Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Single Grandma

Well, I'm frustrated. I don't like this blog design. So excuse me if you see me changing from time to time.  Just a fickle woman.

Today friends celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Several couples of my mother and dad's generation are celebrating seventy years of marriage. I won't make it to any of those years. I am single and have been for twenty years.

Being a single parent was one thing. Being a single grandparent is quite another story. The thing I have missed most about marriage is that partnership you have with another person to talk over family issue, to share special moments with someone who will remember them with you. But there are perks to this singleness. It can be full of pluses, ignoring the minuses.

When I became a single woman at age forty-six, I found it hard to get back into a 'normal' life. I had married for twenty-three years. Being alone really felt alone. After a bit of feeling sorry for myself and finding isolation my best friend, I learned that there was much more to me than I had ever dreamed. I found that sitting in a restaurant reading a book was a pleasure. I enjoyed going out with friends and doing things on my own. I finally for the first time in my life began to like me and find myself to be good company.

My singleness was not so easy for my children. Being a mom and single didn't work for them. I think perhaps I became a handful for them. They worried about where I was and who I was with. Of course, they were grown and away from home, but I was still Mom. My adjustment was easier than theirs.

The older I have gotten, the more I cherish my single life. I think perhaps the biggest mistake I have made was to always be available to my children. That began when they were small when I was separated from my husband. I've come a long way from then to now. I can see the mistakes I made, but I can't correct them. It is the choice of my children to see me as a person separate from themselves.

A woman I know told me last week that her children had told her she had to move, and they were looking for a place for her. She is in fairly good health and my age. I looked at her wondering why she was handing over her life. She is a vital woman who can very well make sound decision. She is a working woman and one I admire. So what right to the children have to just take over her life. She was shocked and at a loss. All of a sudden she was giving up.

It is the responsibility of our children to allow us to be separate from them. We have an equal obligation to each other to respect our individual lives and not overstep that boundary just because we are related. I am probably a better mom and grandmom now than ever before. I have worked hard to become this single woman who has gone through a great deal and survived to tell about it. I am a long way from that rocking chair.

In my single life as a single grandparent, I find that I have been able to give my grandchildren my complete focus in listening to them and trying to find avenues where they will flourish. I have learned so much in the last ten years about life and aging. My relationship with my parents would have been so much different had I know all I know now. I just didn't know and thought I did.

I am a good grandma. In my heart, I know that I have done whatever I could do to encourage my grandchildren to learn and to grow, to express their creativity and to embrace the world in which they live. I have taught them not to judge but to find beauty where there seems to be none. To walk away from an argument and find peace then communication. I have taught them to look at the stars and beneath the leaves. I have given them a faith that is lived. I have done the best I can.

I am a single grandma. I am a single woman. I am sixty-four years old and embrace who I am with a passion. Should another of this description come along, perhaps I would not be a single woman. Until then, bring it on.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Thank you for giving words to what I'd been thinking. The words, "single grandma (nana, in my case) is now confidently in my vocabulary!