By Fr Jim Cogley
An 8 year old in school was asked to write about, ‘What is a grandmother’. This is what she wrote: A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she likes others peoples boys and girls. Grandmas don’t have anything to do except be there. If they take us for walks they slow down as we go past pretty leaves and caterpillars. They never say, hurry up. Usually they are fat but not too fat to tie shoes. They wear glasses and sometimes can take their teeth out. They can answer questions like, why dogs hate cats and why God isn’t married. They don’t talk like visitors do which is hard to understand. When they read to us they don’t skip words or mind if it is the same story again. It would be lovely for everyone to have a grandma because grandmas are the only grown ups who always have time.
Particularly where grandparents have a godly or faith dimension to their lives there is no knowing the long-term influence they exercise because even if parents choose to neglect their religious practice a faith foundation has been set in place. Later when a crisis happens and that grandchild’s world falls apart at least they know that there is someone to turn to and that they have the inner resources to survive.