpa, too!

Shop Online

Easy to set up and and easy to read, this weather station displays current temperatures and humidity, as well as a future forecast.

 

Shop Online

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life and is the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017 when she tragically lost her mother to cancer she decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. She know owns the website Happiness, Hope & Harsh Realities, a space dedicated to encouraging others experiencing grief and loss. Website: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities 

How Grateful I Am for a Mother Who Believed in Me

In: Cancer, Grief
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

It was a hot summer day sometime in the middle of high school. I was young and naive, but the ugly six-letter word was looming over our family: cancer. Although I didn’t know it then, this would be our last normal summer before my mother’s health would worsen. Cancer would give way to terminal cancer. It’s funny how something so big can seem so small in those moments. My mom and I were sitting on our back porch, encased in a narrow hedge of yew bushes. It was a yellow, lazy Saturday, and my brothers and father were at Cub...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections