Penny's Passion: Grandma Helen

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Grandma Helen

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday with X-tremely V and me.  I'm so happy you stopped!  Hope you link up and share with us what you're thinking out loud about today.

Each year when September 10 rolls around, I think about one person - Helen Wilson.  Or Grandma Helen as we affectionately called her.  Today would have been her 79th birthday.

Grandma Helen was called "Grandma" not because she was related to us, but because she truly earned the title.  She was my son Ian's care giver from the time he was 6 weeks old until he reached an age where having an adult around to watch him wasn't necessary.  For thirteen years she was that added adult in his life that helped shape him into the impressive person he is today.

Every morning as I got ready for work, Helen would arrive at our house and cheerful accept whatever situation was happening.  If I had had a rough night with a sleepless child who would only stop crying if he was being rocked, she would welcome him into her arms and rock away as I got ready for work.  Or if I had spent too long playing with my baby and was running late, she would pack my lunch so I could get in a few more giggles before heading out the door.  As soon as I heard her arrival by the garage door going up, I knew my morning was about to get a little better.

One of the many blessings I received from Helen caring for my precious boy was the journals she kept.  Every day I could read about their activities, what Ian had to eat and even when he had gone to the bathroom.  I felt connected to his day by the words she had left for me to read.

When Ian was two, I divorced and became a single mother.  Grandma Helen stepped up her game (if that was even possible) and did whatever she could to help out.  She would often go to the grocery store if I was out of milk or wheel the trash can to the curb if I forgot.  And I could always count on coming home to my bed being made if I hadn't done it before I left.  Oh how I loved that!

Ian was afforded the opportunity to enjoy story hour at the library, playing at the park and play dates while I was at work because Grandma Helen was there to make it all happen.  Helen would take him to anything I signed him up to participate in.  Ian got to attend our church preschool because Helen was able to cart him there and back three times a week, something that could never have happened if she wasn't in our lives.

As kindergarten approached, Helen insisted that Ian would not be riding the bus -- she was afraid he would learn bad things on said bus.  So every morning she would deliver him to school and every afternoon she would be there to bring him home.  If school got out early due to weather, I never had to worry about leaving work to pick up my child.  Grandma Helen had it under control.  If Ian was sick and not able to go to school, Grandma Helen was there to nurse him back to health.  She attended Grandparents Day, room parties and field trips.

Oh how she loved him!  And spoiled him!  Just like any grandmother would.  Many days Ian met me at the door to show me what new gadget Grandma Helen had gotten him at the store that day.  I tried to give her the stern eye that said she shouldn't be doing that, but she'd look at me right back and I knew the next trip to the store would yield another new toy.  The only thing I could do was smile and shake my head.

Not only did Grandma Helen love my boy -- her entire family loved him.  One time she and her family even took Ian on vacation to Disney World with them!  They loaded up in an RV and drove from our house to Orlando.  He had the time of his life!  Imagine willingly loading up a 7 year-old and driving 16 hours!  Now that's pure love.

Like for many families, money can get tight when raising children.  I knew that no matter how many scarifies I had to make, Helen would be a priority in my budget.  She provided a constant for my young man that was invaluable.  We were so incredibly lucky she stayed with us to help me raise my son.

So here I am on her birthday thinking out loud how very much I appreciate and love this remarkable woman that I shared my son with.  Happy birthday!  I can only imagine how much fun you're having in heaven.

Now it's your turn -- what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up to Thinking Out Loud Thursday with me and Vanessa at X-tremely Vanessa . The rules are simple.  Link back to me and Vanessa in your post and add your favorite post(s) below.  Super easy!  Tell all your friends to link up too.  The more the merrier.  We'd love for you to follow us too!  #ThinkingOutLoudThursdays

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  1. I loved it. Thank ypu so much!!!! Wonderful!!!!

  2. You were one lucky lady to have a caregiver, "grandma" in your son's life who was a onstant all those years. Being a nanny to a little girl for 5 years too, I know how you adopt them into our lives and they become like your own. That is exactly what she did. And Ian, how lucky he is too to have someone love him like that. Remarkable story of a blessed woman and a giving heart she had. Truly the best story I've read all week.

  3. Ah, love this, my own granny lives a 4 and a half hour drive away, and she has been getting so frail lately. I love going to visit her!

  4. Such a blessing to have had her in your lives! Praying that you celebrate her everyday and the sadness eases. Thank you for sharing something so personal and beautiful!

  5. What a special relationship your grandma and son must have. Every family needs a Grandma Helen! She sounds like she was a rock star servant!

  6. Penny, what a precious memorial to Helen. I was blessed by reading it.