In the years after our children had grown to adults, but before they were parents, I held the belief that we had accomplished everything that was really important. It was my way of finding reconciliation with the impermanence of life.

We had given our children the tools to engage life: a good work ethic, a strong moral code, higher education, and health within the limits of our ability and their good fortune. It seemed to me that this was everything that was truly important and anything more that life allowed was “icing on the cake”.

I declared this at dinner one evening. At table were good friends, one a youthful grandmother. She took exception to my words. Imprudently, I persisted and her responding objections grew more vociferous. Finally, our respective spouses interceded to redirect our dinner conversation to the peace of calmer waters.

In the years since, we have had the good fortune to become grandparents. I have watched Christine grow into her role as a grandmother and I have witnessed the dimension that she has added to the experience of childhood for the “little people”. It is clear to me now that important work remained for us in life as grandparents to these children. I can scarcely imagine life for us without them, or life for them without Christine.

Although it has been more than 10 years since that dinner conversation, it often returns to my thoughts when I see the exchange of unconditional love and respect between Christine and the grandchildren. I am also beneficiary of the children’s affection, but there is an intangible depth to the relationship that they share with their grandmother.

You were right Jane… Mea Culpa.

Peace Everyone. Pete

7 thoughts on “Mea Culpa to a Good Friend

  1. Being a grandparent is a GRAND experience! It is hard to find the words to describe the new dimension this brings to our lives. Growing up, I never had the “grandparent experience” and only now can understand what had been missing in my childhood. It is a true blessing to be called “Gramma” and to stand tall in that role for our 6 beautiful and unique grandchildren. I find that I see Steve in a bright new light as “Papa” and it completes our lives together in endless ways. I recommend this wonderful experience to all and believe it is the best of the many roles I have been able to play in my life. Grandparents hold a secret among us. We know this powerful and loving connection that only Grandparents can understand. This Gramma finds that Life is GRAND I am so glad that you and Chris are reining supreme in grandparenting. It is an Art and an honor.

    • My grandmother lived hundreds of miles from us. I only saw her a couple times a year. Nevertheless, her influence on my life was huge and the love that we shared transcended distance and still transcends time. Thank you Jackie!

  2. Pauline Schloss says:

    Sorry that you did not get my other thoughts in all postings. I never knew my grandparents who were oceans away but I felt their presence in my mother. I now am miles from my great-grandchildren. I long for times when they visit. Oh, for the days when our family would enjoy togetherness at Sunday dinner.

What Do You Think?